How to Start a Painting Business: 4 Things You Need to Know

Written by
Rebecca Smith

May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

With rising property costs, more people are choosing to renovate existing homes. Experts predict the DIY tools market will grow to $13.9 billion by 2021.

But when it comes to house painting, not everyone wants to do it themselves. The setup and labor involved are offputting before you factor in the cleanup.

Outsourcing is easier and often quicker. So if you've been wondering how to start a painting business, now is a great time.

Read on to learn 4 things you should know about starting a painting business.

 1. You Choose Your Own Business Structure

When you start off, it's best to choose to work as an independent contractor. This gives you more flexibility to work when it suits you.

As a contractor, you're in charge of contracts and you deal with clients yourself. You'll have to estimate how much jobs will cost and make sure you're paid.

But if you don't like the admin side of running a business, consider starting a partnership. You'll share the expenses with your business partner. They can handle the 'business' tasks, leaving you free to carry out the work.

Once your business grows, you can become a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). This protects your personal finances from business debts. And if you want to hire staff, it's easier to create a payroll as an LLC.

2. There Are No Required Certifications

You don't need a certificate to become a painter. Taking a professional course is one way to improve your skills. Or work as an apprentice to a painter to learn the ropes.

The only certification you will need is from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP) is essential if you'll work on pre-1978 buildings.

That's because these buildings may still use lead-based paint. Contractors need to know how to safely work around it.

Check your state requirements to see if you need a license to work as a painting contractor. Register as a business so you can pay tax and open a business bank account.

3. Marketing Is What You Make It

You get to choose what form of marketing suits you. Many painters take out adverts in the local press or advertise online.

Consider partnering with other contractors. You might recommend a plumbing contractor to clients. In return, they'll recommend you to theirs.

Set up a Facebook page and Instagram account to show off 'before' and 'after photos. Get the permission of the homeowner before you post images.

Or offer bonus services to clients. For example, you might offer outside house cleaning as well as painting.

4. Set up Costs Are Relatively Low

You won't need to invest too much money to get started in your business. You'll need the usual DIY painting supplies, like brushes, rollers, tarps, and trays.

Then you'll need ladders, overalls, and masks. But you can work from home and keep your equipment in a van or truck.

You can scale up as you need to, adding more equipment as your business grows. You'll also need liability insurance and specialist painting insurance to cover your business.

Over time, you'll learn to estimate materials so you don't overspend on paint. 

That's How to Start a Painting Business

We hope this article answered your queries about how to start a painting business. It's as straightforward as getting insurance, buying equipment, and learning the ropes.

You will have a license and business structure before you start taking payment.

And you'll need to find clients. Check out this post to learn more about marketing to help advertise your new business.