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How To Start A Profitable Painting Business

Provided the construction industry exists, the demand for painters will hold. Government statistics hint that the need for painters will rise by 6% in the next six years. Thus, it’s very feasible to start a painting business now. Also, you can turn it into a very profitable venture with the right approach. Read on to discover the primary requirements of setting up this type of business. 

  1. Learn how to estimate painting jobs

The profitability of your painting business depends to some extent on how accurately you can generate estimates. When you are approached for a piece of work, you need to give them a quote detailing the materials you’ll need and the fees you’ll charge.

If your charges are exaggerated, it’s likely your offer will be declined, and the job will be given to a competitor. Conversely, if you underestimate, you’ll end up with losses. For this reason, it is essential to know how to accurately estimate a painting job. With an accurate estimate, you’ll be far more likely to successfully convert prospects into customers and make decent profits as a result. 

  1. Get painting contractor software

Aside from the actual painting, there are numerous managerial tasks you’ll need to carry out day in and day out. These include:

  • Preparing and sending detailed quotes
  • Invoicing clients
  • Tracking labor hours
  • Maintaining a database with customer information
  • Organizing before and after photos of your work
  • Communicating with your team while on the job

The good thing is that you can get painting contractor software that has been designed and developed specifically to help you with all these tasks. Smart software like this will also make you look more professional, which modern-day clients naturally expect. Going the manual way will only be more time consuming, less efficient and labor intensive as time goes on and have the potential to taint your brand image as the occurrence of manual errors can be notably higher.

How To Start A Profitable Painting Business

  1. Deal with the legalities

Before picking up the brush and painting the first wall, you’ll want to ensure that your business is operating legally. Failure to do so may result in hefty fines or even jail terms. The licensing requirements vary from state to state, but here are some of the licenses you may have to acquire:

  • Business license
  • Fire department permit
  • Air and water pollution control permit
  • Sign permit
  • County permits
  • State license
  • Sales tax license
  • Health department permits 

Aside from the licenses and permits, you’ll need to sort out the following: 

  • Choose a suitable business name
  • Design an appealing logo
  • Print business cards
  • Define your business’s legal structure—whether you’ll operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or company
  • Apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Open a bank account to segregate personal and business funds
  • Take a liability insurance policy
  1. Craft a detailed marketing strategy

After officially launching your business, don’t expect that all the residents in your area of operation to know to approach you should they need a painter. You must intentionally spread the message and create awareness about your brand. You can do so through the following time-tested ways:

  • Door-to-door marketing
  • Signing up with lead providers
  • Installing lawn signs with your company information
  • Listing your company with local business directories
  • Setting up Google My Business profile
  • Content marketing through an SEO-rich website
  • Direct mailing
  • Social media and influencer marketing 
  1. Purchase the necessary painting equipment

Before you start accepting jobs, be ready with your essential painting equipment, such as:

  • Ladder
  • Scrapers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Drop cloths
  • Rollers
  • Several brushes
  • Pressure washer
  • Edging tools
  • Extension poles
  • Caulk gun
  • Tape measure

Remember to purchase only the high-quality ones to guarantee an excellent output. Poorly designed equipment will be more likely to break and result in you having to replace it or mess up your work and leave customers doubting your skills.

  1. Mobilize a competent team

It’s crucial to hire highly talented staff to help you with the managerial tasks and do the actual painting. But this isn’t always easy. When you advertise a job opening in your company, hundreds or even thousands of applicants will show interest. But a considerable portion of these may be unskilled. Therefore, it’s upon you to carefully filter among them and select the best ones who’ll add value to your company.

Make sure to consider both their hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to their technical know-how of the various painting dynamics, such as mixing colors and applying brush strokes correctly. Soft skills are the abilities that define how they handle their work and interact with others in the team. Some examples of soft skills are communication, critical thinking, leadership, positive attitude, teamwork, business ethics, and emotional intelligence. All of these are critical to boosting your brand image. 


A painting business has high earning potential if you can get the essentials right. At the very start, there are basic elements that you need to put into place. These include rallying up qualified staff, buying high-grade tools, creating brand awareness and acquiring the relevant business management software. With diligence and excellent expertise, you’ll be sure to rake out handsome profits from the business year after year.

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