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how to start a painting business

33 Ways to Start a Painting Business

A competent paint job significantly helps make any home or business appear in tip-top shape. Indeed, if you love painting and you’re searching for a career change, you might want to consider establishing your own painting business.

To do so, it is crucial to take your time to figure out if you’re capable of owning a business and everything that comes with it, and from there you could begin making money just by doing something you’re passionate about and can also make other people happy.

Apart from being able to form a business around an activity that you love doing, there are also a number of perks that can be enjoyed when you decide to start a painting business.

Here are 33 to consider when starting a painting business:

Before you start formalizing your painting business plans, make sure that you honestly evaluate your abilities to paint. Maybe get other people’s opinions on jobs you’ve performed to confirm that you are capable of doing a professional job.

Develop a Business Plan

Develop a business plan that lays out the specifics and the objectives of your painting business. It is necessary to include the budget for payroll, insurance, supplies, and marketing/advertising. you need to take into account your business’ future expansion.

If a loan is needed to start your business, a carefully crafted business plan carry massive weight with your banker. It matters that you are realistic about your profit estimation – this consists of time projections for average jobs, the cost of paint and other painting materials and supplies, and your marketing budget.

The entire concept of composing a business plan is it can provide you with a detailed guide on how to efficiently operate your business from scratch.

The approach to crafting a business plan is to try to be realistic and do not overestimate when putting figures on profits as well as income. You’re better off aiming lower and being pleased with higher returns rather than failing to meet expectations.

Secure a Business License

Having a license is quite valuable for insurance and tax purposes, and it can also land you supply and product discounts from vendors.

Acquire Business Insurance

It is worth mentioning that this may comprise of general liability and workers’ compensation. Moreover, your bank will also have certain insurance requirements if you need to secure a loan; check with your banker for more specific information.

Your next step needs to be contacting an insurance broker. It is their responsibility to aid you in evaluating the risks involved in your business, and they are the right people who can provide you with legal and insightful advice.

In addition, there is a greater possibility of being exposed to some hazards if you will work on industrial painting projects, especially on high-rise structures. Risky painting projects pose greater threats, so it is important to seek insurance advice if you are planning to handle these types of projects.

Promote Your Painting Business

Promote your painting business in the local paper, billboards around town, with television or radio ads, or advertise online. Alternatively, you may consider contacting painting contractors and other home builders in your area to let them know that you’re available. Networking with others who can provide business for you amounts to free advertising.

Create a Portfolio

Not to mention, painting references are a great help in terms of establishing connections. You should include in your portfolio some before-and-after photos of homes, workplaces, and rooms that you have already painted as this is a good way to offer confidence to potential clients.

Take in mind that it is essential to keep your portfolio updated all through the life of your painting business. You can accomplish this by consistently updating brochures and creating a website that links to images of past projects.

Make Your Listing

Listing various painting supplies in your business plan is a must. Once you have already established your painting business, you’ll need to go about buying that equipment.

It is a good approach to open a contractor account at local paint shops and home improvement stores. Take into consideration that buying supplies will be a continuous part of your painting business; so it’s crucial to keep the costs of paint and other materials as affordable as possible.

As we mentioned, you will most likely need your business license for you to be able to set up these contractor accounts.

Inspect Current Equipment

It is imperative to have premium quality and well-made supplies that could put up with repeated and rigorous use. Don’t buy cheaper equipment because it usually costs you more money in the long run by having to either repair or replace shoddy equipment.

Purchase or Lease a Vehicle

When you decide to start a painting business, there are times when you need to do much of your business in-person, so purchasing or leasing a vehicle that could help you carry your painting supplies is convenient and makes you reputable in the eyes of potential customers. For an even better look, check with a local detailing shop to put the name of your business, phone number, website address, or any other contact information on your vehicle.

Don’t You Have Experience?

You may want to consider working with a mentor. Look for an experienced person who has a deep grasp of either small businesses or painting. Make sure that this person is capable of helping you expand your business and guide you through tough situations.

Having an experienced mentor could offer insightful advice on everything from dealing with difficult clients, pricing strategies, or furthering your studies as a painter.

Offer Diverse Services

It is nice to offer diverse services. Most painting businesses will offer various services like painting cars, workplaces, and residences. Others may even paint signs or banners for special events.

It is worth noting that the more varied your services are, the greater the chances for your painting business to be a success!

Establish a Pricing System

Carefully organize a pricing structure for the services that you are offering. Do your research and see what similar businesses around town are charging. Having a pricing structure in advance could make you look more professional when you meet your prospective clients.

Prepare an Invoicing and Payment Process

Once you know your pricing system, set up an invoicing and payment framework. Figure out the kinds of payment that you will accept (mobile apps and card readers make it very easy to take credit cards now) and how you will compose and file the receipts – this will make it a lot easier to disclose income come tax time.

Hire licensed and Highly Experienced Employees

In the initial phases, especially when you do not have the means yet to hire staff who can work for you, you will be doing everything yourself, so make sure that the investment you make in employees is a worthwhile one by personally interviewing and talking to references on each candidate.

Any workers may likely need insurance, certificates, and licenses. Likewise, they might also require training in some painting techniques to ensure that your business is putting out a consistent product.

Make a Strong Presence

Make sure your portfolio clearly displays your uniqueness or signature style. This will serve as one of the many calling cards that you could share with prospects and actual clients.

Create a Marketing Strategy

Advertisements are usually the first impression that would-be clients have of you, and you may want to consider various forms of media to lure clients. Casting a wide net for prospects and keeping your message as simple as possible can effectively grab the attention of a broad range of clients.

