A house painter and decorator is a tradesman responsible for the painting and decorating of buildings, and is also known as a decorator or house painter. The purpose of painting is to improve the appearance of a building and to protect it from damage by water, corrosion, insects and mold. Historically, the painter was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture depending on the nature of the job. In modern times, the painter is primarily responsible for preparation of the surface to be painted, such as patching holes in drywall, using masking tape and other protection on surfaces not to be painted, applying the paint and then cleaning up.