The world of painting has two main distinct fields which dominate the landscape: commercial (similar to residential) painting and industrial painting. While both share the common thread of transforming spaces with color and aesthetics, they differ in their objectives and required training.

Let’s delve into the disparities between commercial and industrial painting, shedding light on their unique characteristics and the specialized industrial training they demand.

So, what’s the difference?

Commercial painting primarily revolves around beautifying and maintaining spaces that are open to the public or used for commercial purposes. This could include offices, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and other similar establishments. On the other hand, industrial painting focuses on coating surfaces within industrial facilities, such as factories, warehouses, bridges, storage tanks, and manufacturing plants.

Form Versus Function

One of the main differences between commercial and industrial painting lies in their objectives. In commercial painting, the main goal is to beautify or at least enhance the visual appeal of the space, creating an inviting and pleasing environment for customers, clients, and employees. This involves choosing colour schemes, textures, and finishes that align with the brand identity or the intended ambiance of the space. Commercial painting also often involves regular maintenance and touch-ups to ensure the space remains visually appealing over time.

Industrial painting serves a more functional purpose. The objective is to protect surfaces from corrosion, rust, and other forms of damage caused by environmental factors, chemicals, or heavy machinery. Industrial coatings are designed to withstand extreme conditions, including high temperatures, chemicals, and abrasion. The longevity and durability of the paint are paramount in industrial settings, as it directly impacts the safety and efficiency of operations. Industrial painters must have a deep understanding of the materials, coatings, and application techniques required to provide optimal protection and longevity.

Commercial Versus Industrial Training

With different objectives and painting substances comes different training required for these distinct painting disciplines.

Industrial painting demands a specialized skill set due to its unique challenges and safety considerations. This is where industrial training comes into play. Industrial training encompasses various aspects, including surface preparation techniques, proper application of coatings, knowledge of safety protocols, and familiarity with specialized equipment. Industrial painters need to be well-versed in using high-pressure spray systems, understanding the intricacies of surface preparation methods like abrasive blasting or power tool cleaning, and having the ability to interpret technical specifications and blueprints.

While commercial painting may not require the same level of specialized training as industrial painting, it still necessitates a comprehensive understanding of colour theory, design principles, and various application techniques. Commercial painters must have excellent attention to detail, as they often work in high-traffic areas and are expected to deliver flawless finishes. They should also be proficient in working with different types of paint, such as water-based, oil-based, or specialty coatings, depending on the requirements of the project.

Transforming Careers for Commercial and Industrial Painters

Commercial and industrial painting may both involve transforming surfaces with paint, but their objectives and required training differ significantly. Commercial painting focuses on enhancing visual appeal and creating inviting spaces, while industrial painting prioritizes protection and longevity in harsh environments. FTI Ontario provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and commercial or industrial training for these career paths. Whether one chooses a career in commercial or industrial painting, both fields offer unique opportunities for individuals to showcase their creativity, craftsmanship, and dedication to the art of transforming spaces with paint.

The Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario is the only Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development authorized Training Delivery Agent for the in-school education of the apprenticeship program for Painter Decorator Commercial & Residential 404C, Painter Decorator Industrial 404D trades and Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (Glazier) 424A. Contact us for more information.