Painter / Decorator Careers

There is nothing quite as satisfying as the idea of stripping down a room, preparing it and then redecorating it from scratch.

If you love the results that can be achieved through painting and decorating, you might just be the right sort of person to become a painter decorator for a living.

Become a Painter Decorator

If you are seriously considering this as a career, go through the following topics to see whether you are cut out for it – and how to make it happen.

Painter Decorator Jobs

Painter decorator jobs come in all shapes and sizes. But if you want to become a painter decorator it is worth thinking about all the different painter decorator jobs you might end up doing. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you take this job on.

Painter Decorator Jobs

What kinds of skills do you need to have?

It goes without saying that you need to be good at painting. But you must also be able to hang wallpaper to a high standard. Of course half of the work goes into stripping off any existing wallpaper and preparing all the surfaces in the room so they are ready for redecoration. You must also be comfortable at working on a ladder or platform.

Even if you use rollers to paint the ceiling this may not be practical or advisable in all situations. You may have to use a brush to paint certain areas, and this will require confidence at working at different heights. A good example of this would be painting the walls and ceiling going up the stairs.

Will you work on decorating a single room or a whole house?

When you take on painter decorator jobs you will find yourself tackling all kinds of jobs.

For example one householder might want you to redecorate their bathroom. Another householder might be about to move into a new property and wants it decorated from top to bottom. As such you will tackle all kinds of jobs that require all levels of detail.

You might find that some people simply want their rooms repainted with no wallpapering or awkward jobs to do. Others will want far more detail, and they might ask for specialist skills such as ragrolling or other effects. This is why it is wise to get some experience before you start looking for painter decorator jobs.

Will you be self employed or is it possible to work for a company?

You can do either of these. It is worth looking for positions with companies that employ painter decorators directly, although it will help to have a portfolio or some experience to do this. In practice many painter decorators work on their own as self employed people.

There are great benefits to doing this, not least the fact that you can decide which jobs to take on and which ones you are perhaps not comfortable about doing. However there are more demands on you as a self employed painter decorator. For example you will need your own transport and you also have to think about how you will find work.

If you are better suited to working on your own and having control over your workload, self employed painter decorator jobs are probably the best route to go down.

Painter Decorator Training

Some construction jobs require very specific training to be completed before you can hope to get work in a particular position. However this does not always apply to painter and decorator training.

While you will find training courses around that will give you a good idea of what you will need to know to do a good job, it is not always necessary to take such a course to do well in this career. You can find out more about painter and decorator training and what your options are by reading more below.

Painter Decorator Training

Which qualifications should you look for?

If you decide a qualification could make you more employable to others (which it could do), you can study to get a City and Guilds qualification. This will give you a Certificate in Basic Construction Skills that is specific to painting and decorating.

It is also recognised by employers and thus will put you ahead of anyone who doesn’t have such a qualification. Training programmes will generally give you a wide range of skills that will be useful to anyone who wants to become a painter decorator. You will learn about different paint techniques, hanging wallpaper and how to prepare a room to be decorated.

What about work as an apprentice?

This can be another route to go down if you wish. Look for painting and decorating apprenticeships in your local area. You could always contact large painting and decorating firms to see if any of them would be willing to take you on as a trainee or apprentice.

While you won’t get a qualification from this, you will get on the job experience that is incredibly valuable, both now and in your future career. You will also earn money on the job and that is good for many people as well.

Can you train yourself?

This is an interesting question, and the answer has to be yes, you can. You may not get the level of knowledge that you would if you were to go through a proper training programme though, so do bear this in mind.

Having said that, some people are naturally good at painting and decorating. If you happen to be one of them you can focus on practising your skills at home. You can also buy books and look on websites to learn about new paint skills you could use in your work. Since many painter decorators are self employed, it is worth considering whether you could start your own business instead of going for training or an apprenticeship. However you must be good and be able to offer a solid and reliable service.

You could always start by doing odd jobs and working up from there. This in itself is a form of training and it can be one way to move up the ladder so you gain more experience and thus can offer more services to your clients in the future.