Painters Brisbane Guide

Learn About Painter Qualifications, Licensing And The Painting Process

Painters Guide

What Is The Role Of A Professional Painter?

Painters prepare and coat a range of surfaces with paint. It is the responsibility of the painter to ensure that the final product is the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality. One way they do this is by ensuring that they stay true to the client’s vision by choosing the best paint in terms of quality and tone. They do this by ensuring that the process of painting itself is done precisely to ensure beautiful, long lasting results. They are often referred to as painters and decorators.

Why Would You Need A Painter?

In Brisbane, professional painters are in very high demand. But why would someone need their services? Below are five of the main reasons why people seek out painters Brisbane for various projects.

  • When their home or office renovations require new paintwork.
  • For interior painting or wall paper installation in new buildings or extensions.
  • For painting of exterior walls or roofs on new buildings for curb appeal and for protection of the building materials.
  • For removal and replacement of paint layers that are either peeling or chipping due to age, poor application, water damage or even impact damage.
  • When the client wants intricate detailing in the paintwork with things like collages and mosaics.

Painter Licenses

In most Australian states, painters are required by law to be formally registered and licensed in order to practice their trade. Licensing is very important as it protects both the painter and the client. It ensures that clients and contractors who use the services of the painter stick to the contract in terms of timely payment and provision of a safe work environment for the professional. On the other hand, licensing protects the client from poor quality work professional misconduct. This is because for a painter to be licensed, they are interviewed, thoroughly vetted and trained to ensure that none but the best are allowed to practice legally.

In Brisbane, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission is responsible for vetting and licensing these professionals. The commission has the power to revoke licenses and impose bans on painters in violation of state regulations. It also protects the interests of the painter by ensuring that clients and contractors comply with the terms of their contracts. Many painting contractors are also members of the Master Painters association in Australia.

In 1992, the Australian Government started a scheme called The Painting Contractor Certification Program, or PCCP. Although not immensely successful, certifications are held by many painters.

Qualifications Required

Having established the importance of licensing, it is important to understand the criteria used by the professional bodies to determine eligibility. Below are the three main requirements for painters who want to be registered and licensed in Queensland.

1. The painter must have successfully completed either formal painting apprenticeship under a licensed painter or a certificate in painting from a tertiary learning institution. Documentation is required to prove this.

2. Proof of competency in the specific line of work the painter is applying. For example cement rendering or intricate decoration.

3. Satisfactory completion of the board-recommended managerial course with appropriate documentation.

Find out more about painter licenses from the QBCC here. You can also enrol in painter courses through MPA Skills website here.

The Painting Process

More often than not, the processes involved in painting vary. This is as a result of differences in the type of material being painted over, the type of paint being used and the preferences of the painter based on experience. However, there is an overlap in methodology and below is a summary of the basic painting processes and the services offered.

  1. Preparing the room- Painting can be messy and it is important to protect surfaces. You can do this by laying old newspapers on the floor and covering furniture with protective sheets.
  2. Preparing the walls- This step includes services like wallpaper stripping, dry wall scraping or simple cleaning of the wall surface.
  3. Placing tape over window seals and door frames- This helps protect them from paint splash-offs the same way newspapers protect the floors.
  4. Priming and base coat application- These protect the wall material and ensure than the main coat remains shiny and intact.
  5. Main coat application.
  6. Top coat application- This protects the main coat of the paint from damage to exposure to elements such as wind, water and heat.

Painting is classified into three main types in terms of where on the building it is done. Below are the three classifications and the importance of each.

Interior painting

By definition, this is any painting or wall decoration work that is done on the interior aspects of the walls of a building. More often than not, interior painting is as simple as painting the walls a specific colour with all the coats required to keep it looking good. However, interior painting might require specific detailing including decorations using mosaics and highlighting of crown moulding. Interior painting also involves installation of wallpaper.

It comes in handy as a painter service during construction, home renovation after damage or simple redecorating.

Exterior painting

Exterior painting on the other hand refers to paint work that is done on the exterior aspect of the walls of a building. Unlike interior painting, the focus here is on both aesthetics and functionality.

Aesthetics are important to consider as the building’s exterior is the first thing people see when they look at it. It is therefore very important for the paint job to be nothing short of perfect in order to paint a good image (no pun intended) in the minds of those who see the building.

Functionality on the other hand is important because the exterior is the most exposed part of the building to harsh elements. These include rain water, wind, dust and direct sunlight. It is therefore important to ensure that the paint is of high quality and that the job is done well. This way, both the paint and the building materials underneath are adequately protected.

Roof painting

Finally, as the name suggests roof painting refers to painting the surface of the roof. This is usually done for three reasons; aesthetics, reconstruction and protection.

