How To Start a Painting Business? [8 Steps + Tips + Tricks]

The painting industry is continually touching new heights of growth.

Now, you will surely think, how?

The market size of the industry was USD 10.72 billion in 2019. It will continue to grow at a CAGR of 5% between 2020 and 2026. So, if you are thinking of starting a painting business with no experience, then don’t worry as here’s the blog that will help you.

In this blog, we have covered everything about how to start a painting business without experience. It will help you in your quest for building a thriving painting business in 2021.

How to Start a Painting Business? – Follow These 8 Steps

8 Steps to start a painting business

Step 1: Learn the Basics

If you want to start a painting company, then you should learn everything about it before diving into this field. You can make critical mistakes without experience, which will cost you money and clients.

It will be apparent to a potential client that you have minimal experience, and most will hire painting contractors that know how to sell paint jobs.

You have to know the basics, such as providing satisfying customer service and how to operate the business.

Hence, work for someone for a few years. Learn everything you possibly can. Get hands-on painting experience before you start working on your business.

Step 2: Register Your Business Name

The first step you need to perform for starting a painting company is giving a professional company name to your painting business. Your business name must be catchy and memorable so that anyone can easily remember it in this competitive world.

Get a business address. By purchasing or renting a P.O. box will help you maintain some privacy. Also, it will make your business more professional.

People always look for two things in a business:

  • A decent website
  • Their address. Whether it is residential or commercial.

It shows how big the business is and also adds to professionalism. Hence, set your business address as a P.O. box, not of your residential house.

You need to contact the Secretary of State or government to register your business name. You have to select the type of business entity like limited liability corporation (LLC) or limited liability partnership (LLP).

You can also opt for other corporation types like S-Corps and C-Corps that typically require more paperwork and need to file your taxes separately from your return.

So, just upload the legal documents in the portal, and you are good to go with your new business.

Step 3: Select the Best Painting Services and Target Audience That You Want to Include

For starting your own painting business, you need to familiarize yourself with the residential or commercial market and identify the list of clients you need. It will help you to enhance your branding and concentrate more on business models.

Generally, two client categories take place in painting businesses: home painting and commercial painting.

  • Residential painting clients follow a relatively simple process where the house painters usually perform the job, meet the clients, build strong relationships, and get paid instantly.
    These clients do not need painting work frequently. Instead, they quickly wait for five to six years for recurring work.
  • Commercial clients typically deal with services that are relatively complex and huge as compared to residential painting. Such clients are either small businesses or large enterprises.
    For commercial clients, it’s pretty easy to get recurring work in a year. But, of course, you also get bigger painting projects too.

Often, there are many services like full prep work, fine detailing, small carpentry work, specialty wall coatings, refinishing, acoustical ceilings, and pressure washing/roof cleaning available in the market that works the best for a painter.

Step 4: Apply For Business License and Insurance

Once your business is ready with the list of service offerings, you need to opt for a business license. By having a license, you can perform professional painting work legally.

However, there are some other things you can do for business registration.

  • Order business cards
  • File LLC paperwork
  • File for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Bank account opening
  • Verify whether builder’s license is required or not
  • Go for Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL). CGL is the most important type of liability insurance that all painters should carry, as it provides financial coverage against lawsuit claims resulting from third-party property damage or bodily injury.

Apart from the license, you need to opt for business insurance. Nowadays, you will come across many insurance companies in this competitive world, providing a list of insurance policies that you might need to select the best one.

Why do you need business insurance?

In case of an accident on the job premises, the business insurance covers you and your employees with financial support. However, it ultimately depends on the package policy that you select from the list of options available.

Step 5: Purchase Essential Painting Materials

For starting a painting business, few factors need to be considered before purchasing any painting materials.

  • Have you decided on the specific budget in your business plan?
  • Will you use employees or subcontractors?
  • Do you have any specialized painting skills?
  • What charge do your competitors take from customers?

If you plan to use a subcontractor position, you do not need to buy any equipment or vehicles. Just you need marketing materials that can benefit your business.

On the other hand, if you opt to use employees, then it becomes mandatory for you to create a checklist of essential painting equipment to purchase.

Additional expenses can include workman’s compensation insurance, payroll taxes, paid time off, and health insurance contributions. You need to take all these into account.

Generally, for your potential house painting business, you need to get the following basic painting tools:

  • Paint sprayers
  • Brushes rollers
  • Ladders
  • Caulk and masking guns
  • Drop cloths
  • Coat
  • Wire-brush
  • Sandpaper

Step 6: Set Up a Business Bank Account

To manage your financial situation, you have to open a business account separately for personal and office work because there is more risk of losing personal assets if your business goes sued.

