Study trade skills in painting and decorating. Choose and use the best surface treatments inside or out - paints, stains, tiles, and panelling.

Course Code: VSS201
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn the materials and techniques used for painting and decorating buildings.

Choose and use the best surface treatments inside or out - paints, stains, tiles, and panelling


There are lots of different types of paints, stains and sealants that are used to coat surfaces in buildings. These are applied using various types of tools and equipment. The purpose for using these “coatings” may be either functional or aesthetic (or both), the building components that are coated are various, and the methods used to apply the coatings can also vary.

You need to understand all these variables to choose appropriate paints, stains or sealers, to coat the things you need to pain appropriately and effectively for the situation at hand.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. 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
  2. Paints
    • Purpose 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 different surfaces - Brick, Concrete, Stone, Metal, Wood, etc.
    • Choosing Colours
    • Colour Matching
  3. Preparation
    • Stages of Preparation
    • Preparing to Paint
    • Using Masking Tape
    • Using Ladders, Scaffold, Platforms
    • Sanding
    • Safe Preparation of Old Lead Paints
    • Preparing Different Surfaces
  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
  5. Special paint effects
    • Stencilling
    • Marbling
    • Murals
    • Tromp Lóeil
    • Using Paint in the Garden
    • Garden Art
    • Wall or Fence Painting
  6. Wallpapering
    • 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
  7. 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
  8. Panelling
    • 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
  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

Exterior surface treatments often needs different to be different to applied inside buildings. In the outdoors, paints, stains and any other treatments are exposed to weather and will deteriorate faster. At first an exterior treatment may  look similar to an interior one, but unless you choose and use the right materials the right way, it can crack, flake off, discolour or deteriorate in other ways. If paint is protecting a surface underneath (e.g. a timber or metal window frame); the protected material can become exposed and also begin to deteriorate (e. g. painted metal can corrode when moisture gets under paint, causing the paint to deteriorate as the corrosion cracks it from underneath).

When any paintwork is well selected and maintained, repainting or bigger problems (and costs) can be avoided.

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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