The first priority of PAINTERS is to prepare the surface for the finishes to be applied.

Some of the processes that are used are: wash, scrape, wire brush or sand the surface and, in some cases, use chemicals, electric scrapers, sandblasters or blow torches to remove old paint. It is the job of the applicator to sand any irregularities, fill cracks and holes, and remove excess dirt and grease. The PAINTER uses three major tools to apply paints and coatings: The spray gun, the roller, and the brush.

The skilled Painter knows and uses what is best for each job. Although some PAINTERS do all types of painting, most specialize in one type, such as: interior or exterior work, new construction, signs, remodeling, particular structures and buildings (apartments, homes, bridges, water tanks, structural steel), special effects and decorative designs, metal surfaces, or transportation equipment.

drywall finisher

The DRYWALL FINISHER finishes gypsum wallboard surfaces by taping, spotting, pointing, filling, finishing, and sanding joints, angles, internal and external corners, and all field surfaces.

Skill is required in the use of hand filling and machine tool methods for both preparation and application techniques. As such, the Drywall Finisher shall be familiar with all aspects of the trade including: the tools, materials, procedures, environmental conditions on the job site as well as the regulations and standards of the various authorities having jurisdiction.

WALLCOVERERS measure the surface they are to cover and cut the covering to fit.

Next they mix the adhesive, apply it to the back of the strip of the covering, place the strip in correct position on the wall and smooth it with a smoothing brush or knife. He or she are very careful to match the paper's pattern, making sure the design continues from strip to strip without a visible break. Wallcoverers may also estimate material, time and cost of each job, produce decorative designs, restore natural wood color by bleaching or refinishing, or apply special coatings.

Working Conditions: Painting, Wall Covering and Drywall Finishing are all strenuous work, requiring much walking, standing, reaching, kneeling, stooping, climbing and lifting (up to 75 lbs.). Occupational hazards include falls from ladder or scaffolds, and skin or throat irritations from paint fumes and thinners. Exterior painters lose some work-time each year due to bad weather. Interior painters who work primarily on new construction may lose work-time during slowdowns in construction activity.

Recommended Courses: General Science, General Math, Chemistry will help.

Terms of Apprenticeship: 4 years of on the job training, related class room instruction, classes a minimum of 160 hours per year.


  • Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region 2190 Hornig Road Philadelphia, PA 19116