Painters and Decorators

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.

Painters and decorators may work alone or as members of a team. They often work from ladders and scaffolding and do a lot of bending and stretching.

Painters and Decorators may perform tasks including:

  • working out the quantity of materials needed for a job;
  • erecting scaffolding, cradles and ladders, and placing dropsheets to protect areas;
  • removing old paint or paper by sanding, scraping etc and using steam strippers to remove wallpaper;
  • preparing surfaces by fixing woodwork, filling and sealing holes, cracks and joins;
  • matching colours by the addition of tinters;
  • brushing, rolling or spraying the paints, stains, varnishes and other finishes;
  • spraying paint surfaces using a spray gun or a range of specialised equipment; and
  • applying decorative paint finishes.

More information

Personal Requirements

  • reasonable level of physical fitness
  • a good head for heights
  • normal colour vision

Education and Training

Entry to this occupation is by:

  • completion of a pre-apprenticeship course to gain a Certificate II in Building and Construction (Painting and Decorating), or 
  • a contract of training involving completion of a traditional apprenticeship.


1300 889 156 providing confidential, practical (non-legal) advice on issues of discrimination and harassment, and avenues that are available to you.