Thomas Warrender was born in January 1662 in Haddington, East Lothian. In 1673 he was apprenticed to John Tait, whose work does not survive. Warrender became a burgess (freeman) of Haddington and also of Edinburgh where he was admitted as a guild brother in 1692. In the late 1690s he was working as a decorative painter at Hamilton Palace, and continued to work on decorative interiors for patrons in and around Edinburgh. These included Craigie Hall and Hopetoun House. After 1710 his son John continued the family business.