Meanwhile, if you opt for designing your own website and ads, it is a good idea to look at the ads of successful businesses in your area and see what they’re doing to successfully lure in clients.    

Follow Industry Trends

Staying versed with the latest trends, advanced technologies, and the newest painting techniques can help make your business flourish.

You may consider going over trade publications, connecting with other professional painters or partaking in homeowners conventions so you stay up-to-date in your services and painting skills.

Guarantee the Quality of Your Products

Make sure that you guarantee the quality of your products and services. In reality, if you believe that the products and services you offer will leave clients happy, then there is a greater likelihood that potential clients will try out your offer and current clients might be more apt to become regular customers.

Be the Spot Light

If you are an expert at decorative-painting methods, make sure to spotlight that in your advertisements; you may also volunteer to be a guest on a local radio talk show, or perhaps give painting tips to area groups.  These are just a few good approaches that you can do to go above-and-beyond to start your painting business.

Create a Free Page on Various Social Networking Sites

This is one great way to instantly reach out to friends, colleagues, and other potential clients, and it allows those people to have an easy way to contact you with questions, advice, or to make appointments.

Talk to Your Family Members and Friends

They can get the word about your new business and tout your credentials. As you know, it is a lot less effort to worth with referrals than it is finding new clients.

Referrals from the people you trust are great sources of successful business relationships.

Set Up Estimates

Once you start getting potential clients, know how you much you will charge people based on the size and difficulty of the project. When you send an estimate, be clear about why you are charging what you are charging. To do this, it is helpful to have a basic manual client that specifically indicates who you are, what your business is all about, what makes you distinctive from other painting firms and many more.

Hire a Subcontractor

This can actually be very convenient for you as a business owner. A subcontractor can help you save money, as there is no need for you to buy materials, and it is not necessary to train employees.

Subcontractors are people who own painting equipment, but rather than directly going to clients, they get work from people who already have projects lined up.

If you go the subcontractor route, make sure to screen them like you would an employee to make sure that they are doing a quality job and will represent your business well.


If you’re available to do the work yourself, you can save on employee costs and ensure that you are giving the customer a quality job.

You may want to consider executing the first few projects yourself, but you will eventually need employees or subcontractors once your business grows to the point where you cannot both manage it and do the labor successfully.

Secure a Solicitor’s License

This form of license is highly reliant on your local laws and ordinances. There are a number of smaller areas that do not demand solicitor licenses; however, it’s a good idea to obtain one before going door-to-door trying to sell your services.

Understand Your Competition

There are some niches within the painting industry that can set you apart from the competition.

Some of the niches that a painter can specialize in comprise of construction painting, wall covering and paper hanging, non-building painting, wallpaper and paint removal, and general residential and non-residential painting.

Start small

What matters the most at the beginning is that you focus on impressing prospects to try and gain business from individuals, construction companies, real estate firms, and other industry players.  A business office and employees can come later, once you are established.

Be Specific

When starting up, some of your targets will be condominium complexes, homeowners, small or big businesses, apartment buildings, and real estate agents who might require assistance with vacant property. For this, it is better if you specialize in specific kinds of painting.

For you to thrive and stand out from the rest, you’ve got to work harder in terms of providing the best possible painting services that others can’t provide.

People will keep coming back if you give them a satisfying experience and nurture a business relationship with them.

Getting Clients

Be creative in getting your name out there. You may try to leave fliers on homeowner’s gates, send brochures, and connect with contractors, interior designers, and real estate agents. They are a great source of potential clients that you can do business with in the future.

Type of Business

Choosing a legal entity for your painting business isn’t a piece of cake. Carefully contemplate the kind of business model that you want to establish.

Options include can create a general partnership, a sole proprietorship, or a limited liability company. It’s best to seek professional advice in this department, as each gives you certain benefits.

Name Your Business

In terms of picking a name for your painting business, the fact is, there is no easy rule to follow. Some prefer a straight-forward name that clearly indicates the services that you are offering. However, a catchy business name can a very fascinating marketing tool.

If you’re a creative person, try to think of an outside-the-box name that will set you apart from your rivals. You may search online regarding possible names that you can consider for your painting business, or ask family and friends for their advice

Be an Expert

Prior to setting out in a painting business, make sure that you have sufficient know-how when it comes to primers, paints, cleaning solutions, and the like. If you’re providing professional services to people, you need to be an expert in your field so customers feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.


When starting a business from scratch, it is substantial to be equipped with painting tools, materials, and equipment like sprayers, brushes, rollers, ladders and other tools and equipment that are mainly used when working on a painting project. This is particularly important if you do not hire subcontractors.

The Truth

Truth is, this is often overlooked. Entrepreneurs are usually so focused on capital, materials, supplies, equipment, employees, and other business factors, that they do physically and mentally prepare for the task they are embarking on. Therefore, what you need to prepare the most is yourself because you will be the main cog in this business venture. Without you, none of it is possible!


In a nutshell, if you like painting and you are passionate about the transformation as a shabby room or building becomes spotless and looking new – and you know for yourself that you possess the required skills and experience to deliver a professional-quality painting job – then this could be the perfect business for you. The perks of this type of business are that you can work from home, you don’t need huge amount of capital for startup costs since they are relatively low compared to other home improvement businesses, and if you love the feeling of achievement that comes from an honest day’s work, then this could be both profitable and personally gratifying.

About Peter Lee

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