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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys- 15 yr painter in NY & currently Colorado, never needed a license. Moving to Orange County in spring and I realize you MUST be licensed in CA- what a PIA ! What was the test all about- how difficult was it ? Did any of you CA painters go to any contractor school before taking the test, is that a waste ? With 15 yrs experience I certainly don't need any "schooling" for painting, but I have no idea what these application tests are all about.

Any info on this would be appreciated as I'm not in Ca. yet and don't know any contractors out there- Thanks!
 

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Usually if you check with your local paint stores such as Kelly Moore, Frazee Paints or SW they have brochures on their counters or they can give you information on schools for your testing. Use a Google search or check out "The Contractor's State Licensing Board" at WWW.CSLB.CA.Gov/. You will be applying for a C-33 license for painting.

When I took my test the trade section was 100 questions and the legal aspect was 100 questions. The latter is why I used a school but I can't remember which school. The painting section is a breeze if you know your stuff. I passed on the first try. What's nice now is you can take the test at a local office so you don't have to travel to Sacramento as I did.

It is illegal in California to do painting for over $500.00 including paints and materials. It is worth it to be legal. With your experience I am sure you will pass. Best of luck!!!!!

The Paintman
CSLB#549651
Stockton, CA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot for the reply- I've done the research on what's involved with getting the license, but I'm specifically curious how many people actually go to a school to prepare for the test, and which schools. Some are pretty pricey and without being able to talk to anyone in CA yet, I just don't know if it's actually necessary. I can get brochures on line, but I'm not living there yet and wan't to get as much figured out before I move there in a few months. 100 legal questions- jeez! I'm also obviously not familiar with CA rules and regulations and that alone might be worth a "school" fee ??
 

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I'm in Pa. so i can't help you with your question but, wanted to welcome you to the site:thumbsup:
 

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It would NOT be possible to pass CA license testing without first engaging a license school of some sort.
 

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With 15 yrs experience I certainly don't need any "schooling" for painting, but I have no idea what these application tests are all about
keep a humble mind, you never know!

I've met some "been paintin' for 28 years" painters before who I ran circles around and taught how to paint

(oh, I'm 28 yrs. old if you we're wondering, that's the irony-I've only been painting for 12 years)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rich- I understand what you mean, & there's always something more to learn!
I just don't want to spend a few hundred bucks if it's really not necessary! It's like going to bartending school to become a bartender....TOTAL waste of money!!

RC Painting- great site, I could get a lot of info from that one guy who worked for the CSLB, thank you for posting that !

Tmrrptr- Can you add to that at all ?? Did you go to one ?? Which one ??
How long are these classes ??

I know I could get info from any of the school sites, but they're basically all salesmen! I go to forums to try to talk to REAL people who have been in my shoes and have experienced what I'm trying to figure out. I just don't want to get to Ca and have to wait 6 mo's or longer before I can start "legally" working.

My biggest beef is that you can't even work for a family member without being licensed ?? That alone could keep me busy for a few months while everything is being sorted out w/ CSLB- that's so lame !!
 

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Keep in mind that those schools are there to teach you to pass the test, not teach you how to paint. My state has the same type of testing. Order the books that are recommended on the testing site and study them. When I read the books i learned a lot about pigments, substrates,color wheels, application methods,etc. I had been painting 20 years and never used/learned a lot of this. Same with the law. The questions come from a large pool, i had to take the paint twice, missed by 1! Some of the questions were different the second time (got 100). If you can read and retain and have good test taking skills ( able to eliminate, find "best" answer) and have good grasp of vocabulary, you should be fine.
 

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I took the CA. Test about four years ago, and did it with the books which I had ordered from the State Board, and I studied them for about 2 months. The test asks things that you wouldn't for the most part think of....like how many feet should the bottom of and extension ladder be from the house. And there are questions for in wallpaper hanging, which I do none of. But for the most part the test was an 8 on a difficulty range from 1-10. However, it is imperative to get your license. Good Luck !!!!
 

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I am originally from Canada and just recently took the CA license exam for c-33. I did not study for the painting part, but took an at home course for the Laws exam. Passed the first time.

Good luck and welcome to Orange County

Chad Le Tourneau
Le Tourneau Painting
Lic 909128
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Ltrno Pnt, were you able to pass the painting part easily ?

What course did you take and what did it cost and how long did you study for it ?
 
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