To open a business bank account, you need:

  • Employer identification number (EIN) or social security number if you are a sole proprietorship.
  • Your business’s formation documents
  • Ownership agreements
  • License for operating the business

Keeping your business and personal finances in separate business bank and credit card accounts makes it easier to track the business’s income and expenses

The most exciting part is that it is easy to set up a business bank account. Nowadays, brick-and-mortar banks are available that follow online processes. In addition, various online-only business banks are available that make your account online mode.

Step 7: Hire Painters

For starting a painting business, it becomes pretty evident for you to hire painters to enhance user experience and business performance to a great extent. Here is what you can do for hiring employees:

  • Write a job post: It is an essential part of hiring excellent painters. A good job description can yield higher-quality candidates compared to a poorly written listing.
  • Job title: Be as specific as you can with the job title. It is the first thing an applicant will see. Don’t write “painter needed.” Go for something like, “Crew manager needed” or “Pain crew leader needed.”
  • Job details: Clearly and concisely outline the expectations from the potential employees. Explain their roles and responsibilities in your business. Do they have transportation? Tools? Insurance? The job details should be well thought out and informative.
  • Skills and experience: List both of them that you expect from the candidates. Start with the essential aspect of the job. Many handymen applicants are going to apply. Focus on the ones that specialize in painting.

The primary goal of homeowners and building owners is to provide a great way to make their surfaces with more attractive paints, thereby improving quality work.

Using resources can quickly gear problematic areas and work with a challenging project that includes potential wall repair or wallpaper removal. In addition, they can gain business profits for you to make money by orchestrating the process behind it.

Step 8: Marketing Plan for Your Painting Business

Marketing is one of the essential keys that provide an interactive way to get new customers quickly for your painting business. But, unfortunately, this works only for homeowners that deal with basic painting needs, limiting repeat business.

Generally, there are various marketing ways through which you can enhance your customer service and business performance. Some of the best practices to target the market are mentioned below:

  • Social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Research your target audience, and determine the type of content you will publish on social media platforms. Scheduling programs will help you keep your social media campaigns consistent. Post a variety of content and engage with your audience. Also, run paid social ads.
  • Online marketing tools like Craigslist. Use it to market your painting business. Go to their website and click on Post to Classifieds. Choose your type of posting, and business category, and sign up when prompted. Create a password and agree to the terms of the condition. Select your business location, then create an Ad copy. After that, pick a medium of contact and add images to your Ad copy. Preview and publish the Ad.
  • Print advertising. Create and use business cards. I recommend sharing your business card with your clients when you meet them. Offer loyalty cards, and put up posters and banners. Advertise locally. Also, find a great printer. Printing a business card is easy.
  • Direct mail process on the company website. It is less common these days, but it’s still an effective way to reach customers outside digital marketing.
    • Define your goals
    • Know your audience
    • Create your mailing list
    • Decide on a CTA
    • Decide on a format
    • Design your mail
    • Send your mail

Moreover, you can also opt for referral programs and marketing materials that encourage more clients to use their services on a large scale.

Based on the type and marketing volume being performed, the total marketing costs vary. In addition, business persons eventually save the high cost of hiring a professional marketing person by independently completing the marketing process.

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Top Reasons to Start a Painting Business

After seeing the key steps to start your painting business, it’s time to see the reasons for starting a painting business.

Top Reasons to Start a Painting Business
  1. Simple and Easy to Learn

    A business is something simple and easy to understand, especially for someone possessing limited business skills.

    Generally, there are many states where you just need a license from the contractor to paint your house. But, on the other hand, you’ll find some states where you do not even have to file for a license application.

    Being the paint company owner, it becomes your prime responsibility to help the employees get the direct job.

    You can easily gain expertise in essential skills that lead to a successful painting company if you can answer the following questions:

    • What prep work needs to be done?
    • What are the essential materials that need to be used?
    • What will you do to provide customer satisfaction?
  2. Minimal Start-Up Costs

    For any business, the primary goal of business owners is to make a profit at the right time. However, to get into action, they need to work hard from the beginning, purchase low-cost equipment and build an impressive business plan.

    However, for some industries, it can take months or years to grab a business profit. Whereas in the case of the painting industry, startup costs are extremely slow. It means that you can start with nothing and turn into more profit with fewer clients.

  3. Huge Market Size

    A huge market is one of the biggest and primary reasons for starting a painting company. Generally, several painting job types are available in the market from where you can enhance your business performance.

