This merit badge provides an opportunity for Scouts to learn more about painting, including both the artistic and practical aspects.


  1. Explain the proper safety procedures to follow when preparing surfaces and applying coatings.
  2. Do the following:
    • Explain three ways that coatings can improve a surface.
    • Explain the differences between oil-based paints, acrylic-based paints, and water-based paints.
    • Explain where you would apply enamel paint, flat paint, wood stain, and varnish, and explain the importance of sheen.
    • Tell why each is best for these uses.
  3. Prepare and paint two different surfaces using patching material, caulking, and the proper primers and topcoats. Suggested projects include an interior or exterior wall, a door, a piece of furniture, a concrete wall or floor, a porch rail, or a fence. Your counselor must preapprove the projects.
  4. Prepare and paint an item using harmonizing colors that you have selected using the color wheel in the Painting merit badge pamphlet.
  5. Show the right way to use, clean, maintain, and store painting equipment.
  6. Explain the importance of ladder safety, environmental responsibility, and personal hygiene when painting.
  7. Explain some of the environmental and health issues concerning removing paint, applying paint, and discarding old paint.
  8. Find out about career opportunities in the paint industry. Discuss the training and experience required, and explain why this profession might interest you.


Scouting Literature

Home Repairs and Safety merit badge pamphlets


  • Butterfield, Suzanne K., Donald Kaufman, and Jacqueline Goewey. Color Palettes. Crown Publishing Group, 1998.
  • Donegan, Francis. Paint Your Home: Skills, Techniques, and Tricks of the Trade for Professional Looking Interior Painting. Reader's Digest Association Inc., 1997.
  • Essential Paint Techniques: Improving Your Home With Paint Inside and Out. This Old House Books, 2000.
  • Harrington, Leslie, Benjamin Moore Paints, and James Martin. The Art of Exterior Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Colors and Painting Your Home. Hungry Minds Inc., 2000.
  • McElroy, William C. Painter's Handbook. Craftsman Book Company, 1988.
  • Murphy, Rhoda Jaffin, and House Beautiful Editors. House Beautiful Paint. Hearst Books, 1994.
  • Painting and Decorating Craftsman's Manual and Textbook. Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, 1995.
  • Sloan, Annie. Modern Paint Effects: A Guide to Contemporary Paint Finishes From Inspiration to Technique. Firefly Books Ltd., 2000.
  • Step-by-Step Exterior Painting. Meredith Books, 1997.
  • Travis, Debbie, with Barbara Dingle, ed. Debbie Travis's Decorating Solutions: More Than 65 Paint and Plaster Finishes for Every Room in Your House. Random House Inc., 1999.
  • Wilbur, C. Keith. Homebuilding and Woodworking in Colonial America. Chelsea House Publishers, 1997.