Painters and decorators apply decorative and protective finishes in residential, commercial, and institutional settings. They prepare a variety of surfaces prior to the application of materials such as paint, high performance coatings, waterproofing, varnish, shellac, wall coverings and specialty finishes.

Skills & Abilities

People who enjoy working in this trade tend to prefer work that involves variety, creativity, and recognition for their skills. To be successful in the trade painters need:

  • The skills to read, write and communicate verbally
  • Good background in trade math
  • Good colour sense
  • Manual dexterity
  • The ability to lift up to 25 kilograms
  • The ability to work at heights
  • The strength required to move heavy ladders or set up scaffolding
  • A desire to do a precise and thorough job
  • Computer skills are an asset


Alberta: apprentices pursue Red Seal Painter & Decorator level training at NAIT (Edmonton) or SAIT (Calgary).
Manitoba: apprentices pursue Red Seal Painter & Decorator level training at Red River (Winnipeg).
Saskatchewan: there is no local Red Seal Painter & Decorator instruction in Saskatchewan. Members may either attend such at SAIT (Calgary) or NAIT (Edmonton), or they may challenge to take the exam at a later date once sufficient experience earned. In practice, the per diem offered by Saskatchewan to attend out of province apprenticeship training is low, and so most pursue the latter path.

Commercial Painters Gallery

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