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What does a
Painter do?

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Other common names for this position: House Painter, Residential Painter, Construction Painter, Building Painter, Maintenance Painter, Commercial Construction Painter, Commercial Building Painter, Industrial Construction Painter, Residential Construction Painter, Industrial Maintenance Painter, Journeyman Painter, Painter and Paperhanger, Paperhanger, Painter and Decorator, Touch Up Painter


Painters prepare, protect, and decorate interior and exterior surfaces (e.g. wood, masonry, drywall, plaster, chalky and synthetic surfaces, cement, stucco, and metal)[1], applying materials such as paint, wallpaper and other finishes (e.g. high performance coatings, waterproof materials, flame retardant materials, varnish, lacquer, and wall coverings).[2]

They are usually self-employed, but can sometimes be employed by Painting Contractors, Construction Managers, or by maintenance departments of buildings and other establishments.[3] They work closely with Construction Managers, as well as maintenance, production, engineering and outside services.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Painters are required to complete.

  • Reading specifications to determine quantities of materials required and examining the inside and outside building surfaces to decide which procedures/techniques should be used:
  • Advising the customer on selection of colour schemes and choice of wall coverings as needed;
  • following the specific instructions in terms of style, colour, and finish; and
  • ordering and maintaining the paint supplies and materials.
  • Assembling and erecting scaffolding and swing stages wherever it’s not possible to reach the height.
  • Preparing, protecting, and repairing surfaces:
  • Getting the surfaces ready and clean before painting by using different methods (e.g. scraping, sanding, sandblasting, hydro-blasting and steam-cleaning);
  • getting rid of old wallpaper or any loose paint;
  • repairing cracks and holes in walls using fillers (e.g. epoxy filler and putty); and
  • applying primer/sealer.
  • Matching and reproducing colours as needed:
  • Mixing and thinning paint to obtain desired colour and texture.
  • Applying paint or other materials, such as stains, lacquer, enamel, oil, varnish, fibreglass, metal coating, or fire retardant, using brushes, rollers, or spray equipment:
  • Mixing necessary materials to prepare paste for application;
  • creating decorative effects and special finishes as needed; and
  • applying finish coats as needed.
  • Installing wall coverings:
  • Measuring, cutting and applying wallpaper or fabric to walls.
  • Cleaning up properly after a job and maintaining good housekeeping habits throughout the project.
  • Securing and putting away tools, equipment, and materials at the end of each work day; and
  • dismantling scaffolding, as required.
    • Preparing estimates:
    • Analyzing, collecting, calculating, and comparing data.

    Daily Tasks

    • Preparing, cleaning, and protecting interior and exterior surfaces to be painted.
    • Applying paint, wallpaper and other materials and finishes to surfaces.

    The average Painter salary is $40,608 per year or $21 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $28,000 while most experienced workers make up to $57,000. These results are based on 982 salaries extracted from job descriptions.

    Gross Salary39,147.60 $
    CPP- 1,764.53 $
    EI- 735.97 $
    Federal Tax- 3,626.15 $
    Provincial Tax- 1,800.36 $
    Total Tax- 7,927.01 $
    Net Pay*31,220.59 $
    In Ontario, Canada, if you make 39,147.60 $ a year, you will be taxed 7,927.01 $. That means that your take home pay will be 31,220.59 $ per year, or 2,601.72 $ per month. Your average tax rate is 20.25% and your marginal tax rate is 26.01%.
    * Deductions are calculated based on the tables of Ontario, Canada income tax.
    Required Skills and Qualifications
    • Interpersonal, communication, and customer service skills:
    • Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with clients and colleagues, using a non-technical language as required.
    • Organizational and time management skills:
    • Prioritizing and planning work activities in order to manage time efficiently while handling a high volume of work; and
    • multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
    • Analytical skills and a strong sense of logic:
    • Approaching tasks in a reliable and resourceful manner; and
    • being able to calculate areas and to relate calculations to required material.
    • Exceptional attention to detail.
    • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Continual focus on safety, cost control, and client satisfaction:
    • Wearing respirators, steel-toed safety boots, hard hats, glasses, and ear protection, as well as other personal protective equipment (PPE) as required.
    • Manual dexterity, motor coordination, and physical strength:
    • Displaying good hand skills with a high regard for neat workmanship;
    • being able to move around construction sites and to lift or carry objects weighing up to 40 pounds; and
    • being able to climb ladders and being comfortable working at heights.

    Aside from the skills listed above, Painters also need to demonstrate extensive skills in applying paint, wallpaper, and coatings to interior and exterior surfaces, including knowledge of paints/finishes and their properties, as well as a thorough and proven knowledge of sandblasting, hydro-blasting, and steam-cleaning techniques and tools. Knowledge of furniture refinishing and experience as a liquid or powder painter are definite assets. Painters must also comply with the health and safety standards and legislations.

    In Canada, Painters must have completed a Residential and Commercial Painter and Decorator Certificate (404C) or an Industrial Painter and Decorator Certificate (404D) at an accredited trade school. A Journeyman Certificate and/or a Painter and Decorator Red Seal Certification is usually preferred. In some cases, Painters are also required to have a minimum of 3 to 5 years of work experience.

    Finally, Painters must be able to work flexible schedules, including weekends, as well as to stand for an eight-hour long shift. They also need a valid driver’s licence and a good driving record, as well as a reliable mean of transportation, in order to get themselves and their tools to job sites within their designated area.

    Job Offers
    There are currently 461 available job offers for the Painter position on Below is a list of available jobs, based on Canada's most populated metropolitan areas.