Heritage Paint Consultant

Heritage Paint Consultant | Professional Intensive Program 2021

The trade of a House Painter is too often supposed to consist of manual processes only, and it is thought by many, that the paint professional has only to follow others in order to become a competent painter. Happily a great change has taken place, and it is now universally accepted, that every effort should be made to give technical instruction to our artisans, to teach them the principles on which their practice is based, to interest their minds in the higher branches of their trades, and to show them that the more the mind comprehends the requirements of heritage painting, the better will the hand execute the work.

We need to care about how to properly conserve and preserve our heritage properties. We need to create a sense of pride that the best practices are taught to our professionals. We need to understand the specialist requirements demanded by such properties, such as the painting of lime plasters, maintaining the breath-ability of the structure and the use of traditional colours and materials, both interior and exterior.

This intensive provides the paint professional, and those practitioners who want to specialize, all the tools he/she needs to take on heritage projects that provide a much higher income over traditional painting and is much sought after.

Once this intensive is successfully completed, the attendee will be accepted into the Edifice Guild of Master Craftsmen as an associate member to be actively promoted and represented through the guild to the general public and Government, to attain a higher level of work and income.

This course covers in detail the following areas of study:

  • Understanding buildings and its hierarchy of painted elements.  Understanding the historical significance of design eras and what colours these styles were painted in.
  • Paint failures – cause and remedies, both mechanical and organic.
  • Stains, mildew and damp issues. 
  • Understanding flashing, and water distribution and how it affects paint surfaces. Remedies!
  • Understanding the affects of paint in conditions with respects to the landscape i.e. south facing or north facing etc.  Trees and plantings. 
  • Rot, insects and wood erosion. Salt water coasts and affects on airborne contaminants.
  • The inspection process – paint and timber elements.
  • Inspection tools and techniques.
  • The inspection and client consultation.
  • Costing, service agreements and proposals.  Consultation as well as initiation of works etc.
  • Paint technologies and limitations – chemistry, weather related issues i.e. cold, heat, rain etc.  The best paints for the best finish, the use of primers etc. Unproven paints and finishes to be avoided.
  • General joinery and repair – Dutchman techniques with respects to soffits, fascia, corner and watertable boards, millwork as well as intensive techniques on replacing and or Dutchman techniques on shingles and clapboards.
  • Understanding hierarchy of millwork (Gingerbread) and how they are painted.  Replacement and repair of millwork (Gingerbread).
  • The importance of retaining historically significant features as well as the philosophies behind replication and replacement.
  • Preparation of new materials and wood species selection.  Setting knots, spot priming protecting from rot.
  • Doors and windows, hardware, glass, paint build-up and putty/paint works.  Getting windows and doors working again as originally intended.  Repairing and or replacing exterior trim, architraves and sills etc.
  • Lead abatement and testing – STRICT use of US and Canadian doctrine as required study and process.
  • Disposal and protection of paint residue.
  • Safety and cautions of scaffolding, ladders and staging. 
  • Understanding sound layers of paint and how the surfaces should be prepared.
  • Wholesale paint removal techniques and philosophy.  Infrared and mechanical scraping etc. The warnings of unsympathetic mechanical devices both to heritage fabric and health.
  • Preparation techniques and philosophies including caulking where and when not to caulk.
  • Use of cleaners etc.
  • The right tools for painting.  Quality, cleaning and storage.
  • Painting techniques and proper use of tools.  Masking, cutting in, the new paint layers, mixing, colour correcting, primers etc etc…
  • Clean up and post client consultation.
  • Dispute mediation and remedies.

Your Instructor:

Dr Christopher Cooper PhD.

Dr. Christopher Cooper has nearly four decades of experience in the hands-on restoration and rehabilitation and design of heritage buildings both domestic and commercial on five continents. Christopher has written and researched and published many books on the workings and repair of historic homes and buildings.

Since 2002 Dr. Cooper has been the Editor-in-Chief, photographer and writer of the most influential magazine in Canada dedicated to owners of historic buildings Old Home Living (Formerly Edifice Magazine).

