Painter and Decorator

Painters and decorators in the building industry are dedicated to achieving two main objectives - to provide the final finishes to buildings and to protect surfaces from dirt and damp.

Modern builders can consider painters and decorators to be among their most valued employees. This trade offers a wide spectrum of job opportunities to someone with an artistic inclination.

Painters and decorators put the finishing touches to new buildings, but are also called upon from time to time, to work on existing homes, offices, shops or public buildings that have to be renovated or redecorated. Painters are virtually the last people on site, which means that the actual finish of the building on which they are working is entirely in their hands. As a result, they must be craftsmen of the highest calibre, for they can either spoil or perfect the work of all the other trades that preceded them.

Painters and decorators paint, varnish or stain the indoor and outdoor walls, roofs, doors and window frames of buildings. They measure surfaces to be treated and determine quantities of the materials needed. They prepare surfaces by sanding, scraping or burning away old coverings (sometimes special chemicals need to be used) and fill nail holes, cracks or other problem areas with plaster, putty or other compounds. After applying a primer or sealer coat, they mix paints and match colours and then apply the paint or other coating evenly to the surface.

Painter and decorators may use rollers or spray guns rather than brushes, as these tools allow paint to dry more quickly. They also put up scaffolding or use swinging chairs when working on high buildings or other structures.


  • building trade and general contractors

  • government concerns

  • businesses that do their own construction and alteration work

  • restoration and renovation companies

  • private homeowners

  • self-employment, with the necessary experience can practise privately or start own business

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