How to Start a Painting Business

Published On: February 4, 20200 Comments on How to Start a Painting BusinessTags: Last Updated: February 12, 20245.8 min read

Do you have a knack for painting large parts of a building? Are you familiar with the different kinds of paint out there? Do you have an eye for color? Would you like to try earning from this kind of talent?

How to Start a Painting Business

If yes, then you may want to know more about how you could start your own painting business and become successful as Inti Painting Contractors are.

Residential Painting Versus Commercial Painting

The very first thing you should know is that painting a residence is different from painting a commercial building. A residence is usually smaller than a commercial building so a residential painter would be proficient in working with paint for wood mostly and in less volume. A commercial building is generally bigger than your typical residence so a commercial painter would need to know how to paint large spaces and work with the paint for various surfaces, including wood and cement. That being said, it may cost a client more money to hire a commercial painter rather than a residential painter. So if you want to launch a painting business, you may want to be more of a commercial painter so that you can switch between painting commercial spaces and painting residential spaces as needed.

Learn How to Start a Painting Business

Step #1 Practice your craft. – If you are interested, it is relatively easy to learn how to start a painting business. The best way is to start painting. It’s like riding a bike, you can’t learn unless you try. You can try painting for free in some minor projects like painting a neighbor’s house. You can also try your hand at painting for friends and relatives. This will give you practice in preparation for the day when you will be launching a painting business for profit.

Step #2 Get licensed. – Many states in the US require painters and owners of painting businesses to get licensed before they can start operating their business. You should check the rules for the state you live in or will be working in just to make sure.

Step #3 Market your business to the public. – The hardest part about becoming a painter is that you need a steady stream of clients so you can earn a living. One way you can market your business is to set up a Page in Facebook to advertise your business. Make sure you put in photos of work you’ve done in the past and your own profile photo so that people will get interested and check out your work. You can also rely on word of mouth. If you have money to advertise with, you can take out ads in local magazines and newspapers. You can also look for job markets online so that you cast a wider net to get clients. The bottom line is you need to create a lot of noise so that people will sit up and take notice.

Step #4 Keep upgrading your skills. – It’s a competitive world and you probably have noticed that you have competitors in the commercial or residential painting arena. So you don’t have to be just good at marketing – you also have to be excellent in painting as well. If necessary, look for a trade school where you can enroll to learn new painting knowledge and skills. That will look good when you begin marketing your new business to locals.

How to Start a Painting Business - painting

Step #5 Apprentice if you need to. – If you want more experience and more exposure, you might want to apprentice yourself to someone who has a thriving painting business already. This means applying to become included in someone’s painting team. Though you may have to follow the team’s rules, the good part about this is that you will earn steadily as you gain more knowledge and skills on-the-job. You also build a good reputation in the industry this way. Just make sure that the contractor you apprentice to is open to your becoming an independent contractor too, someday.

Step #6 Get insurance too, in case clients require this in your job. If you succeed in becoming an independent painting contractor, make sure you have adequate insurance. This is just a precaution so that when you go to job sites you will be sufficiently protected, especially from accidents.

Step #7 Get referrals from past clients. – If you have done a good job for a client, it always pays to ask for referrals. After all, you’re running a business and always need more clients. You can give your business card to past clients so that they will keep you in mind, in case they have friends, family or colleagues who need a painter. So always practice good public relations with existing clients – you never know when they’ll find someone to refer you to.

Step #8 Bone up your business skills. – It is one thing to be a regular employee of a contractor and quite another thing to be an independent painting contractor. As an independent contractor, you are running a business so it pays to know how a business should be run. You should gain business skills such as learning how to pay the right taxes, how to hire employees, and basic accounting skills. You don’t have to be a CEO of a large company to learn business skills. You just need to look for a school that teaches entrepreneurship courses. Usually, a short course lasting a couple of months will be sufficient at the beginning. As your business grows, so should your skill sets. So don’t rest on your laurels – study business too.

Step #9 Pass on your knowledge to others. – Once you have established your business, you can pursue growth by hiring employees who are ready to become painters. You should look for employees who have the right attitude and who are willing to learn on the job from you. This is very rewarding especially if the people you are training in painting will be grateful for your effort. Keep them on for a couple of years, and guide them. Even if they will never be able to repay you for the effort, you have the satisfaction of knowing you were able to help them get employed and trained.


Some people really want to earn from becoming a painter. If this is you, first of all, practice your craft by painting buildings for free. Secure your license so that you will be a legitimate contractor. Learn how to successfully market your painting business to the public. Don’t forget to keep adding to your skills. Apprentice yourself to someone more skilled and experienced in painting. Protect yourself with insurance on the job. Ask satisfied customers for referrals. Learn business skills. And when you’re ready to grow your business, allow young employees to apprentice to you as well.

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