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5 min read

How To Become A Painter/Decorator

Many people, including myself, have decided to paint a wall or two in our homes. I painted a wall in my living room only last week and if you don't get too close, then it looks fairly acceptable. However, next time I need to update my home, I think I would rather pay for someone to do it properly because there’s a lot more to painting and decorating than meets the eye.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
July 21, 2023

Many people, including myself, have decided to paint a wall or two in our homes. I painted a wall in my living room only last week and if you don't get too close, then it looks fairly acceptable. However, next time I need to update my home, I think I would rather pay for someone to do it properly because there’s a lot more to painting and decorating than meets the eye. During the pandemic, many people were discovering for the first time, their skills or lack of them when it came to DIY projects and people came to realise just how a room can be totally transformed.

So, if you have a passion for transforming spaces, using colour and creativity, then becoming a painter and decorator may be the job for you. You can work in a variety of settings and on different projects. You could choose to work in people’s homes or commercial properties or anywhere that has the potential to be decorated.

Research exactly what being a painter/decorator entails, which will help you gain a clear understanding of the skills and knowledge involved. Consider enrolling on a relevant course at an accredited college, entry level positions with established and reputable companies or on one of the many apprenticeship schemes that are available. Examples of courses include NVQ Levels and several City and Guilds qualifications. Work experience placements will also give you the hands-on opportunity to work with professionals within the industry and to experience a wide range of projects from start to finish and provide you with a solid foundation.

You will be taught various aspects of being a painter/decorator which will include surface preparation, paint application techniques, wallpapering, brush and applicator skills, colour choices and blending, as well as a whole host of other skills and practises. In depth health and safety issues will also be addressed. Refining your techniques, having a good understanding of industry standards and having knowledge of different surfaces and materials involved all go towards you becoming a fully qualified professional.

Gaining relevant training and gaining qualifications will undoubtedly increase your skills and your employability. However, apart from all the technical skills, it is also important to have a different set of skills. Attention to detail and the ability to focus for long periods of time, creativity, good communication skills, time management and the ability to work independently or as part of a team are all highly valued in the industry. A strong work ethic combined with professionalism and reliability will help secure future projects and give you a good reputation in an industry that can be competitive.

It will be essential to stay up to date with industry rules and regulations. You may need to obtain additional certification or adhere to specialised health and safety rules if working in places such as construction sites. Familiarise yourself with current guidelines which will ensure your compliance.

Many professionals go on to have their own business after gaining adequate experience but there are several steps you will need to take to establish yourself such as obtaining insurance, registering the business, creating an up to date portfolio and maintaining a marketing strategy. Networking can also help generate more work and expand your client base as well as getting you known within the industry.

By taking time to invest in yourself, gaining relevant experience and demonstrating professionalism, you will embark on a fulfilling and rewarding career.

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