How To Start A Painting Business

Starting and running a profitable painting business is a lot more than know how to slap some paint on a wall.  Being a successful painter involves organization, knowledge, patience, perseverance, people-skills, and a number of other traits.  Many business owners fail, not because they weren’t skilled in painting, but because they were not skilled in running a business.

The larger you want your painting company to be, the better you need to be as a business owner, as the responsibility will be greater.  It is not wrong to dream big, but if you are a new business owner, it is best to start small and work your way up.


There are three basic steps to starting a painting company from scratch.  First is planning.  Second is registering with proper government institutions.  Lastly, you will need to promote your business in some way to attract customers.

1.  Plan Your Painting Company

Develop a Business plan

Before diving in to any business, you should develop a business plan.  If you want to start a masonry company, you definitely need to start with a business plan!  Painting equipment and vehicles can potentially cost a lot of money.  Don’t forget about insurance costs, not only for you, but for any employees.  A business plan doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but is something that will help organize your goals and priorities and help you make wise decisions.

Planning properly will help you decide if you are going to specialize in a specific niche such as commercial work only, or if you will offer a variety of services.

  • Set short and long-term goals – Plan your business before you spend a dime.
  • Decide what services you will offer – Decide the scope of your business.
  • Find a niche – What will be your specialty?  What will set you apart from the competition?
  • Choose a painting business name – Put some thought into deciding a name for your painting business.
  • Decide what you will charge for your services
  • Financing – You may need to get a business loan

Get Organized

As soon as you start your painting business, you will need some sort of organizational structure so you can keep your customer communications and painting-related paperwork in order.  You won’t necessarily need a full office when starting out.  An office desk dedicated to your business paperwork would be helpful.

Get a daily planner or use your smartphone to schedule estimates, jobs, and other work-related appointments.  An easy way to lose customers is to arrive late or even forget a scheduled appointment.  A schedule will help you plan your day, week, and month, so you can make best use of your time and your customer’s time.

  • Set up an office
  • E-mail
  • Business phone
  • Estimate forms
  • Bill Forms

Equipment needed when starting a painting company

You can’t start a painting business without at least some basic painting tools and equipment.  Equipment will probably account for the largest portion of your startup costs.  Starting out, you don’t necessarily need all brand-new tools and equipment.  You will save thousands of dollars in startup costs by purchasing a used vehicle (or even using the vehicle you already have), used ladders and ladder rack, and other misc. tools.  Another tip is to only buy tools as jobs require them.  This will help keep you from going into debt for tools and equipment you may end up never using.  How to Start a Painting Business With No Money

2.  Register Your New Painting Businesshow to start a painting business

Make it legal

Make sure you are following proper protocol in your region.  This means having necessary insurance, following tax codes, getting proper licenses and permits, etc.  This applies even to a part-time painting business.

Some steps to starting your painting company legally:

  • Select your business structure (sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.)
  • Register your business name
  • Register your business entity
  • Register as a home improvement contractor with your state (US)
  • Open a business bank account
  • Taxes- either get an accountant, or do research on filing yourself
  • Liability Insurance
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • City Licenses and Permits
  • OSHA

How To Start A Painting Business In The United States

How To Start A Painting Business In Ontario, Canada 

How To Start A Painting Business In The UK

3.  Grow Your New Painting Business

In order to grow your painting company, you will need to work hard, have people skills, and be patient.  You will also need to market your business effectively.  Success and profit won’t come overnight.

Get Painting Software

Painting software will streamline your business before you even start, giving you visibility and control over all your leads, sales, jobs, and tasks from a single program to get your company on the fast track toward growth.

You’ll also be able to create estimates, place material orders, automate the boring (but necessary) stuff, empowering you and your team to finish jobs on time and on budget. Try JobNimbus for Free!


Beside employees, dealing with customers can cause a great amount of stress.  Learning how to communicate well with customers can help boost sales and increase word-of-mouth leads.  How To Get More Painting Customers

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  • Learn how to sell a painting job to a potential customer
  • Estimate a painting job properly
  • Communicate regularly and clearly with the customer
  • Be fair and honest- take responsibility for your mistakes


After you start a painting business, you need to market it.  Some low-cost advertising ideas to get started can include setting up a free business listing for your painting company on Google Business and other online directories, set up business profiles on social media, have some business cards and yard signs created, and set up a basic website.

How to Start a Painting Business in the United States

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Rhode Island
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How To Start A Painting Business In Ontario, Canada

How To Start A Painting Business In The UK