Painting & Decorative
History of the trade.
In England, little is known of the trade and its structures before the late 1200s, at which point guilds began to form, amongst them the Painters Company and the Stainers Company. These two guilds eventually merged with the consent of the Lord Mayor of London in 1502, forming the Painter-Stainers Company. The guild standardised the craft and acted as a protector of the trade secrets, in 1599 asking Parliament for protection, which was eventually granted in a bill of 1606, which granted the trade protection from outside competition such as plasterers.
The Act legislated for a seven year apprenticeship, and also barred plasterers from painting, unless apprenticed to a painter, with the penalty for such painting being a fine of £5. The Act also enshrined a maximum daily fee of 16 old pence for their labour.
Enforcement of this Act by the Painter-Stainers Company was sought up until the early 1800s, with master painters gathering irregularly to decide the fees which a journeyman could charge, and also instigating an early version of a job centre in 1769, advertising in the London newspapers a "house of call" system which allowed masters to advertise for journeymen and also for journeymen to advertise for work. The guild's power in setting the fee a journeyman could charge was eventually overturned by law in 1827, and the period after this saw the guild's power diminish, along with that of the other guilds; the guilds were superseded by trade unions, with the Operative United Painters' Union formed sometime around 1831.
In 1894 a national association formed, recreating itself in 1918 as the National Federation of Master Painters and Decorators of England and Wales, changing its name once again to the British Decorators Association before merging, in 2002, with the Painting & Decorating Federation to form the Painting & Decorating Association. The Construction Industry Joint Council, a body formed of both unions and business organizations, today has responsibility for the setting of pay levels.
Activities of the trade.
Historically, the painter and decorator was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners, driers and sundries. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture dependent upon the nature of the job. This role has reduced almost to zero as modern paint manufacturing techniques and architect specifications have created a reliance on brand label products.
Larger firms operating within the trade were generally capable of performing many painting or decoration services, from signwriting, to the gilding of objects or even the finishing or re-finishing of furniture.
More recently, professional painters are responsible for all preparation prior to painting. All scraping, sanding, wallpaper removal, caulking, wall or wood repair, patching, stain removal, compound, filling (of nail holes or any others with patch or putty), cleaning, taping, preparation and priming are considered to be done by the professional contracted painter. Usually being the last into a construction site or job, Although the painters are very rarely held responsible for making the job look presentable.
Professional painters need to have keen knowledge of the tools including sanders, scrapers, sprayers, brushes, rollers, ladders, scaffolding, in addition to just the paint in order to correctly complete work. Much preparation needs to be considered before simply applying paint. For instance, taping and dropcloth techniques, sizes of brushes or rollers, material types or dimensions of rollers or brushes (there are different sizes or types of brushes and rollers for different paints), amount of paint, amount of paint coats, amount of primer, types of primers and paints, certain grits and cuts of sandpaper, trim cutting (the act of painting with a brush on the outline of baseboard, moldings and other trim work), wallpaper removal, and nailhole filling techniques just to name a few.
Today many Painters are attempting to break into the field of Faux Painting, allowing them more creativity and access to a higher end customer base.