This article is all about everything you ever to need to know about painters and decorators.
Painter and decorators are tradesmen who will paint floors, walls, ceilings, skirtings, covings, doors, architraves, joinery, exteriors, and much more with whatever colour you desire.
They may also install wall paper and apply special paint effects, UPVC painting and lots of other niche painting projects.
Anybody can grab a brush and start to apply paint to walls and ceilings. But if you do this badly then you won’t have a job long or you won’t have many Clients.
You need to get some training in how to paint properly first.
There are certainly qualifications and courses that anyone can apply for to learn the skills of painting and decorating. There are lots of course providers who will provide a painting and decorating course.
Examples of courses for painters and decorators include the following National Vocational Qualifications and city and guild courses:
All courses should be certified by The National Association of Trade & Technical Schools (NATTS) or The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
Its important to note that if you want to work on large construction sites you will need a blue skills card for your trade. In order to get this card you must have completed an apprenticeship or a (NVQ) to a level 2 standard.
In addition to taking a course, a budding painter should practice as much as possible so they increase their skills. Got a bedroom? Then paint it several times or apply wallpaper and affects.
Lots of beginner painters work with an experienced painter to gain more skills from someone who has been there and done it all.
We recommend young people start an apprenticeship and learn painting the right way. If you just want to earn some money then you can probably set yourself up as a painter without any qualifications but you will have limited growth opportunities.
There is no point writing here how much a painter and decorator will cost. Its an illusion giving you a guide cost that will just waste your time.
You have to contact local firms and get quotes from them. A painting and decorating business can price your project from drawings or from a visit to your property.
If we were pricing a construction project in the UK we would use say £22 per m2 for painting walls and ceilings.
You will need rates for painting skirtings, covings, architraves which are priced in linear metres e.g. £20 per linear metre.
Also doors and door frames are priced per unit so say £125 to paint a door and door frame.
Other items that painters will paint include window boards, radiator covers, shelves, floors, stairs.
Its important to remember that if you are painting previously painted walls, ceilings, wood etc there may need to be a lot of preparatory works. For example, if you are painting a stairs, you will first need to remove all the old layers of paint which is a total nightmare and takes a lot of time and grunt effort.
But we recommend doing your research with a local painter and decorator.
Is it a good job? It’s tough being a decorator. You can definitely start your own business as there is a low barrier to entry but there is a flip side to that. It doesn’t matter how much training or experience you have, there is always going to be some chancer who starts a competing business even though they don’t have any qualifications.
It is also a physically demanding job with your neck craned upwards towards the ceilings or hunched down to paint skirtings. Its probably not a job you want to do into your fifties, sixties and beyond.
If you can pee, you can paint is an overused inaccurate saying. Painting and decorating is one of the least respected trades. Everyone thinks they can paint. But its not true. Yes, everyone can buy paint and rollers and slop paint onto walls and ceilings. Will it look good ? Probably not. How much is your time worth compared to hiring a professional?
They should have public liability insurance and lots of references.
You should check out what actual qualifications they have. If they are members of say the guild of master craftsmen, look to see what actual formal training they have. If they don’t have a NVQ Level 2 qualification then they are not qualified.
Most painters will be working off ladders at some point so this is the most dangerous time for them. They need to be fully cognizant of how to work off ladders safely.
Apart from working at height, painting is quite a safe trade. Other dangers include getting paint or chemicals in your eyes or on your skin or breathing in noxious fumes from the paint.