    You have multiple options to select your specialized service area:

    • Residential interior
    • Exterior painting
    • New construction painting
    • Residential painting for builders

    Apart from this residential painting, there are also other painting jobs available:

    • Office
    • Apartment buildings
    • Industrial facilities
    • Building construction

    The most exciting part to note is that it’s not just an extensive market but also a recurring market.

  4. Profitable

    One of the primary goals of small business owners is to gain more profit. The same is the case with the painting industry, as it possesses huge high-profit margins.

    Your painting company earns a comfortable profit margin, no matter whether it is related to commercial, residential, or industrial painting. It helps fulfill your bottom line and generate more revenue quickly.

    For starting your professional painting business, you just need to make sure that it possesses a mixture of jobs to gain more profits.

    Real estate investors need home improvement work done quickly and are usually happy to work with a reliable partner across several projects. Find a flipper who needs painting service, and you might have yourself your first long-term client. It can help you establish positive cash flow and get your business off the ground.

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Painting Business

  • Minimal startup expenses: You can quickly start your painting business. It does not involve any heavy machinery or high-tech equipment, and even no need to rent a warehouse or ample office space.
  • No high-level education required: For starting a new company, you or a painter does not require any specific degree. The only thing the painters must have is a good working experience.
  • More chances of the franchise: In the painting company, you can quickly grab all the advantages of the well-defined brand and expert business model by providing a franchise. With a franchise, you get everything you need by just spending some money.
  • Easy to identify target audience: Homeowners, construction-based companies, builders, landlords, and even rental property managers are easily identified without extensive marketing research.
  • More chances of good income: Once your house business is well-established, you can gain insights to earn more income as expected.
  • Provides specialized services: Apart from the standard painting jobs, a professional painting company offers additional services like faux painting, wallpapers, special finished, and even historically authentic painting.
  • Stiff competition: In this competitive world, you will come across many painting businesses that provide different painting services. You need to push more to include the service utterly different from other businesses.
  • Employee liability issues: As a business owner, it becomes your sole responsibility to consider the liability for every damage or injury caused to employees/painters during the job.
  • More chances of seasonal fluctuations: A painting industry affects more as the season changes. So, you need to make sure about every season and assign a painting contractor or an employee to paint the job.

Start and Grow Your Painting Business

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How to Get Customers for a Painting Business? [Tips & Tricks]

Now, it’s a hard time to grab more and more customers from your new company. But how?

To answer this question, you need to follow the tips mentioned below. There are two possible ways through which you can get customers: Physical tools and digital tools.

Physical Tools

  • Lawn signs: It is a simple approach to share brand awareness of services easily to large areas. Just put the company logo, service offering, and other eye-catching details to gain more potential customer base and money.
  • Truck graphics: You can enhance customer engagement by providing company names and information by passing by the truck. Someone in need of painting can view the service offering and contact for further paint jobs without visiting a paint store.
  • Flyers: To achieve brand awareness in the local areas, flyers are the best option, including detailed company information. You can put the flyers with heavy foot traffic or placing in mailboxes to direct the people about the service offering.

Digital Tools

  • Creating a professional website: A website is a powerful tool that allows users to view your company’s complete information. You can use interactive and eye-catching pages of your portfolios to enhance customer engagement.
  • SEO: SEO is the leading platform that allows you to keep your website on top pages of Google search results. It is possible if you apply relevant keywords and headings related to specific pages or websites.
  • Additional marketing tools: As a part of SEO, you can opt for different marketing strategies in your business plan. The leading options are Facebook ads, landing pages, directories (Google, LinkedIn, and Indeed), and Google My Business.

After looking at the essential details about the business, we have come up with a few frequently asked questions based on it.


Yes, it’s the best idea to start a house painting business because it is simple to enter into business and minor challenges.

In the beginning, the startup costs of a painting business can be low on average, less than $2000.

Yes, a painting business is profitable as you can easily start with a lower budget, no additional resources needed, and easily gain more outcomes.

An entrepreneur, on average, can make or charge up to $15 per hour. However, it depends on experience, the painter’s choice of doing tasks, working practice, knowledge, and the total number of rooms to complete in a day.

Here are three mistakes that you should avoid when starting a painting business.

  • Visiting a paint shop multiple times
  • Not spending the right amount of time finding reliable people
  • Focusing on painting and not growing your business

With the perfect business structure, legal license, insurance, and marketing strategy, you will be ready to get your paint rollers. When it comes to managing your painting business, painters, and daily operations, FieldCamp is the best service scheduling software that automates daily operations.

Take your newly established painting business to new heights with our painter business software.

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.