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Painter and Decorator

Photo/Video Credit

Painters and decorators apply paint, coatings and other finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and industrial structures.

In general, painters and decorators:

  • estimate the quantity of materials required by measuring surfaces, consulting drawings or reviewing a work order,
  • remove old coatings by stripping with solvents, heat, sanding, wire brushing, or water and abrasive blasting,
  • prepare surfaces for covering by cleaning, filling nail holes and cracks, and sanding rough spots,
  • apply an undercoat primer or sealer before painting, or apply sizing before wallpapering,
  • match specified colours by using premixed paints, or mixing colours and thinning and drying additives,
  • use brushes, rollers or spray guns to apply liquid coatings such as paint, stain or varnish to surfaces of wood, metal, brick, concrete, plaster, stucco or stone,
  • abrasive blast and apply industrial coatings,
  • apply finishes that are sponged, ragged and layered,
  • apply paper, vinyl or natural and synthetic fabric wallcoverings, and
  • must be aware of product changes.

Those authorized to perform the restricted activities of this designated trade include:

  • Sponsored Apprentices,
  • Certified Journeypersons
  • Individuals deemed qualified by their employer, and
  • Self-Employed individuals.

For complete information, see Restricted Activities and Classes of Individuals.

Program Information

Program Information & Requirements
  • The term of apprenticeship for a painter and decorator is 3 years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1300 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of classroom instruction each year.
  • Classroom instruction for this apprenticeship program is currently suspended. Information about this suspension and how you can continue to progress in your apprenticeship is available here.
  • Apprentices are expected to demonstrate progress in their apprenticeship program within 18 months by engaging in an activity that will lead to the completion of a period of the program.
  • Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.
  • Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship program, the apprentice will receive a journeyperson certificate and an educational credential (Diploma).
Trades Qualifier

You can earn a Journeyperson Certificate based on:

Work Experience

The requirements for a Painter and Decorator are:

Recognized Credentials

The requirements for a Painter and Decorator are:

  • A recognized credential from another jurisdiction.
  • A successful theory exam.

Program Credit

Category Information
High School Credit

Supporting Resources

Description / Resources
Trade Information Get important information about the duties, working conditions, and skills and abilities needed to work in this trade. (You will be re-directed to the alis website.)
Job Information View job postings in this trade, and learn about the current job market, average wage and resources for finding a job. (You will be re-directed to the alis website.)
Entrance Requirement You must satisfy the educational requirements or pass the entrance exam to start an apprenticeship program. If you are writing the entrance exam, there are entrance-level competencies to help you prepare, as well as an exam counselling sheet and study guide.
Curriculum Guide Get information on all of the program requirements and what you will learn.
Classroom Instruction View a list of currently scheduled classes.
Financial Assistance Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information visit our Financial Assistance section, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.
Examinations Get exam counselling sheets for your upcoming apprenticeship, interprovincial or qualification exam.
Legislation For more information regarding undertakings, activities, and certification requirements, please review the Designated Trades and Restricted Activities Regulation and the Designated Trades’ Activities and Certification Requirements Order.


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