Painter & Decorator

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.


White Card Asbestos Cert. Drivers Licence High Risk Work 18 years +
Painter & Decorator yes yes no no no
To be a Painter & Decorator you need to enjoy practical work and be physically fit. You need to have good hand-eye coordination and sense of balance. You also need to be able to work independently, and at heights. Painters also need normal colour vision.
Typical Duties
  • work out the quantity of materials needed for the job by taking measurements or by looking at job specifications or drawings,
  • erect scaffolding, cradles and ladders and place dropsheets to protect areas from dripping paint,
  • remove old paint or paper by sanding or scraping, or by using blowtorches, liquid paint removers and steam strippers,
  • prepare surfaces by fixing woodwork, filling or sealing holes, cracks and joins and washing them down to remove dust and grease,
  • select and prepare paints to match colours using tints,
  • brush, roll or spray paints, stains, varnishes and other finishes,
  • when wallpapering, set out the area according to the pattern, cut the paper to the appropriate length, apply paste to the back of each strip and hang the paper on the wall, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles,
  • spray paint surfaces using a spray gun or specialised equipment,
  • apply decorative paint finishes such as stencils, colour glaze, graining, marbling and lettering,
  • wash equipment and clean work areas.
All construction workers need a White Card and Asbestos Awareness Training to work on a construction site in the ACT.

Check with your RTO to see if you are eligible for an ACT Training Fund Authority Subsidy, or if you are eligible to do a Painting Apprenticeship.

RTO Hours + Costs White Card Asbestos
3 – 4 year apprenticeship or as trade assistant 6 hours + < $500 4 hours + < $500
RTOs that deliver training for Painting in the ACT:

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT)