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Hand Painting, Coating and Decorating Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Paints, coats, or decorates articles, such as furniture, glass, plateware, pottery, jewelry, toys, books, or leather.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Applies coatings, such as paint, ink, or lacquer, to protect or decorate workpiece surfaces, using spray guns, pens, or brushes.
  • Examines finished surfaces of workpieces to verify conformance to specifications and retouch any defective areas.
  • Cleans and maintains tools and equipment, using solvents, brushes, and rags.
  • Reads job orders and inspects workpieces to determine work procedures and materials required.
  • Cleans surfaces of workpieces in preparation for coating, using cleaning fluids, solvents, brushes, scrapers, steam, sandpaper, or cloth.
  • Rinses, drains, or wipes coated workpieces to remove excess coating material or to facilitate setting of finish coats on workpieces.
  • Places coated workpieces in ovens or dryers for specified times to dry or harden finishes.
  • Selects and mixes ingredients to prepare coating substances according to specifications, using paddles or mechanical mixers.
  • Melts or heats coating materials to specified temperatures.
  • Conceals blemishes in workpieces, such as nicks and dents, using fillers such as putty.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Air Brush Decorator -- Coats, decorates, glazes, retouches, or tints articles, for example fishing lures, toys, dolls, pottery, artificial flowers, greeting cards, and household appliances, using airbrush.
  • Art Gilder -- Covers surfaces of items, for example books, furniture, harps, and signs, with metal leaf, for example aluminum, gold, or silver, to decorate them, using brushes, T-shaped handtool, and hands.
  • Embossed or Impressed Lettering Painter -- Colors identification or model numbers, brand names, or designs embossed or impressed in articles, using brush or roller.
  • Foam Gun Operator -- Sprays mixture of resins and activators (foam) on reinforced plastic products, for example shower stalls, bathtubs, and automobile body parts, using foam gun.
  • Japanner -- Paints, coats, or decorates articles such as furniture, glass, plateware, pottery, jewelry, toys, books, or leather with a hard brilliant coat of varnishes or lacquers.
  • Mannequin Coloring Artist -- Applies paint or lacquer to papier mache mannequin to simulate parts of body and articles of clothing.
  • Mirror Silverer -- Sprays back of mirror glass with silver or copper solution to coat glass, using spray gun.
  • Potter -- Molds clay into ware as clay revolves on potter's wheel.
  • Spray Gun Operator -- Sprays surfaces of machines, manufactured products, or working area with protective or decorative material, for example paint, enamel, glaze, gel-coat, or lacquer, using spray gun.
  • Wallcovering Texturer -- Applies paint to decorate textured wallcoverings in prescribed pattern.