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Now, more than ever, we are aware of how important a recognised skill is.

Painting & decorating gives you the chance to be your own boss and work all over the world. It is a transferable skill that can save you money on redecorating your own living space and help friends and family. Decorating can lead to many careers, such as interior design, painting film sets and decorating for events organisers. If you are particularly creative you can transfer your hand skills to special paint effects and murals.

We teach Level 1 and 2 diplomas and the courses are split between workshop and theory lessons. You will be given your own bay area where you will be shown how to prepare the surface for decorating, how to cut in and roll the ceiling & walls using a brush and roller. You will be painting bare plaster, preparing skirting, doors and door frames for painting using oil based and water-based paints. You will be introduced to special paint effects and strip back metal using chemicals and wood using a heat gun, you will be introduced to wallpapering, wallpapering internal corners and ladders and scaffolding. You will be assessed as you work. In theory you will be taught health & safety Level 2 and principles of construction. You will be taught seven different units which will be related to the practical element of the course and assessed through paper tests throughout the year.

During your second year you will be given a small room, where you will be continuing with the preparation and painting with more technical skill, you will be painting a sash window, skirting & doors and wallpapering walls & ceilings, papering around a chimney breast, using lining paper to cross line walls and ceilings before the desired Anaglypta paper. You will move on to more detailed paint effects, such as marbling and wood graining and you will be introduced to colour theory and scale drawing within theory. You will be assessed throughout the year in your practical and theory classes. There are seven paper tests in the second year for theory, which will cover architectural drawings, preparation, colour theory, applying paint systems, hanging wallpaper and British standards, special paint effects and access equipment.

In all courses across painting and decorating we have competitions in the workshop and in theory where we give out prizes for speed, skill and attitude.

We offer apprenticeship pathways, and as an apprentice you will attend college one day a week and cover all the same units in Level 2 and more. We aim to teach apprentices more about the business side of decorating, such as paying tax, insurance and technical drawings. Apprentices will be shown how to use spraying equipment, which is sponsored by Dulux. The apprentices will complete the diploma alongside their workplace experience. As an apprentice, you should be recording your experience and knowledge and documenting the skills learnt ready for an end test. This test is a practical test and a professional discussion. The apprenticeships last two years. Our decorating courses are taught at Highbury Northarbour Centre, where you will be studying with other tradespeople. Your uniform includes steel toe capped boots, overalls, and white T-shirts. You will also be expected to bring a pen and note pad for theory, which is taught in the classroom.

Can’t wait to get started? Here’s some resources to give you a flying start:

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