Oxford Dictionaries Online defines [interior] decorator as follows:
1.1 chiefly North American A person whose job is to design the interior of someone’s home, by choosing colors, carpets, materials, and furnishings.
1.2 chiefly British A person whose job is to decorate the interior of buildings by painting the walls and hanging wallpaper:
she became a painter and decorator (emphasis is mine.)
Other example sentences:
The police had been informed, together with the building contractor and the decorator, who came to view the damage we had caused.
There was a time when a decorator painted walls in small rooms white as a matter of course, believing that white would make a room appear larger.
Our builder tells us that it is all right to paper the newly plastered walls, but our decorator says that he is a traditionalist and would prefer to wait some time for possible cracking, due to drying after the heating is switched on.
(Professions) Brit a person whose profession is the painting and wallpapering of buildings.
UK a person whose job is to paint the inside or outside of buildings and to do other related work: a firm of painters and decorators
What would be the AmEng equivalent for BrEng decorator as defined by ODO?
I thought of painter and paperhanger and painter and [wall]paperer, but I would be better off with a single word, if there ever is one.
A worker who papers walls
Donald was a painter and wallpaperer for the Painter’s Union, Local 48 in Worcester for many years. (emphasis is mine.)
One whose occupation is covering or decorating walls with wallpaper; a paperer.
One whose occupation is decorating walls with wallpaper.
There is no such word in U.S. English.
If you google “painting and wallpapering”, you find a large number of U.S. businesses called “XXX painting and wallpapering”. And that doesn’t even count those decorators who call themselves “XXX wallpapering and painting”, “XXX painters and wallpaper hangers” and other similar variants.
Painter and paper hanger has been a somewhat common phrase in the U.S. since around 1880, and is much less common in the U.K., presumably because they are decorators there.