How to Start a Painting Business With Step by Step Guide

Starting a painting business is one of the easiest and well rewarding job

It is a scalable business and can easily grow with little cash to start with

You just require a hard dedicated painting projects when you start

After that you can have your best painting projects documented with photos

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how to start a painting business

That's why in this guide I am going to discuss how to start a painting business

And all the tools you need plus how much you expect to make from painting business

Steps to start a painting business

Starting a painting business is very straighforward process

You begin by painting houses by yourself and master the process confidently

At least you should complete 3 to 4 tasks in less than 2 months

But before that you should apply for the following

1- Establish a business plan and define your guidelines

This step is critical when starting your painting business

You build a business plan that defines what your company can do

Before and while doing the job and after you complete

Look at your competitors in the market and analyse what they do

Then come up with a plan that over achieve their plans

Think about all the details and put yourself in the customer's shoe

For example, all customers like to get their painting jobs delivered as soon as possible

Also with high accuracy and cleaning stains after you have done

You never see a painting business advertise to put back your furniture after they finish and cleaning 100% of all stains

It would be beneficial if you establish your point of strengths based on all details

Also you can state if you are comfortable to have yourself or your workers do their job while pets are around

2- Choose a name for your business

Although choosing a name is not important as defining your business plan

But you should not rush choosing a name just to start the painting business

Take your time and come up with an unforgettable name

Make it unique and memorable as this faciliates your advertisement process

If someone catches your business name and doesn't know your contact

Once they google your name your website should come up

It would make sense to have a domain name matching your business name

3- Register your painting business

I know some handy workers do most of their work under the table

You pay them cash and most of the times don't get a receipt

But remember you cannot guarantee that all customers accept that

Some customers ask for invoice and don't be surprised they expect to see taxes on it

You never know may be few customers use invoices when doing their taxes

That's why you have to register your business as corporate or even sole proprietorship

4- Get funding for your painting business

The best thing about starting a painting business is that it doesn't require large capital

You need to buy some materials to do the job

Few of these materials can be used from one painting project to another

While all other painting materials are replaceable

Some painting business buy only the materials when collecting the deposit

5- Prepare all legal documents like business bank account

You need to open a business bank account to pay yourself and buy painting materials

Also you need to build an invoice with your business name and logo on top

In every invoice you should list the materials and the amount you charge for labor

Remember some customers will bring materials for you

6- Buy your painting materials

As I mentioned earlier you need an ongoing materials like ladders and measuring tape

Other materials like painting rolls and colors you buy it when you collect the deposit

7- Apply for business insurance (optional but recommended)

Although it is optional but it is highly recommended to apply for a business insurance

Who knows may be you get a painting project in a 9 feet ceiling or more and you slip from the ladder

Materials required to begin painting right away

When starting a painting business you are required to get some materials to do your painting projects

Not all the below are mandatory

But if you buy them you painting projects will be easy to complete

1- Domain name and a website

Remember having domain name and website helps to convince more customers to hire you

How? by listing your contact and having a voice mail in case you're busy

Also you can list all of your previous painting projects

You can show before and after painting

2- Vehicle or truck

The good thing about starting a painting business is that you can use your personal car

Although it can happen that sometimes you can get a painting project in big house

Probably a mansion and this requires many gallons of paint

If you are using your personal vehicle you have to transfer them in multiple rides

3- Ladders and/or Scaffolding

In order to start a painting business buying a ladder is a must

At least 14 to 16 feet minimum is highly recommended

Actually you should consider buying multiple ladders for different lengths

Scaffolding is also a good choice especially if you are painting external ceilings

4- Paint Brushes, Rollers, and Sprayers

According to your painting project you need to buy different paint brushes

Also you need rollers to finish project fast and efficiently

Sometimes you have to switch to small rollers when it comes to corners

Also paint sprayers is good option for exterior paintings

Actually I have never seen painters using them inside houses

5- Paint, Primer, and Stain

According to your customer's taste you need to estimate the paint you need to buy

Before your start your painting project you need to decide what is the quality to use

Some expensive paints require one layer to cover the old paintings

But it is really worth it while cheap paints take 2 or more covers

Don't worry about building this experience

Definitely it won't make you lose money

Consider establishing yourself as a big consumer with local construction stores to buy your primer and painting materials with discount

6- Dropclothes and all other Supplies

Definitely when you start your painting business you would need painters tape

This would help prevent any wrong touches of rollers to upper ceilings

Some professional painters don't use painters tape

They know how to control the rollers by using a roller in one hand and a thick paper in the other hand to prevent the painting from touching parts they don't want to paint

Anyway below are the list of things you need to buy

  • Measuring tape
  • Drywall patch
  • Paint trays
  • Painters tape
  • Mineral spirit also known as white spirit

How much does it cost to start a painting business?

If we exclude buying a truck and using your own vehicle

Starting a painting business costs you less than $3,000

You definitely need a domain and web hosting which cost around $200 per year

Commerical ladders cost around $500 each

Definitely you need 2 or more ladders if you are painting with another worker

How to grow your painting business?

There are many techniques you can follow to grow your painting business

When you start your first painting projects you need to take lot of pictures

Take a permission from customers

Or ask nicely to take pictures and in return give a good discount

Build an attractive website

Take care of maintaining a website that includes your best painting projects

Make sure you have your contact information clearly listed there

Answer the phone promptly

I know you may get some calls while working in your painting business

But don't expect to return calls to customers after 72 hours and expect to hire you

Customers make impression on how reasonable your return their calls

Leaving a clear voice message that indicates why you aren't able to take the call

Then state when they can expect to return their calls back

This is the key when starting a painting business

Quality painting means more customers

The key here to growing your painting business is quality

You need to repeat that 100 times

Think about every painting project as if it is your first project

What is the benefit of building big client base and start losing them one after the other

Clean after you're done

If you think about quality then consider tidiness and cleaning after you're done

You can get many satisfied customers but they won't promote you

Customers who spent days cleaning all the mess and stains around their houses

For example, some painters remove all receptacle outlets before painting then put them back

Taking care of these details yes take more time but it builds your reputation

Promote your business on social media

Painting is a visual business so customers need to see images

You can use Instagram and Pinterest to advertise your business

Ask for referrals with incentives

Existing customers promote your business using word of mouth

Their friends and families if they like your painting they would like to know your business name

You can offer your existing customers an incentive that drive them to promote your name for you

Actually you can offer a 2 way by giving an incentive to your existing customer

And another incentive in the form of a discount to give to your referee

Advertise your business by sending mails in post boxes

Your local post office can send your flyers in mailboxes in specific areas

Try to use newly constructed areas as some customers decide to paint a different colors before they move in

Also old neighborhood is most likely require a new painting

Place signs for your business in local construction stores

Best places to advertise your painting business beside local construction stores

Also you can invest in flyers you can distribute with local newspapers

Start small and see what works for you

Be ready to expand your team

What if you get multiple painting projects at the same time

You have a capacity so certainly you need workers to work with you

How much can you charge for your painting tasks?

Actually most professional painters charge per square footage

So you need to measure areas you will be painting

Usually average painters charge between $25 to $100 an hour

Within a particual hour how many square feet you can cover

Study the market and come up with a price to stick with

Your reputation will not be affected by other cheap competitors

How much can you expect from painting business?

Good question, it all depends on working by yourself or with a team

Working by yourself makes you complete around 3 projects a month

If you net income $2,000 in each painting project that's a $6,000 in your pocket

Working with a team will help complete more projects

But you will use most of the money to pay workers as labors really cost a lot


Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.