Painter and Decorator - Red Seal Exam Breakdown

A Red Seal exam is based on the standard, called the National Occupational Analysis for the trade. The standard describes the skills and knowledge required to perform the duties of the trade. Each standard is divided into Blocks, which are divided into Tasks, which are divided into sub-tasks.

The Red Seal exam has a certain number of questions assigned to these sections. The number of questions are provided below.

For more information, see the full National Occupational Analysis and Self-Assessment Guide (PDF, 802 KB) for this trade. Also, check out this trade’s Sample Questions.

Total number of questions on Red Seal exam - 130 questions

Block A - Common occupational skills - 29 questions

Task 1 Performs safety-related functions
6 questions
Task 2 Uses and maintains tools and equipment
9 questions
Task 3 Performs routine trade practices
7 questions
Task 4 Performs quality control assessments
7 questions

Block B - Surface preparation - 36 questions

Task 5 Performs general surface preparation
11 questions
Task 6 Prepares wood surfaces for paints, coatings and wall coverings
6 questions
Task 7 Prepares concrete and masonry surfaces
5 questions
Task 8 Prepares metal surfaces
6 questions
Task 9 Prepares plaster surfaces and drywall
8 questions

Block C - Residential, institutional and commercial paints and coatings - 26 questions

Task 10 Prepares for application of residential, institutional and commercial paints and coatings
9 questions
Task 11 Applies residential, institutional and commercial paints and coatings
12 questions
Task 12 Applies decorative/specialty finishes
5 questions

Block D - Wall coverings - 10 questions

Task 13 Prepares for application of wall coverings
4 questions
Task 14 Applies wall coverings
6 questions

Block E - Wood finishes - 13 questions

Task 15 Prepares for wood finishing applications
7 questions
Task 16 Finishes wood surfaces
6 questions

Block F - Industrial paints and coatings - 16 questions

Task 17 Prepares for application of industrial paints and coatings
8 questions
Task 18 Applies industrial paints and coatings
8 questions

For more information about exam preparation materials (textbooks, modules, etc.) contact your provincial/territorial apprenticeship office.

*Number of questions assigned are derived from the input from people in this trade from across Canada.

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