Hands-on Skills Hands-on Skills

Painter and Decorator

Painters and decorators use a range of coverings to enhance and protect surfaces. These surfaces could include plaster, metal and wood. If you like practical work and enjoy being artistic, this could be a perfect career for you.

To be a painter and decorator, you should have good practical and creative skills. You will need to be able to work carefully and pay attention to detail. Sometimes you’ll need a good head for heights.

Employers often prefer people with some relevant experience. You could start by looking for work as a painter and decorator's labourer or 'mate'.

Try it out on one of our Budding Builders courses - see what we have coming up here.

What The Job Involves

As a painter and decorator, you would work on a variety of domestic and industrial projects ranging from re-decorating homes to applying heavy-duty finishes to large structures like bridges.

On a domestic job, you would use paint, varnishes and wallpaper to decorate rooms. You would follow the householder's instructions about choice of colour, finishing texture and wallpaper patterns.

Key Responsibilities

Measuring surface areas to work out how much paint or wall covering you need
Stripping off old wallpaper or paint
Filling holes and cracks and making sure surfaces are level
Preparing surfaces with primer and undercoat
Measure, prepare and apply coatings and covering
Mixing paint to the right shade, either by hand or using computerised colour-matching equipment
Use a range of coverings to enhance and protect surfaces, from soft coverings such as paint, varnishes and wallpaper to more heavy duty finishes.
Use of abrasive blasting methods
Specialist tasks - protective costings, treatments and French polish
Ceiling masonry

Employers often prefer people with some relevant experience, so you could start by looking for work as a painter and decorator's labourer or 'mate'. Once you are working, your employer may give you the chance to take further training in painting and decorating. Another option is to take a course, which would give you some of the skills needed to start in this job. 

Entry Requirements

GCSEs (A-C) in English and Maths
Budding Builders course in Painting Decorating

What key skills and personal attributes help with this role?

Skills & Attributes

High level of practical and creative skills
Attention to detail
Ability to work alone and as part of a team
Awareness of of health and safety
Ability to work at height
Numeracy skills

How much can you expect to earn and what are the career progression options?

The following figures are intended as a guideline only.

Salary & Progression

Trainee salary: £14,500 - £17,000 a year.
Qualified Painter/Decorator: £17,500 - £23,000 a year
Supervisor/Manager: £23,000+ a year
Self employed Painters and Decorators set their own rates
Hands-on Skills Hands-on Skills
Case Study


Graduate Technician
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Throughout the graduate programme my day-to-day role has changed, but the job always involves advising occupiers, landlords or investors on property occupation or investment performance, collaborating, analysing latest market transactions/ industry news and networking.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The mix of challenging, technical work alongside the social side of the industry.

Find a course

Give it a go

Experience construction and learn more about this career through one of our courses.

Find a course near you or, request a course near you

Discover more about this career

Find a course near you
Key: Budding BuildersBudding Builders
Budding BrunelsBudding Brunels Head OfficeHead Office

Visit one of our friends

Want to find out more, or need more information? Contact us, or visit one of our friends below.