Automotive Refinisher


An automotive refinisher repaints vehicles to protect them from rust and make them look more attractive, usually after a car has had panelbeating repairs.

Tasks and Duties:

  • sands the vehicle several times during the painting process
  • Painting a car
  • applies primer over the repairs
  • removes wax, grease and dust from the vehicle
  • covers the parts of the vehicle that are not to be painted
  • mixes the paint to make the right colour
  • applies the paint
  • applies blending thinners to any rough edges
  • sets the booth to dry the paint
  • buffs and waxes the finished paintwork


Automotive refinishers need to have practical skills, an eye for detail and must be able to follow instructions. They also need to have good communication skills, and be skilled at making calculations.


Automotive refinishers need to know how to prepare a vehicle for painting, and about paint types, colours and the effective use of colours and texture. They also need to know about up-to-date methods and technology, safety with paints and basic maths.

Personal Qualities:

Automotive refinishers need to be accurate, motivated, responsible, quick, efficient and honest. They also need to have good concentration and good listening skills.

Physical Requirements:

Automotive refinishers need to be relatively fit and strong and have good hand-eye co-ordination. They need to have normal colour vision, and it is recommended that they do not suffer from breathing problems or dermatitis.

Educational Requirements:

Automotive refinishers need to have three years’ secondary education with NCEA Level 1 in English, maths, science and workshop technology an advantage.

Entry Requirements:

Apprentices need a current drivers license.

Useful Experience

Experience working with a motor mechanic, or in panel beating, motor trimming, sign writing or as an industrial spray painter is useful.

Training on the job

Skills are gained on the job. Apprentices can also take correspondence and practical courses in automotive refinishing and on completion gain the National Certificate in Automotive Refinishing. They can then go on to become registered Automotive Refinishers. Automotive refinishers also attend courses on new products and how to use them.

Work Places

Automotive refinishers work in paint and panel workshops and in vehicle paint shops.

Website link