Dr. Cooper is the senior fellow, founder and Director of Education at the Edifice Atelier an educational institute fundamentally created with the intent on educating a vast range of people from 18 years to beyond retirement on the lost arts as it relates to heritage buildings and architecture.

Recently Christopher has embarked on creating several multi-award winning television series and documentaries in which he writes, produces and hosts.

Christopher has lectured all over the world and has become well known for his laid-back humorous and lively approach to his live Workshops and live eWorksops.

Flexible online classes
You pick the schedule that suits you.

Pause course
Take a break any time.

Accredited Courses
Become Edifice Guild Approved.

Educator support
Always get your questions answered.


Each class is very limited to approximately 6-12 students, this course will be run with live Zoom training and distance learning at the students own pace. This course will run approximately two times per year.

Each potential applicant must provide an informal electronic letter of intent (email) outlining the applicants expectations for this intensive, as well as any past experience within the heritage field (or in the professional painting industry). Please describe why you wish to be accepted into this Intensive. You may also include an electronic portfolio in a PDF format (at the applicants discretion).

Please provide your contact information, including telephone number, address and email. Please address your email (by using the email button below).

Once we receive your letter of intent we will provide payment options and a full formal application form.

What we are looking for:

You must have an enthusiasm for heritage buildings, with a good understanding of the character and quality they exude.

Further Course Information

Responsibilities of a Heritage Paint Consultant

Tasks vary depending on the client and type of role (i.e. building type), but typically involve:

  • visiting sites, inspecting and surveying paint conditions on historic homes, agrarian structures and commercial buildings;
  • assessing and recommending paint and colour schemes as well as paint removal, remediation of substructures and schedules of work;
  • executing contractual agreements with client and final paint works.

Possible Income

The range of income is much higher than the average exterior paint professional as this intensive prepares the student to become a heritage paint consultant.  Typically a Heritage Paint Consultant earns approximately $75,000 – $150,000 per annum as a sole proprietor with an assistant. However, the remuneration is only dependent on how much work your consultancy is willing to take on and execute professionally, on time and on budget. Those with experience and/or qualifications who further themselves through professional development in other areas of related studies (see below) typically earn considerably higher income, with no limit on earnings. 

Working hours

Working hours vary according to the amount of workload and income required. The upper scale (as noted above) would require a sole proprietor to dedicate approximately 40 – 60 hours a week, or more, dependent on weather in the northern hemisphere, during warmer months.


This career is open to all adult applicants (18 +). However, a good sense of business and the paint industry would be ideal.

What to expect

  • Most of the work is done outdoors and on-site. Site visits and proposals are conducted outside in all weathers.
  • There may be considerable travel within a working day, and absence from home overnight may occasionally be necessary.
  • Clients exist throughout North America, although work is likely to be regional with a large concentration of historic buildings.
  • A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required as the work can be physically demanding. Painting involves working at heights, climbing ladders or working on sites where access is difficult.
  • Appropriate safety equipment, such as protective boots and headgear, must be worn on-site.
  • The dress code tends to be diverse, but conservative for meetings.


You will need to show evidence of the following:

  • A strong interest in, and knowledge of, historic architecture, building methods and techniques;
  • confidence working with measurements and quantities;
  • excellent communication skills, both written and oral and the ability to communicate effectively with a range of other professionals;
  • good analytical skills, accuracy and attention to detail;
  • organizational skills and a methodical approach to work;
  • negotiation skills;
  • project management skills;
  • the ability to produce clear and concise agreements;
  • good computer skills;
  • a driving license is required, and your own means of transportation for equipment and products.

Further Professional development

The Edifice Atelier offer many other in classroom and on-line courses to further train and educate an individual to further their consultancy thus providing more opportunity of higher income. These course are:

  1. Heritage curb appeal, designer and consultant.
  1. Colour Consultant.
  1. Damp Auditor.
  1. Heritage Millwork.
  1. Window Restoration.
  1. Door restoration.