No specific qualifications are required to work as a painter & decorator. However, in seeking employment, a certain amount of on-site experience is usually required. This could include experience in building or construction, which would provide a foundation of the skills required to do the job effectively. A complete beginner could use an apprenticeship as a way of getting initial experience in the field. To apply for an apprenticeship, applicants would usually need GCSEs in Maths, English and Technology as a basic entry point. The apprenticeships website is a good source of information. Specific courses also exist both to provide initial experience, and to accompany the learning experience of a trainee who is already working for a company. These include:
Painters apply paint, stain, varnish and other finishes to buildings and other structures.  They select the right paint or finish for the surface to be covered, taking into account durability, ease of handling, method of application and customer's wishes. Painters first prepare the surfaces to be covered, so that the paint will adhere properly. This may require removing the old coat of paint by stripping, sanding, wire brushing, burning, scraping, or water and abrasive blasting.  Painters also wash walls and trim to remove dirt and grease, fill nail holes and cracks, sandpaper rough spots and brush off dust. On new surfaces, they apply a primer or sealer to prepare the surface for the finish coat. Painters also mix paints and match colors, relying on knowledge of paint composition and color harmony. They also cover walls and ceilings with decorative wall coverings made of paper, vinyl or fabric.

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