Painter Training Experience

Painter training has been a part of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center since the late 1990’s. Trainers have provided a wide variety of training services to clients including courses specific to regulatory requirements such as the 6H NESHAP, courses on different types of coatings such as CARC or aerospace, and even customized courses based on a specific facilities need such as application efficiency.

Past programs have included:

  • Spray Technique Analysis and Research (STAR) Training
    • STAR was funded through an EPA grant and geared towards increasing efficiency and minimizing waste of manual spray painting operations, like those conducted by automotive technicians and industrial painters.
  • Process Training Program
    • Also funded through an EPA grant, this program was designed to educate technical assistance providers and facility operators. It addressed a variety of painting and coating processes through classroom and hands-on application training.
  • Spray Technique Analysis and Research for Defense - Air Force (STAR4D-AF) Spray Painters Training Course
    • In 2007, IWRC completed the design and development of the Air Force Spray Painters Training Course. This program was funded through a government appropriation and validated by the United States Air Force as a centralized painter training program to be utilized by the Air Force.

Current programs include:

  • Spray Technique Analysis and Research for Defense (STAR4D) Training
    • STAR4D’s focus is on spray application processes of the U.S. Armed Forces. Working with every military branch and over 100 military bases across the world, STAR4D certifies painters in an effort to create a trained workforce, reduce corrosion and decrease the environmental implications of spray painting. Since 2003, STAR4D has trained over 1,100 military painters and DoD contractors.
  • IWRC Painter Training
    • This program was developed to provide painter training to business and industry. Training courses are fully customizable based on client's need for on-site or off-site training. Services include classroom training, VirtualPaint training, in-booth liquid spray training, 6H NESHAP training, paint line observation and curriculum development. 


Combined, the IWRC's painter training experts have a wide range of backgrounds and expertise with over 100 years of combined experience working in a variety of painting and coatings industries including automotive, industrial, wood finishing, defense, aerospace and manufacturing industries. From real world experience which includes automotive and industrial applications to providing technical assistance in helping businesses resolve actual application problems businesses face.

To view a selection of research, case studies and article topics, click here.


Curriculum Development

Through the variety of painter training programs developed at the IWRC, staff have been involved first-hand in the development of curriculum. Solely through the STAR4D program, full curriculum has been developed for four separate courses consisting of PowerPoint presentations along with corresponding textbooks for both instructors and students. On occasion, specialized curriculum is also developed based on a particular military base or branch's needs.

To view a full list of curriculum that has been developed, click here.


Research and Painter Training Facility

The IWRC's 16,000 square foot facility houses capabilities for research and painter training. The facility is equipped with the necessary capabilities and equipment to conduct classroom (seating up to 30 students) training and hands-on in-the-booth training. The layout and visibility of the facility also easily allow for video recording of training to take place.


A unique feature of the facility is the VirtualPaint classroom which allows for virtual reality training to be conducted.


Equipment within the facility includes:

  • Batch powder coating booth
  • Cross-draft liquid spray booth
  • Walk-in powder coating booth
  • Combination convection-IR oven
  • Two-inch, variable speed monorail system
  • Three inch, variable speed conveyor
  • Drive through media blasting booth
  • Drive through downdraft spray booth
  • Drive through IR oven
  • Training equipment for two and/or three component coatings materials
  • Chemical paint stripping system
  • Spray wand pretreatment equipment
  • Five stage re-circulating spray washer
  • Six inch, manual conveyor
  • Paint kitchen/mix room
  • Assortment of liquid and powder coating application equipment: High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP), Low Volume Low Pressure (LVLP), Electrostatic, Compliant, Conventional, Airless and Air-Assisted Airless spray guns