Painters apply paints and prepare surfaces for painting. Preparation is the most important part of painting and all sorts of surfaces, including wood, metal, masonry and sheet rock must be prepared. Painters also apply other types of wall coverings besides paint, such as vinyl, fabric and aluminum. Traffic control painters paint striping on roads.
The work is done indoors and outdoors. Painters spend many hours on their feet and often work at heights from scaffolding or "boson chairs." The work is strenuous and physically demanding.