A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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592.—Painters and Decorators (House, Ship or General)

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aerographer ; machine painter, machine sprayer
directs spray of paint from aerograph on to part of building to be painted; sometimes uses a stencil, which he tacks on to wall and over which he sprays paint to produce a pattern.
applies black paint to iron stoves, rough pipes, etc., with a brush, or, dips articles in tanks of paint, hanging work on a frame, and manipulating a lever to lower or to withdraw frame as necessary; sometimes mixes his own colour, brunswick black or other "black," in dry form, into containers, pouring in oil and stirring with a wooden stick.
brush hand
(in N. England), see painter; (in London and S. of England), cf. painter's labourer (590).
colour mixer
a painter (q.v.) engaged part time in mixing paint for painters under direction of painter's foreman (591) (q.v.); cf. colourman (591).
a highly-skilled painter (q.v.) who also does gilding, silvering, stencil work, or delicate panel painting work; sometimes also does paper hanging; in doing silvering or gilding, applies gold size to surface to be gilded or silvered with a hand brush; cuts gold or silver leaf into small pieces by hand on special leather pad; picks it up with brush or knife, and applies it to surface to be covered; sometimes applies gold leaf in large pieces by hand pressure upon paper or interleaving upon which gold leaf is attached; or, dapples work by hand, with a brush, to obtain uniform surface on gold or silver work; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., church decorator, house decorator, yacht decorator.
a painter or rough painter (q.v.), who applies distemper with special distempering and stippling brushes to walls and ceilings.
enamelled slate blacker-in
applies black enamel or varnish to smoothed and cut slate with a hand brush; or, directs spray of enamel on to surface of work from a nozzled tap connected with a container from which enamel is forced by air pressure.
a painter (q.v.) who uses enamel (not stoved) instead of paint, for better class of interior painting; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., furniture enameller, wood enameller.
a decorator (q.v.) employed full time on gilding house decorations, etc.; may also gild by applying readymade gilt paint with a brush.
(i) (tin boxes and trunks) a grainer and marbler (q.v.) who specialises in decorating tin boxes and trunks to resemble wood; may in some cases print decorations on surface with hand roller;
(ii) see grainer and marbler.
grainer and marbler, imitator of wood and marble ; grainer
paints wood, stone, iron, etc., to imitate grain of wood, or veining of marble; in graining, paints surface with flat colour, uses steel combs, pieces of rag or cotton wool, and his own fingers to give appearance of graining and of knots; in marbling, applies various colours to stone or other surfaces with brushes.
lacquerer (not metal)
as for enameller.
lacquerer, cold
applies coat of lacquer to cold metallic surfaces, usually brass, by dipping articles in a bath of specially prepared lacquer with a brush, or, for large articles, by spraying lacquer on; sets articles aside to dry; cf. hot lacquerer (241).
liner (scales and weighing machines)
paints gold or coloured lines freehand on beams of scales, etc., with fine brush.
liner, cabinet case
a painter (q.v.) who paints lines of colour as decoration round outlines of cabinet or show cases, using fine camel hair brush and straight edges or rules if necessary; cf. cabinet case liner (688).
liner, machine
paints lines, freehand with fine brush, on machinery in engineering shop.
machine sprayer
see aerographer.
paint dipper
coats parts of threshing machines or other articles with paint by dipping them in tanks of paint; may first prepare parts for dipping by sandpapering.
(i) house painter, brush hand (N. England only); general term for anyone who paints by hand with a brush, woodwork, ironwork, plaster, or stone of interior or exterior of houses or other buildings; also applies varnish or enamel where required; often scrapes off old paint, unless done by scraper or by painter's labourer (599) (q.v.), or, removes old paint by applying caustic preparation with a brush; often also prepares work for painting by rubbing down with glass paper and by applying special preparation to knots in woodwork; sometimes specifically designated e.g., wood painter, bath painter;
(ii) paints other articles of any kind except vehicles cf. (593); sometimes specifically designated, e.g., bridge painter, drum painter, furniture painter, gas meter painter, machine painter, meter case painter, organ painter and decorator, safe painter, shell painter, ship painter, toy painter.
painter, engine
a painter (q.v.) who paints iron parts of engines when completed and in position.
painter, house
see painter.
painter, machine
(i) a painter q.v. who paints cast frame work of engines and machines;
(ii) see aerographer.
painter, oxide
a rough painter (q.v.) who covers large surfaces, usually ironwork, with a rough protective coating of oxide of iron with a brush.
painter, rough
paints railings, rough ironwork, etc.; applies primary coats of paint to work which will afterwards have final coats applied by painter (q.v.); sometimes does whitewashing and distempering.
slate enameller
enamels slate by hand, with a brush, either in plain colours or in imitation marble or wood designs; in imitating marble uses various colours; in imitating wood uses graining combs and his fingers or pieces of cotton wool to obtain graining effect; dries by shoving, i.e., placing enamelled slate in drying ovens for specified time.
paints patterns and decorations on walls by fixing stencil on wall and applying paint with brush, using a stippling action; usually marks a chalk line on wall to which he works; sometimes cuts stencils by hand with a knife from patterns supplied to him.
three branch hand
one who can undertake plumbing, painting, and glazing; term frequently employed in country districts.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.