How to Start a Painting Business? (2022)

Written by: Parth Parth
Last Updated by Rocio Somoza: July 5, 2022
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painting business

There are a few inevitabilities in life: taxes, death, buying a car, and home renovation are just some of those. If you have ever painted a room, you know the difference a fresh coat of paint can bring to an otherwise dull room. This – or many other factors might have prompted you to start your own painting business. Let’s walk through the steps you’ll need to do so.

Contents

Learn the skills to start a business first

Learning and practicing how to paint will save you from making mistakes that will cost you money and clients. Before you get your first job, here are some professional house painting skills that all painters should know:

  • Proper scraping, patching, and sanding techniques to prep a room for painting
  • Basic painting techniques to get an even coat and avoid touch-ups
  • How to use brushes and rollers
  • How to cut in paint
  • How and when to use different kinds of paints (oil-based, latex, acrylic, etc.)
  • When to use primer (for most interior painting jobs except touch-ups and refreshes)
  • The best way to paint rooms (from top to bottom)

Getting hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Many painting business owners start by working for a painting company for one or two years. This experience can also give you insight into the industry and how to start a painting business of your own.

painting business

How much does it cost to start a Painting Business?

Painting Equipment: This is the most expensive thing you’ll be investing into after whatever vehicle you use to start your own painting business. Depending on what kind of painter you are, you will have different costs.

A house painter will need brushes of different sizes, a Roller Paint tray, Drop cloths, Sandpaper, Painter’s tap,e Scrapers Ladder, and a caulking gun (for exterior paint jobs). These will cost you in the ballpark of $500 to $750.

A commercial painter will require more stuff in addition to the house painter like a taller ladder, industrial-strength equipment, a pressure washer, etc. This will significantly increase your costs.

A third option is to subcontract the entire job. You can start by providing materials to a subcontractor using the upfront payment (usually 25% of the whole job) you collect from the customer and basically paying someone else for the job. If you do so, make sure you’re not overpaying and that you will be left with a good amount of money in the end.

How much can a Painting Business earn?

Learn how to create your own projections for how much to charge your customers. Websites like Jobber provide tools that are going to help you decide how much to quote the customer. Things you might want to keep in mind while making approximate quotations to customers are the current condition of the space, an estimate of how many hours it will take you to complete the job, how many materials you’re using, and other maintenance costs for your equipment.

This is a business where you will get repeat customers if you do a good job but they might come after a couple of years. As such, think of this as a job where you need to generate word-of-mouth advertising for yourself rather than relying on a few same customers to keep coming in.

What paperwork do I need to Start a Painting Business in 2022?

As with any business, you will need some paperwork to establish a Painting Business. The following is an indicative list of what are things you might need to do before you start your business. Again, check with a lawyer in your area to find out if you’re all set to start.

  • Business License: Registering your business with the state, county, city, etc.
  • Bond: You may need to pay a bond before you can get a license to operate a painting business in your area.
  • Sales Tax Registration: Register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.
  • Contractor Permit: You may need specific permits for contracting in your area of operation. Be sure to contact the local licensing office for details.

You can start a small painting company with a modest truck or an SUV that can carry all of your painting stuff. It is very necessary to have insurance when you run a painting business. You do not want yourself to be liable for any damages you cause – or at least not pay for all of it. The following are some kinds of insurance you need to worry about:

  • Liability insurance covers any damage you might incur while running your business.
  • Workers’ compensation to cover for injuries to you or others while on the job.
  • Equipment insurance to cover any damages or losses to your painting equipment

We also recommend that you establish an LLC and do all of your business through it. If you do not, you can be sued for any damages caused and your property can be used to cover any damages you cannot pay. If you’re working through or for an LLC, only the LLC can be sued and only its property can be used to cover the damage.

This is not legal advice – none of it is – definitely talk to a lawyer about all of these topics before starting your own Painting Business.

Can I buy a Painting Business?

Of course, you can! Chances are if someone wants to sell their painting business, you’re exactly who they’re looking for – someone who is excited to get a foot in the business and is not afraid to work their own business. Have a look at websites like BizBuySell.

Highly Profitable Painting Business for Sale

Vermont
painting business
Asking Price$300,000Chas Flow:$228,000
Gross Revenue:$583,700Inventory:N/A
EBITDA:N/AReal Estate:$190,000
FF&E:$0Established:1999

Successful Business For Sale. Nashivelle, TN!

Brentwood, TN (Williamson County)
2
 
Asking Price: $1,000,000 Cash Flow: $300,000
Gross Revenue: $2,000,000 Inventory: N/A
EBITDA: N/A Established: 2014
FF&E: $0

CertaPro Painters Resale in Tucson

Tucson, AZ (Pima County)
3
Asking Price:$165,000Cash Flow:$100,000
Gross Revenue:$440,000Inventory:N/A
EBITDA:N/AEstablished:2018
FF&E:$0

Depending on your area, how frequently people get their properties painted, whether you work with homes or commercials locations or both the cost will vary wildly. We recommend you do your own research in your area, talk to painting business owners if you can, and then start your own business.

Can I franchise a painting business?

Absolutely! Let’s have a look at CertaPro – a company offering painting franchises.

CertaPro Painters offers a full range of professional interior and exterior painting and decorating services, year-round, throughout North America. Their services range from residential to commercial painting, which is handled with great care by highly skilled and experienced professionals. Michael Stone is the current CEO and president of the company and has served in the role since 2015. He has been with CertaPro since 2003 and has previously served as Regional Vice President since 2007 and as Vice President of Operations since 2013.

CertaPro

In 1971, Cameron Greig Clark and his partner, Stewart, found Stewart & Clark Painting in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. In 1972, they changed the name of this company to College Pro Painters, and in August of 1975, incorporated as College Pro Painters Limited in Ontario, Canada. College Pro Painters Limited expanded into the United States and formed a subsidiary, College Pro Painters (U.S.) Ltd. (“College Pro”), In 1978. At that time, College Pro’s operations were seasonal and generally limited to offering exterior painting services for single-family homes and small residential buildings.

All franchises and company-owned outlets were run entirely by college students or college-age individuals with assistance from College Pro. In 1991 College Pro decided to expand its operations and formed CertaPro to offer a full range of interior and exterior painting and decorating services, year-round, throughout the United States.

With subcontractors performing the painting services, the total investment necessary to begin operation ranges from $147,750 to $175,000 while with employees, the initial investment will range from $169,800 to $221,000.

As of December 31, 2020, there were 307 franchisees that were in production for more than two full years. The average gross sales for these 307 businesses was $1,525,256 with 95 of them at or above the average. The median gross sales were $1,069,414. It will take you between 2 and 3 years to recover your initial investment based on a profit margin of 15%.

Based on their sales, CertaPro Painters, Ltd. is a profitable business with high-profit margins that guarantee a quick return on your investment. 

“In order to assess the performance of your franchise, CertaPro Painters recommend tracking the following measurements: Success Ratio, Average job size, and Percentage of leads from previous customers and through word of mouth.”

painting business

Conclusion

Starting your own Painting Business is a good idea. There might be a lot of seasonality in the job depending on your area – most people do home renovations in the summer. That said, you run the business right and make a tight financial plan, there is no reason why you cannot own your own successful Painting business.

You might also want to consider franchising in the painting industry. There are a ton of franchises offered and if you do not want to fully operate your own business, franchising might be a good alternative.

While this may be the business for you, make sure also to check out businesses offered on Vetted Biz and in the Home and Building Services Industry.

franchise specialist

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