Painter and Decorator


Painters and decorators apply paint, varnish, wallpaper and other finishes to protect, maintain and decorate interior and exterior surfaces of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures.

Duties & Tasks

Painters and decorators may perform the following tasks:

  • determine the quantity of materials needed for the job by taking surface measurements or by looking at job specifications or drawings
  • remove old paint or paper using sanders, scrapers, heat guns, liquid paint removers and steam strippers as appropriate
  • prepare surfaces by fixing woodwork; filling or sealing holes, cracks and joints; and washing them down using high pressure wash systems to remove dust and grease
  • select and prepare paints to match colours by adding tinters
  • brush, roll or spray paints, stains, varnishes and other finishes
  • when wallpapering, set out the area according to the pattern match and starting point in the room, cut the paper to the appropriate length, apply paste to the back of each strip and hang the paper on the wall, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles
  • spray paint surfaces using a spray gun or specialised equipment
  • apply decorative paint finishes such as stencils, colour glaze, graining, marbling and lettering, gold leaf and texture finishes
  • wash equipment and clean work areas.

Working Conditions

Due to occupational health and safety laws, most painters work from work platforms, elevated work platforms or built-up scaffolds erected by qualified personnel. They have to do a lot of bending and stretching.

Personal Requirements

  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to work at heights
  • enjoy practical work
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • normal colour vision
  • good sense of balance
  • able to work independently or as part of a team.

Related Courses:

For more information about this occupation contact:

Construction and Training Fund WA

Construction and Training Fund Western Australia

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