The (C-33) Painting and Decorating Exam, Sample Questions and Source Documents

PAINTING & DECORATING (C-33 ) EXAM DETAILS

CSLB exam centers are located in:

  • Fresno
  • Norwalk
  • Oakland
  • Oxnard
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Jose.

Exams are given Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

You will be required to present picture I.D.at the test center. (Drivers License, California I.D., Military I.D or Passport)

Each exam is a closed book four choice (A, B, C, or D) multiple-choice test. There is no writing required. Each exam is taken on a computer however no computer experiance is required.

The Law exam consists of 115 questions and The Trade exams range between 100 and 120 questions each. If you are taking both the trade and the law exams they will be administered to you back to back on the same day. You are allowed approximately 2.5 hours for each exam, but typically the State gives you ample time to complete the tests. You need approximately 70% correct answers to pass. You can retake the exam multiple times if you are unsuccessful.

Exam Content - The (C-33) Painting and Decorating Exam has six major sections, these are.

Section 1. Planning and Estimating (32% of Exam)

  • Assessment of job site conditions
  • Material selection and calculation
  • Estimating painting projects

Section 2. Substrate Repair and Replace (9% of Exam)

  • Removal of wall coverings
  • Repairing and replacing substrate
  • Patching and caulking

Section 3. Surface Preparation and Priming (26% of Exam)

  • Masking techniques
  • Removal of paint
  • Cleaning surfaces and pressure washing
  • Preparation of contaminated surfaces
  • Primer application
  • Filling and texturing

Section 4. Application of Paints and Finishes (8% of Exam)

  • Application of finish coat
  • Application of specialty coatings

Section 5. Wood Staining and Finishing (5% of Exam)

  • Preparation of wood
  • Staining wood
  • Sealing and refinishing
  • Finishing wood (interior/exterior)

Section 6. Job Site Safety (20% of Exam)

  • Personal Protection
  • Waste Disposal
  • Elevated work
  • Hazard identification and prevention

*Percentages are approximate*

Exam Sample Questions  - The following questions are typical of the types of items that are on the examination.

1. How should loose paint be efficiently removed from wood?

a. Apply paint remover.
b. Soak with a pressure washer.
c. Use a blow torch and a putty knife.
d. Scrape in the direction of the grain.

2. What is the square footage of a gable 12 ft. wide by 6 ft. high?

a. 24 sq. ft.
b. 36 sq. ft.
c. 42 sq. ft.
d. 72 sq. ft.

3. When bidding a job from a blueprint, from what section would the painting contractor identify the paints to be used?

a. The general notes
b. The elevations
c. The finish schedule
d. The table of contents.

*All questions are written and reviewed by licensed contractors*

Exam References – The following publications were utilized in the creation of the (C-33) trade exam. Additional sources for purchasing materials may be available online.

PDCA Painting and Decorating Craftsman’s Manual & Textbook. Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.
PHONE: (800) 332-7322.

PDCA Architectural Specifications Manual. Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.
PHONE: (800) 332-7322.

PDCA Estimating Guide Vol. II. Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.
PHONE: (800) 332-7322.

PDCA Maintenance Repainting Manual. Printing and Decorating Contractors of America.
PHONE: (800) 332-7322.

Cal/OSHA Construction & Electrical Safety Orders. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Industrial Relations, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Construction Safety Orders. Mangan Communications.
PHONE: (800) 626-2666.
VIEW ONLINE: www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/LawsAndRegulations.htm

Cal/OSHA General Industry Safety Orders. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Industrial Relations, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, General Industry Safety Orders. Mangan Communications.
PHONE: (800) 626-2666.
VIEW ONLINE:  www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/LawsAndRegulations.htm

Tailgate Training Packet: Lead Safety for Painting and Remodeling Workers. Department of Health Services, Occupational Health Branch.
PHONE: (866) 627-1587.

LEAD Safety for Renovation, Repair, and Painting. Certified Renovator Manual. Joint EPA-HUD Curriculum. Department of Health Services, Occupational Health Branch.
PHONE: (800) 530-1161.
VIEW ONLINE: www.epa.gov/LEAD

*Publisher information is current as of 03/11*

Test Strategy - The contractor exam is a four choice multiple-choice test. You will have four choices per question. Some questions may require mathematical computation. All exam questions are written to provide only one BEST answer and are NOT written as trick questions.

All correct answers have the same point value. It is better to try to answer a question with the chance to possibly get it correct (and earn points) than it is to leave that question blank and definitely get it wrong (and lose points).

Ample time is provided to answer all exam questions, so be sure to read all questions and answers completely and carefully before selecting the BEST possible answer to the question.