What Kind Of Work Does A Painter Do?

Painters are called in when walls and other surfaces need to be colored, repainted, or smoothed out. While most painters know how to apply coats of paint to surfaces, some are also adept at adding texture and special finishes. Painters work both on the interiors, as well as the exteriors of buildings, to ensure that they are smooth and colorful to look at.

Aside from knowing how to paint, a painter also needs to know how to protect the surfaces next to the area being painted. This is to avoid paint smears, as well as splatters, from getting on to furniture, fixtures, as well as other areas. The job description of a painter goes beyond just painting. They need strong communication skills to be able to understand what their clients want, as well as be able to give them what they ask for. They need to know how to mix paint to get the right color and may even have to know how to do certain styles of painting and finishes.

Who is a painter?

A painter is someone who paints the walls, both the interior as well as the exterior, of homes, official buildings, and other places. Since some states require that painters be licensed, they may also need to sit for an exam to get licensed in these states. Aside from this, a painter can also complete other certifications and courses that allow them to learn the tricks of the trade associated with being a painter.

A painter has to:

  • Protect nearby furnishings with plastic or cloth wrap before they start work on painting any surfaces.
  • Prepare surfaces for painting, such as by using sandpaper on the walls.
  • Provide clients with a list of available colors, so they can choose the color they want.
  • They may have to provide color samples where they need to retouch a surface. The new color should be similar to or the same as the older color.
  • Need to know how to mix paint to get the right color and texture.
  • Need to know how to apply the paint and then leave it to dry.

Essentially, a painter is responsible for the whole process of cleaning out a room, covering nearby fixtures and furniture, as well as the painting job itself. They also procure all the materials that are required for the project and get rid of the same after the work is done. A painter may either work alone or, depending on the breadth of the work, collaborate with other painters.

A painter may also need to work together with a construction team, such as when working on a large-scale commercial or residential project.

How do you become a painter?

The process of becoming a painter varies, depending on the state you live in. This is as some states require painters to get a license before they can start practicing. Until that point, they can work as apprentices in these states.

To become a painter, you’ll need at least a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Some painters also get a bachelor’s degree before they go on to become an apprentice. During your apprenticeship phase, you’ll need to complete a certain number of hours doing fieldwork, as well as in class.

For painters, apprenticeships can last anywhere between weeks to months. An apprentice painter is often working in a probationary period, which can last anywhere between sixty to ninety days. During this time, they receive on-the-job training from licensed painters. They learn the trade, as well as about any special skills required to be a painter. Although it isn’t essential, some painters also go on to get more certifications as a way to stand out in the job market.

There are essentially three kinds of certifications that a painter can have. These include:

  • A license that allows them to practice as a painter in the state that they got the license in. This license is given by the state authorities, usually after an apprenticeship and a qualifying exam are completed.
  • Lead safety certifications are another kind of certification that a painter can work towards getting. It’s provided by the Environmental Protection Agency and is useful for painters that work with lead-based paints. To get this certificate, painters need to complete an RPP program. This stands for Renovation, Repair, and Painting. It teaches painters about the dangers associated with lead-based paints, as well as how to use those paints safely.
  • Painters can also choose to get special certifications that allow them to learn special painting skills and develop specialized styles for themselves.

The life of a painter

A painter makes an average of $15.84 per hour and nearly $31,490 every year. Painters tend to have full-time jobs and can work for as much as forty hours a week. A painter can work on a solo project or collaborate with other painters on larger projects.

When it comes to working on construction projects, then a painter should also be able to work with other kinds of contractors, such as electricians and plumbers. A painter needs to be able to mix colors and can even learn specialized skills that give them a competitive advantage in the market.

There are several kinds of painters as well, depending on the kind of paint job they choose to specialize in. A painter who exclusively works on construction projects, for example, is known as a construction painter. At its core, a painter should also have certain skills aside from painting skills. These include the ability to communicate so as to understand what the client wants and then provide them with that. A painter may also need to work together with other people on a project.

While some painters choose to work as self-employed individuals, others choose to work for a painting company. It’s also possible for painters to find work through a painter’s union.


A painter is someone who is responsible for applying paint, either for the first time or as a touch-up, to a building. They need to know how to mix paint, how to protect the surrounding fixtures, and then how to apply that paint on the wall. Before applying the paint, they may also need to sandpaper the walls. Painters, depending on the scale of the project, can either work alone or collaborate with other painters.

While not every state requires that painters be licensed, many do. For this reason, you should consider checking your local regulations regarding the qualifications you need to work as a painter. Painters may also be required to get the Lead Safety certificate from EPA, especially where they need to work with lead-based paints.

Painters, before getting their license, may need to work as an apprentice to master painters for a period of a few weeks to a few months. To get a state license, however, a painter is required to be an apprentice for a few years first.

Being a painter can provide you with a rewarding career path. However, even painters are vulnerable to certain career risks. An example of this is when an unhappy customer sues you, and you need to go to Court. A great way to protect yourself from such career risks is with the help of insurance for painter. If you would like to know more about painter’s insurance, then click here.

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