Hiring a quality painter can feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to a big project. But it needn’t be….

There’s a key step right at the beginning that can almost guarantee finding the perfect painter/decorator for your job, and that’s carrying out detailed research on any prospective tradesperson and their business.

To help with this we have put together a list, using the help of one of our Pro tradesmen, John Quaid from JJ Painters and Decorators, that details key tasks a painter/decorator carries out and what research to do when looking to hire one. 

What They Do

Painters not only paint. Like many creative undertakings, the quality of the final product is determined in the care and time taken during the preparation stage. 

For this reason, a painter that puts a stronger emphasis on the preparation stage is going to achieve a much more professional finish than one that doesn’t. 

This is an important thing to keep in mind when weighing up hiring a painter or doing it yourself. John, stresses that employing a professional is going to get a better result over DIY every time. 

As the old saying goes; if you want a professional job, hire a professional.

Preparation includes:

  • Cleaning surfaces from dust and old wallpaper/paint
  • Plastering – smooth and even up surfaces
  • Fixing and repair damage – cracks and holes
  • Smooth out joins
  • Sanding
  • Taping up/masking
  • Primer application
  • Drop cloths and protective coverings

After the preparation is done, a painter/decorator will move onto the finishing coats or wallpaper.

Other strong skills a painter/decorator needs:

  • A solid understanding of colour and paint types
  • Extensive knowledge on how to prepare a multitude of surfaces, the correct products to use, and how to apply finishes
  • Keeping up to date with new products, and techniques
  • Offer expert advice on colour selection and finish type
  • Calculate and source materials needed for the project
  • Accurately cost jobs and provide quotes
  • Good people and communication skills

How to Choose the Right Painter Decorator for Your Project?

With the help of John, we have put together some key steps to choosing a professional painter.

  1. Research and compile a list of painters and decorators in your area
  2. Research each one based on these attributes:
    • Experience – years in the trade
    • Qualifications – and whether they have any
    • Association Membership – i.e., Master Painters New Zealand
    • Reviews – check out reviews given by previous customers
    • Ask to see examples of their work in person 
  3. Narrow down to three and ask for a detailed written quote:
    • Ask for a contract price rather than an hourly rate
    • Ask them to specify how long it will take
    • Make sure they visit the site in person
  4. Once you choose a tradesperson, confirm with them in writing the following:
    • A definite start date and finish date
    • Payment expectations
    • Whats required of you to prepare the area


Take away: Gather all the information as you can about a tradesperson and their business before hiring.