From education to employment

Painter and decorator

Reference Number: ST0295

Details of standard

Painters and Decorators operate in domestic and commercial properties and undertake the decoration and protection of buildings. Properties include houses, schools, offices, hospitals factories and construction sites. Working internally or externally they work individually and/or as part of a team applying water-borne and/or solvent-borne paint coatings and wallcoverings. They have good knowledge of paint coatings and wallcoverings and understand and comply with statutory, safety and environmental requirements. They are responsible for their own work achieving a high quality finish at the appropriate pace. They are good problem solvers and communicators and are able to interact effectively with colleagues, clients and associated trades.



A painter and decorator will know and understand


A painter and decorator will be able to

Work methods

  • The purpose of a range of equipment, tools and materials.
  • The characteristics of materials and their reaction to atmospheric conditions.
  • Safe and efficient methods of use, maintenance, movement, protection and storage of materials and equipment.
  • Work hazards, safe working methods and appropriate safety requirements.
  • How to work at height including the safe use of platforms, steps, ladders and scaffold.
  • Prepare the work area safely providing dust sheets and protection to furniture and adjacent surfaces.
  • Identify hazards and risks in the workplace ensuring a safe environment is maintained at all times.
  • Select, use, maintain and store, paint, tools, wallcoverings, spray equipment, steps, ladders and towers safely.
  • Follow and maintain work procedures and method statements.
  • Make the most efficient and effective use of resources, time and materials.
  • React correctly using the correct method of actions and reporting in the event of an accident or incident.

Identify and respond to customer needs

  • The most appropriate products and use of colour in different settings.
  • The company’s services.
  • Methods of formal and informal communication.
  • The uses of information technology in the workplace.
  • Principles of costing, pricing and budgeting.
  • Time, scheduling and costs associated with a project.
  • Prepare for meetings and discussions by having appropriate paint specification and colour information.
  • Use appropriate listening, and questioning, techniques.
  • Use appropriate terminology when attending meetings.
  • Work to allocated times and schedules for the project.

Construction Industry and Building Methods

  • Key factors and systems of working in different sectors, such as occupied properties, health and education facilities where residents, patients and students may be present.
  • Key differences between modern and traditional construction methods.
  • Identify different industry sectors such as new construction, social housing, residential, refurbishment, commercial and Heritage.
  • Identify different building methods e.g. steel frame, reinforced concrete frame, traditional solid wall and cavity wall, block and dry lined which determine the appropriate paint products and specifications.

Product and specification Information

  • Differences of each product type for example, water-borne, solvent borne and epoxy.
  • Drying, curing and recoating times.
  • The effect of colour in relation to good design and colour and contrast for people with impaired vision.
  • The causes of common problems, how these can be prevented and how to correct them.
  • Data sheets, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health sheets, method statements and risk assessments.
  • Interpret specification documents and ensure correct preparation and systems are followed.
  • Refer to manufacturers’ product information and data sheets to avoid errors.
  • Advise clients about basic colour choices.
  • Recommend appropriate products for differing scenarios and sectors.
  • Identify and rectify common surface coating and wall covering problems.
  • Interpret and use health and safety documents.

Preparation and Application and Removal

  • Difference in systems for new and pre- decorated surfaces.
  • Types of preparation methods including removal of previous coatings and wallcoverings using hand tools, power tools and chemicals.
  • Traditional and modern methods of making good surfaces.
  • Different systems for metals, wood, plastic and factory finishes.
  • Techniques of application by brush, roller, pressure assisted roller and spray application.
  • Specialist decorative techniques for example, graining, marbling and gilding.
  • The skills of removal and application of wallcoverings.
  • Identify substrates, hard wood, soft wood, ferrous and non- ferrous metal, factory finished etc.
  • Prepare and strip surfaces using abrasives, chemical etchants, power sanders, heat and liquid methods.
  • Understand and apply powder, two- pack, surfacers and resin fillers.
  • Use different application methods brush, roller, spray, power-assisted rollers and special effect tools.
  • Wallpaper using techniques for the hanging of lining paper, standard papers, digital print and wide width including (matching patterns, internal and external corners).


Painters and Decorators will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Their responsibilities towards their own and others safety in the work place. 
  • A strong work ethic, motivated, reliable and adaptable.
  • Attention to detail, quality and continuous improvement. 
  • An awareness of the businesses mission, aims, markets, products and services. 
  • A customer focused attitude. 
  • Effective communication in a team, with clients or with management. 

Duration: Typically 36 months. This timescale may reduce if an apprentice is part-qualified on entry.

English and Maths: Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 English and Maths prior to taking the end point assessment.

Review Date: The standard will be reviewed in 3 years                                                

Level 2

Crown copyright © 2017. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit

Related Articles