Painter and Decorator Kaipeita/Kaiwhakapaipai Whare

Painters and decorators apply decorative and protective finishes to interior and exterior walls, doors, windows and other surfaces of buildings.

Painters and decorators may do some or all of the following:

  • work with customers on colour selection and finishes
  • calculate materials required for a job
  • erect scaffolding under five metres high (scaffolding over this height must be put up by a registered scaffolder)
  • fill holes, cracks and joins, and clean surfaces of dust and dirt
  • mix and match paint colours
  • cut and hang wallpaper, vinyl and backing paper
  • apply paint and decorative paint finishes such as glazing, graining, marbling and lettering.

Physical Requirements

Painters and decorators need to:

  • have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and normal colour vision
  • be reasonably fit and have a strong back and knees, as their work involves a lot of bending, standing and lifting
  • be comfortable working at heights
  • have good hand-eye co-ordination.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for painters and decorators includes:

  • interior decorating
  • work as a sales assistant in a paint and wallpaper shop
  • work as a painter's assistant
  • any other work where you can demonstrate creativity.

Personal Qualities

Painters and decorators need to be:

  • detail-focused, with an eye for colour
  • practical, quick and accurate
  • neat and tidy in their work
  • organised
  • responsible
  • good at relating to people
  • able to work as part of a team.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for painters and decorators includes:

  • interior decorating
  • work as a sales assistant in a paint and wallpaper shop
  • work as a painter's assistant
  • any other work where you can demonstrate creativity.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a painter and decorator. However, construction and mechanical technologies, maths, design and visual communication, and painting are useful.

Year 11 and 12 students can learn more about the construction industry and gain relevant skills by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Levels 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Related Courses

Painter and Decorators can earn around $18-$22 per hour per year.

Painters and decorators may progress to set up their own businesses, or move into supervisor or management roles.

Painters and decorators may specialise in:

  • commercial or residential work
  • interior or exterior painting
  • wallpapering
  • decorative or maintenance work.
Painter and Decorator