Mastering the Brush: Essential Skills and Techniques for Warehouse Painters

08.16.23 | Skilled Trades

Painters are needed in many manufacturing and warehouse facilities. Depending on the facility and industry, you might be painting small consumer goods, heavy equipment such as tractors and forklifts, or even the warehouse itself! But regardless of exactly what you are painting, you’ll need to know some basic skills and techniques.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is arguably the most important trait for any painter. Painting is a labor-intensive job that involves multiple steps. If something goes wrong at any stage, it can ruin the end result. So you’ll need to be able to stay focused and pay attention throughout the process.


The first step in any paint job is preparation. You’ll need to lay out all of your materials, from paint cans and stirring sticks to rollers and brushes, and ensure they’re organized. You’ll also need to use tarps or other coverings to protect floors and nearby objects. And you will need to carefully tape off the object to be painted, ensuring that any areas that aren’t to be painted a particular color are fully protected.

Cleaning and Priming

If the object is dirty or damaged, it must be cleaned and prepared before you can paint it. Depending on the nature of the object, this might include scraping off old paint, sanding, removing rust, or filling in uneven spaces. Once the object is as well prepared as possible, you may need to prime it. Primer is an undercoat designed to finish smoothing out the surface and make the paint adheres more easily.

Applying Paint or Other Coatings

This is actually the easiest part. Depending on the object and your employer’s preferences, you might use a paint sprayer or rollers and brushes to get the job done. Be sure to stir the paint thoroughly before you begin, and follow all instructions precisely. In some circumstances, you may need to apply two or more coats of paint.

Cleanup Procedures

The job isn’t finished when the object is painted. You’ll need to carefully clean up your worksite so that it’s ready for the next day. This includes wiping up spills, washing your rollers or other equipment, tightly closing the paint cans, and putting everything away. Note that the painter’s tape may need to stay in place for at least 24 hours, depending on the project.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Exactly what safety gear you need depends on the nature of the job. If you’re sanding or working with a paint sprayer, you’ll need a respirator mask and goggles. If you’re working at height, you may need to use tie-down gear. Talk to your employer about which types of PPE apply to each project.

Looking for a New Role?

Workbox Staffing offers light industrial jobs in more than 30 locations across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. If you’re ready to jumpstart your light industrial career, take a look at our open positions or simply send us your resume today!