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How to choose a painter?

Updated: Apr 9

Anyone can paint, right? Wrong! As anyone who has renovated knows, it's not as easy as it looks on TV!

Every year hundreds of people get ripped off by unqualified painters, and risk their family's health by exposing them to poisonous lead paint and asbestos. Using a qualified painter not only gives you peace of mind that your job will last longer, but protects your family or customers from toxic materials that need to be treated by trained and qualified trades people.

Paint containing lead was used in many Australian houses. Houses built before 1970 are most at risk, but those built more recently may also have paint containing lead in some areas. Exposure to lead is a health hazard and can cause brain damage and lead poisoning in babies, children and adults. If your house was built prior to 1971 make sure your painter has been trained in lead paint management. 

Asbestos is found in many buildings built before 1989. Sanding, water-blasting or disturbing asbestos can expose you, your family or your customers to hazardous asbestos fibers, which can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung disease. It is important that your painter can identify asbestos, and paint it safely.

If you live in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia or WA, using a licensed or registered painter is an important way you can ensure you won't be ripped off. Licensed or registered painters have received special training to make sure they apply coatings to specifications,and meet industry requirements. Painters who work unlicensed or unregistered in states where they are required to do so risk the quality of the work carried out, and pose a risk to the consumer. The licensing or registration system protects the consumer and the painter from unnecessary conflict and disappointment. Consumers who use unlicensed or unqualified painters may be unable to recover damages, should a complaint over faulty workmanship arise.

In New South Wales a painter must be licensed if he/she contracts, sub-contracts or advertises to do residential painting where the reasonable market cost of the labour and building materials is more than $1000. Licenses are issued by the Department of Fair Trading NSW.

In Queensland, the Building Services Authority (BSA) is a government body set up to license contractors and protect consumers against defective work. The BSA has the power to direct a contractor to rectify defects. A license is required if the painting work is valued at over $3300 including labor and materials. 

In Western Australia registration of painters is carried out by the WA Building Commission. 

Painters must display their registration or license number on any advertising.

In Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT, consumers should choose painters who are trade qualified. Look for the 'qualified' logo

A qualified painter should provide you with a written quote detailing what is to be painted, what preparation is involved, how hazardous materials will be handled, colours to be used, how waste will be disposed of, what products will be used, an expected timeframe, public liability insurance details, relevant licenses or qualifications, any warranties, and payment terms and conditions.

This gives you peace of mind that your paint job will be carried out safely, professionally; and will protect and beautify your building or home for many years

Don't risk it! Use a qualified painter!

Check the web-site for a list of qualified painters in your area

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