Painting and Decorating

Learn to choose and use the appropriate paint for any situation. Learn about other forms of decoration, including tiling, wallpapering, panelling and more. Broaden and deepen your understanding of painting and decorating.

Course Code: VSS201
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!

Learn Painting and Decorating Techniques

  • Understand the tools and materials - use the right products and tools for the job
  • Broaden the scope of techniques you can apply to finish surfaces on buildings, furniture, fences, or anything else
  • Choose appropriate treatments for different situations

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 paneled; exterior walls may be rendered, veneered, pebble-dashed, and so forth.

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

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • 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.

Learn to Choose the Right Paint

Your choice of paint has a major impact on many things including the appearance of the finished job, the quality of the work, the cost, the lifespan of the job, and the way in which you do the job.

Paints are used for two main reasons:

  • Firstly, to protect the surface onto which they are applied. For instance, they provide a seal against air and water which prevents wood from rotting and metal from rusting.
  • Secondly, to decorate or provide colour. Paint plays a crucial role in colour schemes and aesthetics. 

Paints are sometimes classified as industrial coatings, e.g. those applied to cars and manufactured goods, and decorative paints, e.g. those used to adorn buildings, which we are more interested in.

Learn to Consider other Treatments

Paints are not always the best treatment for a surface. Sometimes a surface will be given a different treatment for aesthetic reasons, and at other times for practical reasons.

A painted floor or wall for instance may not be as resilient as a tiled floor. Tiles can be more water resistant (hence are more often used in wet areas. Wallpaper or panelling can provide a different aesthetic to anything that can easily be achieved by simple painting. 

Some tradesmen will specialise in just tiling, painting, or something else; but others may find more business opportunities, and a more interesting career is to be found in working across all areas of painting and decorating.

This course can provide a foundation for people who wish to work providing frontline services in these trades. It can also benefit builders, developers, project managers, building managers or anyone else who wants to develop a broader and deeper understanding of painting and decorating.

ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).
ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( ).

Course Contributors

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

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.