Should I Tip a House Painter?

Satisfy your house painter by offering him a tip for his exceptional services.
i Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Tipping service professionals demonstrates your generosity and appreciation for a job well done. House painters may not expect to receive a tip, but they will appreciate the additional income. Painting jobs may be sparse in the area and are seasonal in nature, making a tip an unexpected surprise to the painter.


Traditionally, certain people in the service industry are routinely tipped. This applies to waiters, hairdressers, movers and full service gas station attendants. Although house painters provide a service, you are not required to tip them. Some contractors may factor in an amount of gratuity for their workers. However, Annie Hicks, the founder of the company Angie’s List, says that painters typically get tipped. Whether or not you decide to tip may be a matter of personal preference.

Reasons to Tip

You may decide to tip for a variety of reasons, such as to show appreciation, to reward someone who completed the job early or to praise someone for an exceptional job. You may also decide to tip if the work is completed around the holidays. Tipping a house painter may encourage him to do more work for you in the future if he has to decide between jobs. You may also want to tip the house painter if he completed custom work, such as a mural, or did extra work upon your request.

Tipping Guidelines

The standard amount to tip service professionals is 15 to 20 percent. However, you may choose a higher or lower percentage based on your satisfaction with the service. Similarly, you may decide on a specific dollar amount that is commensurate with the job. An alternative is to provide house painters with cold drinks and refreshments for each day that they work on the painting project.

Complications with Tipping

While your desire to tip is a noble gesture, it may cause negative consequences to the painter. Contractors may have a policy against tipping their employees. Contractors may view tipping as a subterfuge to pay the painter extra money for additional work that he completed while avoiding making extra payments to the contractor. Tipping may also cause tax complications to the painter if he has to report tips as part of his income. The contractor may be required to complete additional tax forms if he must allocate the tips among his workers.

the nest