Painter and Decorator

Do you enjoy using colours to create a whole new environment or set a mood in a room?  Do you appreciate design, colour and detail, and enjoy seeing the results of your handiwork?

Most people know that painting a room or their entire home is time consuming and think that it is a task they can readily perform. Until, of course, they discover their ladder isn’t tall enough; the flaky paint on the ceiling; damp patches in walls or that the brushes and rollers they bought for a bargain at the hardware store shed bristles, fluff and leave unsightly streaks on the newly painted surface. And all of this is before they have to clean the thinning brushes and soggy rollers.

A qualified painter and decorator will use correct procedures, materials, products and finishes to deal with those issues of flaky paint and damp walls. They’ll also know how to deal with unexpected or hazardous conditions, such as removing old, lead-based paints. The end result? A clean, safe professional finish!

The finish created by a painter enhances the atmosphere and look of a room or building.  From contemporary finishes to old world charm, a painter is responsible for the “feel” and ambience of the project. They can also offer advice on colours and combinations as well as suggest the latest in decorating techniques.

Painters and decorators apply paint, varnish, wallpaper and other finishes to decorate, protect and maintain interior and exterior surfaces of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures.  They calculate the quantity of materials needed for the job, provide cost estimates, repair and prepare work surfaces and match colours using a range of tints.

There are two main categories of painting: domestic, which involves the internal and external painting of residential homes; and commercial and industrial painting, which is the painting and preservation of industrial structures and equipment.

Suggested pathway into painting & decorating:
  • Certificate II in Building and Construction (Trades Pathway) or
  • Pre-apprenticeship, Painting & Decorating

Download Fact Sheet (pdf)


On the job training
Accredited Certificate
Apprenticeship/Trade Certificate
Diploma/Advanced Diploma
Tertiary Degree

Back to Careers

Regular repainting is essential to the maintenance of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Around 485,000 square metres of steelwork – the equivalent of 60 soccer fields – needs to be painted. To give the bridge just one coat, 30,000 litres of paint are needed!