Like exterior painting, roof painting is important as it is part of what people first see when they look at the house or the building. Painting gives the impression of newness and stability which contributes significantly to the house’s curb appeal.

The second reason why roof painting is important is the fact that it can be used as a form of restoration. This is the case where the roofs are old and exposure to the elements has led to a gross deterioration in state; both functional and aesthetic. Restoration involves sealing cracks, fixing any other damage and giving the tiles or sheets a fresh new coat for good measure.

Colour Matching

Being a great painter is not just about being good with a roller or a paintbrush. Some degree of creativity and artistic prowess is required to make it in the business. One way this is seen is through the ability to identify paint tones and wallpaper patterns that complement each other. This is where colour matching comes in as an important skill for professional painters.

Colour matching has nothing to do with the quality of paint and is purely for aesthetic purposes. It therefore comes in handy when painting for decoration or renovation on interior surfaces of walls. Colour matching is rarely applied in exterior painting. However, colour contrasting between the walls and the roof can qualify as colour matching.

What Are The Main Types Of Paints?

Paint can be classified based on the purpose and the effect created. Below are examples under each of the categories.

 > Based on purpose

1. Primer or base coat

This is applied directly on the surface to be painted. It serves two main purposes. The first is to protect the material over which the painting is being done. This nature comes in handy when painting over absorbent material like wood or ceramic. The second purpose of the primer coat is to ensure that the main coat adheres adequately to the surface.

2. Main coat

This is applied over the primer coat. Its purpose is to act as the source of colour on the surface.

3. Top or protective coat

This paint type is usually applied last and like the primer has two main functions. The first is to protect the main coat from damage by water, wind, dust or heat. The second purpose is to give the paint job a new and clean feel.

 > Based on effect

1. Matte and matte enamel

These two are the most commonly used in Australia for exterior painting. The effect of matte and matte enamel paint is a non-reflective surface. This is what makes it ideal for painting wall exteriors and roofs. The enamel variation is more durable than ordinary matte paint with less likelihood of staining.

2. Glossy and semi-gloss paint

As the name suggests, gloss and semi-gloss has a shiny and reflective effect on the surfaces on which it is applied. This comes in handy when painting walls in rooms where you want to make the most of natural lighting. These two types of paint are also relatively resistant to staining due to their somewhat oily consistency.

3. Satin

This type of paint produces an effect that is between what matte and gloss types provide. It is neither as reflective as gloss nor is it as dull as matte. This balance makes it great for rooms where minimal visual distractions are required such as home offices and entertainment areas.

4. Eggshell

This type of paint has a subtle amount of shine but with a rougher feel than satin and gloss. It is great for covering up inconsistencies on surfaces.

Top 5 Most Popular Paint Brands In Australia

Below are the top five highest quality paint brands in Australia and why people love them so much.

1. Dulux paints

Dulux is one of the oldest paint brands in Australia having been around since 1918. They are best known for their high quality paint products. They also offer a very wide variety in terms of main coat colours. Visit the Dulux website.

2. Haymes paints

Haymes is a family owned business with some of Australia’s most unique paint products. These include over 1000 colours and paint hues as well as unique wallpaper designs.

3. Taubmans paints 

This is yet another old-timer in the paint business having been in business for over 100 years. Their popularity is also attributed to the high quality of paint and wide variety of colours, tones and hues. Learn more about Taubmans paints.

4. Porter’s paints

This is a more modern brand than the others on this list. However, the high quality paints and unique colour palate has seen the brand rise to popularity in the construction and home décor industries. Check out Porter’s Paints.

5. Volvox clay paints

Volvox Australia paints are made out of clay extracts and other all natural materials. The formula makes the paints perfect for people who are irritated by fumes in ordinary paint. The unique formula also offers a natural look and feel to the surface on which it is applied.

How Much Do Painters Cost?

The amount of money charged for painting services depend on a number of factors.

I. The first is the amount of time spent on the project. This applies when working with a painter whose charges are hourly.

II. The other factor determining price is the type of painting being done. More often than not, exterior painting and roof painting costs more than interior painting. This is because access to the exterior aspects of the building is usually harder and may at times be dangerous.

III. Finally, the purpose of the painting contributes to the amount charged. Renovations and restorations tend to cost more than first-time paint jobs. This is because the former involve fixing problems with the walls or other surfaces before the actual painting begins. It also involves getting rid of the existing paint layers which takes time and other resources.


Painters in Queensland usually charge clients based on size of area painted.

The average rates are between $10 and $30 per square metre for interior painting and $15 – $45 per square metre for exterior painting.

Bottom line

After all is said and done, there is no denying the importance of painters in the process of construction or renovation. The information above should equip you with enough knowledge to understand how the painting industry works in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.