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Our guide to painting and decorating courses

Do you find yourself at B&Q most weekends, walking down aisle after aisle of paints and nails, trying to decide on your next home improvement project? Or are you pretty good with the brush and hammer, and would like to make some money out of painting and decorating other people’s homes and properties? Whether you’re just doing it as a hobby, to embark on a new career, or simply to improve your skills in your own home, we’ve got loads of painting and decorating courses that are just perfect for you.   


For beginners or DIY enthusiasts

If you’re keen on tinkering about in the house and love to give your home a makeover with a lick of paint every now and then, then a beginners painting and decorating course will suit all your needs. You’ll learn a wide range of skills including scaffolding, health and safety, communication and practical painting and decorating techniques. Classes range from part time to full time.


Become a trained painter and decorator

Painting and decorating can be a very lucrative career, especially since there’s the whole new trend of people giving their homes striking makeovers and converting unusual buildings like former barns and churches into homes. And with the constant stream of home improvement TV programmes, the demand for good painters and decorators can only increase. If you’re a school leaver or thinking of changing careers, taking a course in painting and decorating will equip you with the necessary skills to seek employment within the construction industry. You’ll develop practical skills supported by the necessary theory-based classes and assignments.


Already a professional?

There’s always something new to learn even if you’ve been working in the industry for years. For instance, plasterers can further their skills and knowledge by learning to apply traditional techniques in historic buildings or within a traditional home. As more people realise that heritage needs to be preserved, thousands of old buildings are now going through restoration and conservation all over the world. Gaining specialised skills in this area will open up many more job opportunities. You’ll learn to fix laths, apply floating and finishing coats, gain knowledge in plainface rendering, and protect work areas and surroundings.


Awarding bodies

City & Guilds is one of the biggest names in vocational education in the UK. City & Guilds painting and decorating qualifications are offered at different levels, opening up pathways to career progression. Qualifications are updated with expertise sought from assessment experts and relevant sector skills councils.


What do you learn?

Most courses will provide you with the practical skills you need to gain a working knowledge of construction trades, allowing you to build a successful career within the industry or giving you the foundations to complete work around the house. Some of the things you’ll learn include preparing surfaces for decorating, applying paint systems, and applying wallpaper. Other useful skills you’ll master might include plastering, health and safety, coving and all sorts of tricks for making home décor stand out.


Tips for new homeowners

·         Live minimally

It’s tempting when you first move in, to want to get all the stuff that you’ve been eyeing for ages. Yes, you may be a home decor nut, but, instead of buying every pillow and flowerpot you see, take a picture of it, pin it to your Pinterest board or post it on your blog. Just wait a few months and your home will have accumulated plenty, and before you know it, you’ll spend weekends trying to get rid of them! So live with as little as you can first... if possible.


·         Move your furniture day

Try moving your furniture around every month. Play around with new arrangements – or you’ll never realise that the lamp actually looks better in the other corner of the room.


·         Paint is your best friend

Paint a wall or a piece of furniture and ta-da, your room will look very different. If you’re a little bit more creative, colour block your walls to give the impression of different angles. Or you can choose to accent your walls. That one wall could make all the difference and if you get bored, you could easily change it without too much hassle. Colours help with moods so whilst red can ignite passion, it can also be bad for those who are very hot tempered!


·         Embrace the serendipity

Your first home will not be perfect. There will be odd chairs around your table, a couch that’s too big for the room – and that is exactly how it should be. You’re probably still learning what you like to live with, what works and what only looks good in show homes, so don’t rush it.


·         Buy your big furniture second hand

Not only do you save a lot of money, but it also helps you decide if that’s really the sort of statement piece you want without investing a huge amount of money on something new and expensive. Check out second hand furniture stores, car boot sales and flea markets. 

Painting and Decorating course reviews and other useful articles

What others are saying about painting and decorating


Where: The DIY School

What: Decorating Essentials (Booked online with Hotcourses)

by richard - October 2014

Great course,friendly and approachable staff working at a good pace Would recommend

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Expert views


Q. What qualifications route did you take to realise your career? City & Guilds Craft and Advanced Craft and 25 years industry experience. Q. Please explain what students will learn during your course? Students will learn practical hand skills as well as more

Awarding organisations

  • City and Guilds of London Institute
  • One of the biggest names in vocational education in the UK, City & Guilds has close to two million learners working towards one of their qualifications in a number of different areas annually. City & Guilds offers qualifications, from entry level up to a postgraduate degree, that open up pathways to career progression. Qualifications are updated with expertise sought from various quarters - other awarding bodies, e-learning assessment experts and relevant Sector Skills Councils. City & Guilds designs qualifications that can be delivered by colleges, organisations or independent training providers.

Related careers: Painter & Decorator

Painters and decorators work on all types of buildings and structures. Jobs can range from the re-decoration of a domestic household through to the application of heavy-duty finishings to bridges, ships or oil rigs. Decorators use a variety of different tools depending on the job, including paint spraying equipment, blow torches, steamers, and different sized brushes and rollers. They use these to apply a range of materials and finishes such as solvents, paints, varnishes and wall coverings. On a typical job, surface areas are measured beforehand to work out how much paint...more