How to start a painting business


According to the IBIS World report, painting is a $37 billion industry with expected expansion in the coming years. However, starting a painting business is relatively inexpensive and, in some cases, will only cost $500. To establish a successful painting, you will require a solid understanding of the painting opportunities in your market.

Starting your painting business can come with plenty of considerations and questions. A successful business will require more than ladders and brushes. We will help you navigate through the process of setting up a painting business, figuring out the insurance and licenses required, and how you can secure financing.

This guide will give show you how to start a painting business.

Conduct Market Research

It is essential to conduct market research on your target market before starting your painting business. Find out as much as you can about the levels of demand for your painting services and who will be your competitors.

Pay close attention to the type of housing in your area. Observe if the houses are large or small, old or new, if they have a natural finish, or painted—Research the current trends in painting and the legal issues that are likely to affect your business.


Establish how many other decorators and painters there are in your area. You get this information by looking at the local print directory in your area. Identify how many businesses offer similar services that you intend to provide. These will be your direct competitors.

Evaluate what your competitors specialize in and who their target market is. Then, note the extra services you can offer that cost you little but add more value to your customers. Then, be creative in finding ways to provide more service for your customers without cutting your prices.


Depending on your services, your potential customers could be homeowners, building contractors, property developers, or housing associations. Target top-performing realtors, B2B service companies like gutter installers, roofers and flooring installers, and commercial property managers.

Use strong prepositioning, presentation, and follow-up tactics that mirror the concerns of your prospective clients to win new customers.


To know the right price for your services, you need to know all your business expenses and how much is required to achieve set goals. Do not price your painting services by charging lower than the competitors. This will only lead to an eternal game competing on pricing, leading to losses.

You will be required to establish how you will charge your clients for work done, such as; setting, on an hourly or daily basis, a fixed price per job or basing your charges on certain types of jobs.

You must set your charges carefully. Ensure that your orders leave enough margin to cover all your operating expenses. When offering fixed prices, it would be best to let your clients know what is likely to lead to price changes, such as discovering crumbling plaster that will require extra work. It is prudent to provide estimates and quotes free of charge on a no-obligation basis.

Define A Marketing Plan

When beginning your painting business, you will need to identify your target market: residential or commercial painting. While commercial clients may offer longer and bigger jobs, residential clients may provide more opportunities. The marketing plans for residential and commercial clients vary.

When marketing to residential clients, you can take advantage of online ads through social media. You can also try out direct marketing or email marketing. In addition, have professional painting business cards to share with your potential clients.

Network marketing is the best approach when marketing to commercial clients. Join networking organizations and meet-up events where you can advertise your products. You can also team up with other businesses with a similar customer base but offer a different product and strategize on ways to market each other’s products. You can also invest in online marketing activities such as newsletters, retargeting ads, or emails.

Create a Website.

A well-designed and search engine optimized website is one of the essential marketing tools. A website establishes authority and makes it easier for your customers to find you, especially if you intend to build your local presence through local SEO.

When creating a website, run through a list of domain names and choose a unique one. Then, you can use Weebly or Wix, which offer free trials. You can move to other options over time.

Find Financing.

Even though the start-up costs required to set up your painting company are relatively low, you may not necessarily have the cash in hand to get started or grow your business. Some of the most compelling opportunities for the capital you need are loans and zero-interest credit cards. But, of course, this will require that you have a business bank account.

Small business term loans are offered to creditworthy borrowers and come with a fixed or fluctuating interest rate depending on the type of loan provided. As a result, loans are usually tricky for first-time business owners. In this case, you may choose to use a business credit card.

You may also opt to get an equipment financing loan that functions differently from the typical bank loan. For example, equipment loans do not require collateral, and most equipment loan lenders will lend you the total cost of the equipment you intend to purchase to be repaid within a particular time with interest.

Buy or Rent Painting Equipment.

Your painting business will require equipment such as brushes, rollers, sprayers, masks, ladders, and, in some cases, a vehicle. However, when starting, your business will need relatively low, on average, costs for painting equipment.

As your business projects scale up, more equipment will be required, such as compressors, sprayers, and scaffolding. Therefore, your business plan must include price adjustments or expected expenses when buying new equipment.

You may choose to reduce your overhead costs by renting painting equipment. However, this is maybe expensive in the long run and only necessary when starting.

Get Business Insurance.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the insurance policy for the painting business. Most painting businesses require insurance for painting contractors and liability insurance. If your business faces a lawsuit, you may bear the financial burden based on your business structure.

You will also be required to get general liability insurance which protects paint contractors from property damage claims and personal injury. General liability also covers replacing floor coverings or protecting a contractor from false advertising claims.

Find more details on license requirements here.

Get Your First Painting Customer.

Getting your first painting customers can be a daunting task, especially if you have no track record of performance to show.

To get clients, you can begin by calling up your local property managers and finding out if they need any painting services. Then, you can send an email containing recent photos of your work, references, and testimonials.

If you do not have any references, talk to your family and friends and find out if they have any painting jobs that you could work on that could be used as references. You can also knock on doors and ask for any painting opportunities. Find more ways here to get your first house painting business.

Hire Employees

Getting employees is challenging. While your options on where to list open positions are endless, do not post the jobs on every recruiting site available.

Choose the right job site to hire your employees. Post the job opening in reputable locations such as CareerBuilder or simplyhired.

You can also use referrals from reputable individuals running the same type of business. This is essentially useful if you do not intend to incur expenses when hiring.


Starting your own painting business is a rewarding experience, mainly if you are passionate about painting. With a little bit of cash, paperwork, and drive, you can have your business up and running and ready for primetime without putting too much effort into it.

Set yourself up for success, and with the proper business structure and strategies, keep your paint-rollers rolling!


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