Hire a Professional Decorator

11 Professional Painters Give Their Top Tips for New Apprentices

If you’ve decided that you’re interested in a career in painting & decorating, you might be looking for some advice on what to expect.

We asked 11 professional painters to give would-be apprentices their best advice and this is what they came back to us with.

1. Brian K

“Don’t oversell yourself, being new is OK. Ask questions like How should I? What order? What tool? How should the finished result look? How long should it take? Then listen, absorb and ask for feedback.

Also, don’t be afraid to walk away from a role where you’re not learning anything. If they can’t show and tell you how to do certain tasks to make the customer happy the chances of you having and making this into a career are slim to none.”

2. Melissa H

“Don’t be afraid to learn new things from co-workers. I’ve learned a lot from others and I’ve painted since I could hold a brush!”

3. Steven R

“Don’t exaggerate how much experience you already have. Not only will you be expected to do certain tasks without hand holding, but you’ll make it worse on yourself for having lied. People think painting is so easy and that you can cover for the fact that you’re basically brand new by lying. It doesn’t work like that!”

4. John B

“Just remember: when it comes to painting, we don’t do many things. How WELL you do those things matters though so focus on learning and perfecting. Keep in mind that you’ll need a strong work ethic and you’ll need to be punctual of course.”

5. Ed B

“I have dealt with lots of apprentices in my day and to me what was important was to see if they knew how to work. If they could work and wanted to learn that was important to me. I can teach them how to paint, that’s not a problem.”

6. Dean G

“Turn up on time and be eager to work. Sometimes it’s better to not know anything and learn on the job because you won’t have any bad habits holding you back. Listen and learn and you’ll soon be picking up all the hints and tips on the way.”

7. Joe R

I can just tell you the consistency, honesty and motivation to do the job is key – the rest you’ll learn as you go. And never hesitate asking a question, there is no stupid questions when it comes to learning how to do something. I did that for a few years myself and now I own my own business. Stay focused and you’ll be just fine.

8. Jason J

“Find someone that knows what they’re doing and listen to them and watch them. You’ve got to have good tools and know how to use them and make them work for you.”

9. Alan D

“Prep, prep, prep, then prep again. You have to prepare your surfaces before painting for houses – learn this and you’re on your way. And always keep things neat and tidy. Good luck!”

10. Dan D

“I recently hired someone with zero painting experience and I love him. He knows how to work.
  • He shows up to work early (5 minutes)
  • Brings a good attitude
  • Anticipates the next need…are more drop cloths needed for example
  • He listens and doesn’t get offended when we correct him

Bring a good attitude where ever you go in life and others will want to be around you.”

11. Ashley W

“Every home owner/client thinks that “painting” is just painting. The fact of the matter is that VERY LITTLE of what makes a good paint job has to do with the final coat of paint that everyone sees. What they don’t see, what takes the most time, effort, care, patience and perfecting….is the PREP.

You don’t paint a wall to make it look new again. You make the wall new again so that you can paint it.”

While it might seem intimidating when you’re about to become an apprentice, hopefully you can use these tips to help you succeed and ease any worries you may have had.