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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn Painting and Decorating

This is a self paced course covering techniques and materials for interior and exterior, painting, decorating, paneling, tiling, and other surface treatments.

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Learn Painting and Decorating

  • techniques and materials for interior and exterior
  • painting, decorating, paneling, tiling, and other surface treatments.


This course has nine lessons.

Lesson 1. Introduction

  • Introduction
  • Preparing Surfaces
  • Tools and Equipment for Preparation
  • Painting and Decorating Tools and Equipment
  • Painting Tools
  • Types of Brushes
  • Types of Rollers
  • Wallpapering Tools
  • Other Equipment (including safety gear)

Lesson 2. Paints

  • Reasons for painting
  • Paint Components
  • Pigments
  • Solvents
  • Binders
  • Additives
  • Examples of typical paint mixes
  • How Paints Work
  • Types of Paint -oil based, water based
  • Interior versus Exterior Uses
  • What to Paint a Surface With
  • Use of Primers
  • Painting Brick
  • Painting Concrete
  • Fibrous Cement
  • Stone
  • Mudbrick
  • Plaster
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Choosing Colours
  • Colour Matching

Lesson 3.  Preparation for Painting

  • Stages of Preparation
  • Preparing to Paint
  • Using Masking Tape
  • Using Ladders, Scaffold, Platforms
  • Sanding
  • Safe Preparation of Old Lead Paints
  • Preparing Different Surfaces - 
  • Fibrous Cement
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Mudbrick
  • Plaster
  • Metal
  • Wood

Lesson 4.  Painting Techniques

  • Before you Paint
  • Using Brushes
  • Loading the Brush
  • Cutting in
  • Cleaning and Storing Brushes
  • Using Rollers
  • Cleaning and Storing Rollers
  • Spray Painting - Sprayers
  • Cleaning and Storing Sprayers
  • Special Effects
  • Texture Finishes - with sand, joint compound, texture additives
  • Applying Textured Finishes
  • Faux Finishes  - Scumble, Glaze
  • Rag Rolling
  • Rag Painting
  • Sponging
  • Dragging/Strie
  • Marbling
  • Tortoise Shell
  • Graining
  • Using Stencils (Introduction)
  • Other Methods

Lesson 5.  Special paint effects

  • Stencilling
  • Stencilling Equipment
  • Stencilling Techniques
  • Stencilling on Wood
  • Marbling
  • Murals
  • Tromp Lóeil
  • Using Paint in the Garden
  • Garden Art
  • Wall or Fence Painting

Lesson 6.  Wallpapering

  • Introduction
  • Reasons tor Wallpapering
  • Types of Paper - printed, vinyl coated, vinyl, washable, flock, foil, anaglypta, superglypta, brown vinyl, natural fibre, lining paper.
  • How to choose Wallpaper
  • Pattern Matching
  • Planning
  • Measuring up
  • Buying the Paper
  • Choosing the Right Paste - cold water paste, multi purpose adhesive, heavy duty adhesives, paste the wall adhesives, readymade pastes
  • Preparation
  • Removing old Wallpaper
  • Wallpapering - Tool checklist
  • Deciding where to start
  • Cutting the paper
  • Applying Paste
  • Booking (folding) the Paper
  • Hanging Wallpaper
  • Cleaning up
  • Maintenance and Repairs
  • How to Repair Holes, Blisters, Stains, Fingerprints

Lesson 7.  Tiling

  • Introduction to Tiling
  • Tiles - reasons to use tiles
  • Tile Materials - glass, ceramic, porcelain, terracotta, stone, concrete, terrazo, natural materials
  • Surface Treatments
  • Where to use Different Tiles
  • Preparing to Tile
  • Tiling Tools
  • Adhesives
  • Grouts
  • Preparing Floors for Tiling
  • Concrete Substrate
  • Timber substrate
  • Preparing Walls for Tiling
  • How to tile - a floor, a wall
  • Cutting Tiles
  • Grouting
  • Sealing Grout
  • Tile Maintenance -cleaning
  • Removing or Replacing a Tile
  • Painting over Tiles

Lesson 8.  Panelling

  • Introduction -types and applications
  • Materials - Natural timber, MDF, hardboard, chipboard, plywood, vinyl, glass, fibreglass, stone, brick, faux stone or brick
  • Panel Designs-planks, sheets, tiles, veneers, self adhesive
  • Panel Installation
  • Installing an Interior Stone Veneer
  • Installing Interior Brick Veneer
  • Installing Timber Panels
  • Installing Self Adhesive Panelling

Lesson 9.  Other Surface Treatments

  • Interior versus Exterior Finishes
  • Exterior Paints
  • Preparation of Outdoor Timber Surfaces
  • Application Tips
  • Timber Preservatives
  • Preservative Coatings
  • Applying Preservatives
  • Stains - staining timber, staining concrete
  • Whitewash - applying whitewash
  • Lime Wash Paints - making them, problems
  • Varnishes
  • Polyurethane
  • Shellac
  • French Polish
  • Polishing Concrete
  • Oils and Waxes - Linseed, Teak, Tung oil
  • Wax Finishes
  • Making Your Own Healthier Paints
  • Natural Paints
  • Tallow and Lime Based Coating


  • Describe the nature and scope of painting and decorating of buildings, interior and exterior, including (in broad terms) the materials, equipment, and techniques.
  • Explain different types of paints used, including their comparative characteristics and appropriate applications.
  • Carry out appropriate preparations for painting.
  • Explain how to use painting tools, painting techniques and special effects.
  • Explain a variety of special paint effects and applications.
  • Explain how to use wallpaper.
  • Explain how to attach tiles to walls, floors, or other surfaces.
  • Explain how to attach panels to walls.
  • Explain a range of other ways to finish surfaces inside and outside buildings including stains and protective coatings.

Painting and decorating involve applying finishes to the surfaces on buildings, furniture, fences, or anything else. Surfaces are often given their final surface by painting them but there are other ways of doing this too. For example, interior walls may be tiled, wallpapered, or panelled; exterior walls may be rendered, veneered, pebble-dashed, and so forth.

The work involved requires more than just having the skill to use a paint brush. You must also consider all the options and make appropriate choices about the type of finish you want, then select the appropriate materials, understand what equipment is needed and how to use it, and have knowledge and skills in the techniques which may be used in order to achieve that finish.

More advanced skills may include having an appreciation of design, such as colour matching and colour schemes, using different textures to compliment other surfaces, use of tone, and so on.

You might also need to consider things like longevity, since not all finishes are especially durable. Some might last for many years whereas others might need changing or ‘brushing up’ every so often. Furthermore, regular maintenance can be expensive so whilst the initial outlay may be reasonable, ongoing costs could make what seems like an astute investment at the time become burdensome. 

So, painting and decorating involves a range of knowledge, skills and thought processes and this course is intended to address those.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Alexander O'BrienBased in Ireland, trained in Architecture, Permaculture, Mechanical Engineering, Ceramics, Furniture Design/Construction, Sustainable building and Art,Craft and Design.
John MasonMr Mason has worked 45+ years in Writing, Education, Horticulture and Recreation. His experience in both public & private sectors is extensive; particularly across Australia and England.
Jacinda ColeJacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.