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Everything you need to know about finding a Painter

Whether you want to renovate, repair or build new, painters can help enhance the look of your home. Paint can be used on the interior or exterior of the home and the wide range of paints and paint finishes that are available today means that you are only limited by your imagination. It is the cheapest way of redecorating, so if you’re after a new look without a lot of outlay, then getting your home painted may be the way to go.

What Painters Do

Painters may carry out the following tasks:

  • Colour consulting: Choosing the colours to use in your home can be one of the most difficult choices to make. A painter can help you choose the best colours for your interior or exterior space. They will typically ask questions about your colour preferences and the mood you are trying to achieve, to narrow down the colour palette. An interior designer can also help with colour consulting (see painters - colour consulting).
  • Interiors: Using paint is a great way to revamp the interior of your home. A professional painter will prepare the surface for painting, protect the floors and furniture and apply the paint using the best tools for the job (see interior painters). You can choose to use one colour throughout your home, or combine a few hues for various effects.
  • Exteriors: Like the interior, painting the exterior of your home can give your abode a boost. Not only that, but painting the outside of your home helps protect it against the elements. Your painter will remove existing paint, prepare and prime the exterior surface and apply the paint with your preferences in mind. See exterior painters for more info.
  • Fences: Painting your fence is a great way to protect it and enhance its look and finish.Your painter will most likely use a spray gun, as this allows them to paint large areas quickly and use less paint than other methods (see fence painters). Timber fencing is the most commonly painted material, though concrete and render are also suitable.
  • Roofs: Roof painting ensures your roof is protected and complements the style of your home. The roof must first be pressure cleaned to remove dirt and grime. It is then repaired, if needed, before a sealer is applied. The painter will then most likely use an airless spray painting gun to apply the paint. For more information see roof painters.
  • Exterior timber maintenance: From time to time, the timber around your home will need to be maintained so that it stays looking its best. A painter can assist by cleaning the timber and applying new stains, oils, varnishes and paints to the timber. For more information about this service see painters - exterior timber maintenance.
  • Special finishes: If you don't want to stick to standard gloss or matt finishes, why not choose special paint finishes to make a bold statement. Special paint finishes include suede, metallic, pearl, satin and marbling. See painters - special finishes for more examples.
  • Spray painting: This is the quickest and most effective way to paint a large exterior area. It is best used on outside surfaces as the spray can drift when it is applied. While you can do a DIY spray painting job, hiring a professional will ensure a sleek finish. For more information see spray painting.
  • Commercial painting: Just like residential properties, commercial buildings also need to be painted from time to time. Whether it's a shop, school, hospital or office block, commercial painters will create a look to suit your needs and aim to get the work done with minimal disruption to the business.

Role of House Painters

Painters also perform the following tasks in the course of their work:

  • Protecting areas from paint by laying drop sheets
  • Erecting scaffolding necessary to complete job
  • Preparing surfaces including filling holes, sanding, repairing woodwork, removing old paint or wallpaper and sealing surfaces
  • Selecting and preparing paint
  • Using brushes, rollers or spray painting to apply the paint to the surface
  • Cleaning equipment, work areas and any splatters that may have resulted while painting
  • Safely removing lead-based paint
  • Apply waterproofing systems to wet areas

Things to Consider

There are some basics to consider when repainting. What is the function of the room/s that will be repainted? What direction does the room face? How big is it? What mood do you want to create? The basic rule is that light colours make a room feel larger and dark colours will make a room feel smaller. When choosing a colour scheme, it is best to stick to one of the following types: monochromatic – different shades of the same colour; harmonious – where similar colours are used; and contrasting – where two or more very different colours are used i.e. black and white.

©Fabricate Painting & Decorating Pty Ltd

Types of Paint

There are many different types of paint, and what you use will depend on the area to be painted and the kind of conditions that it has to endure. Outdoor areas will need to be painted with a special exterior paint that will be able to handle the harsher conditions. Most exterior paints come with UV protection. Interior paints need to suit their purpose. Bathrooms and other wet areas will require a more resistant paint that can stand up to moisture such as a semi gloss or gloss while living areas can get by with a flat surface. If you have kids or need a paint that is more durable, a wash and wear paint may be a good option.

When it comes to the interior of the home, there is a vast range of special paint finishes and effects available including metallic, pastel, suede, pearl, colour washing, marbling, rag rolling, ragging, sponging, dragging, crackling, stencilling, stainless steel, lime washes and rusted iron, among others. There is even blackboard paint available – great for the kitchen or study areas! With such a wide variety of choice, consulting a professional will help you to choose the right look for your home. Many painting companies will offer a colour consultancy service, or you may choose the services of an interior designer.


Wallpapering is a stylish alternative to paint, creating textures and effects that paint alone cannot achieve. Today’s wallpapers are easy to apply and remove and come in a wide range of colours and textures. Textures include hessian, canvas, vinyl, wood and rice paper, among others. Many paint companies will remove old wallpaper for you and install new wallpaper of your choice.

©Mawdsley Building Designs

Selecting a House Painter

When selecting your professional, there are a few steps to adhere to. Firstly, tell the painter what you require in terms of colour scheme, area to be painted, timeframe etc. Get a quote for the project, ensuring that it is as thorough as possible in terms of the brand of paint, the amount of paint required and labour costs. The quote should also ideally include how long the project is expected to take, when progress payments should be paid, and provide for the protection of surroundings and cleanup. Working out all these things before commencing the project will save any potential problems later.

Depending on where you live, a painter may require a licence to conduct works in your home. There is more information about painter licensing on Licensedtrades.com.au.

How Much Does a Painter Cost?

House painters will base any quote on an hourly rate of $40 to $60 per hour, depending on location and the nature of the job. Expect to pay more if your job involves the use of scaffolding - if you have a multi-level home for example. Painters will typically quote a flat fee which includes paint. They are also able to quote for smaller jobs, for example a single room.


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