Painter Job Description

A Painter prepares and applies paints and stains to a variety of surfaces like buildings, walls, furniture and automobiles. Painters may work for themselves, or they may be employed by an organization that has an ongoing need for painting services.

Painters typically have a lot of autonomy in how they work. Often, more experienced painters will oversee and direct the work of helpers and others who ware new to the trade. Demand for painting and coating workers is expected to remain flat according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, with the addition of about 2,000 jobs through 2024.


Painter Duties and Responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of a Painter often include more than just applying paint to a surface. We analyzed several job postings for to create this list of core Painter duties and responsibilities.

Assess the Job Requirements

Before a Painter can begin a new job, they must assess the project and determine the material, labor and time requirements. This includes formulating an accurate estimate for the project.

Mix and Prepare Paint and Stain

The Painter is responsible for mixing the appropriate colors and amounts of paints and stains to meet the satisfaction of the client.

Prepare Surfaces

Once the materials have been gathered and the paint has been mixed, the Painter must prepare the surface to be painted. This can involve removing old paint, sanding, patching holes and cleaning the surface so that the paint can be applied.

Abide by Safety Regulations

Due to the nature of the job, it is crucial that Painters abide by all necessary safety and health regulations. They must handle all paints and chemicals following specific procedures. They must also consistently examine all ladders and scaffolding to make sure they are safe to use on the job site.


Painter Skills

Successful painters are meticulous and have an eye for detail. Painters must be good verbal communicators and also have the strength and stamina to get the job done. In addition to these general traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.

Core Skills: These core skills are regarded as necessary. If you are interested in the painting industry, focus on acquiring these skills.

  • Preparing painting supplies for use
  • Estimating the amount of time and product a job will require
  • Using appropriate hand and power tools
  • Understanding safety and environmental regulations

Advanced Skills: While not all of the job listings referenced these skills, enough did to make them worth mentioning. If you want to stand out in the field, learn these skills.

  • Proficient with Microsoft Word and other computer programs
  • Experience in industrial painting


Painter Resources

If you are interested in the Painting industry, the following resources are good places to continue your research.

On the Web

Paint Info – A website dedicated to the practical and technical applications of paint.

EPA – With health a major concern, the EPA website is a great resource for the regulation of lead present in paints.

Industry Groups

Painting and Decorating Contractors of America – Founded in 1884, this trade association is dedicated to helping its members be more successful in the industry.

Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry – This group is dedicated to assisting all professionals working in the ceiling and wall industry, including painters.

Painting Books

Industrial Painting and Powdercoating: Practices and Principles – An overview of basic techniques for high quality painting and powdercoating.


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