Painting and decorating

Information status

All documents issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Documents listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this document, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

This publication is for: 
ConsumerPainter

Consumers need to be aware that painting work is by law a regulated building service in Western Australia. Under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 (the Registration Act) a person (the painter) who contracts their painting services to you (the consumer), may be required to be registered with the Building Commission before providing painting services.

If done properly, painting and decorating can beautify your home and add value to your property. With a growing interest in building and renovating seeing more people getting into painting and decorating, you should be careful to engage the services of a professional in the business. This will ensure they have a good knowledge of which products to use and the approved painting standards. It will also result in a finish that supports preservation and has an overall improved appeal.

Generally, the Registration Act applies to painting work throughout the state but some country areas are exempted. The areas of juridsdiction are specified in Schedule 3 of the Building Services (Registration) Regulations 2011.

What is paint and painting and decorating work?

Paint includes varnish, stains and decorative effect applications. Painting work means the application to a building or fixture of paint, wallpaper or a similar substance or material.

Painting work does not include the application of paint to a floor, path or driveway composed of concrete or a similar material, the application of a protective coating to a building which has first been treated by abrasive blasting or mechanical cleaning, if both processes are undertaken by the same contractor, or signwriting.

Who can perform painting work?

Any person can perform painting work in their own home but where a painting service is provided to someone for ‘reward’ and the total value of the work exceeds $1,000 it must be performed by a registered painting contractor.

For the purposes of calculating the value of the work the materials, labour and any GST are included as a whole and cannot be split or separated.

The Building Commission issues registration cards to two classes of painters: practitioner and contractor.

A consumer should only get quotes for painting work from a registered painting contractor because a practitioner is not entitled to contract with consumers for painting work. A painting contractor’s registration number must be included on all of their signage and advertising.

How can I tell if my painter is a registered contractor?

To see if your painter is registered, visit the Building Commission website to search the online register. Under the Registration Act, a person or persons claiming to be registered when they are not are liable for prosection and a fine of up to $25,000.

Seek advice when things go wrong The Building Commission has powers to deal with complaints relating to painting services under the Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011. The Commission can help with disputes relating to workmanship and/or contractual issues.

Your painter is liable to remedy defects in painting work at no cost to you. If the painting work is part of your building contract then your builder will be responsible for the work carried out by the painter. If you are unhappy with the services provided, you should first discuss the matter with your painter. If you are unsatisfied with their initial response, you can put your complaint in writing by completing a ‘Notice of proposed complaint’ and give it to your painter at least 14 days before submitting a formal complaint to the Building Commission. 

For further information on making a written complaint refer to the ‘Building complaint resolution’ publication. A complaint processing fee applies to complaints lodged with the Building Commission.

Building Commission
Fact sheet
Last updated 22 May 2014

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