A fresh coat of paint can transform any space. Completing a paint job takes time, attention to detail, and a bit of talent. No wonder not many people can handle painting themselves. This is where a painting business comes into the picture. Painters are people who love working with paintbrushes, rollers, and painter’s tape. 

Owning a painting business requires handling various projects. These may include painting homes or commercial facilities. An owner of a painting business has to manage their team of painters and oversee projects to ensure that the work exceeds clients’ expectations. 

Here’s an ultimate guide on how to start a painting business. 

Painting Business Plan

Just like any other business, you need a business plan before starting a painting business. There are various benefits of devoting time, effort, and money to developing a painting business plan. And, there’s no rule regarding how big the plan can be. 

You just have to make a plan that covers the basic elements of your business. The ideal painting business plan should be interactive. This is because it is likely to change as your business grows. 

Benefits of a painting business plan include:

  • Giving you the roadmap regarding how to build your painting company.
  • Setting guiding principles when your painting business is up and running. 
  • Allowing you to stay on track when facing trouble staying afloat. 

Register Your Company

After writing a robust painting business plan, the next step is to register your business. This is necessary to make your business operate legally. You may have to take steps, including:

Register your painting business with the local or state government.

A painting business can be in various forms, including LLC, corporation, independent contractor, or sole proprietor. It is important to choose your type of business before moving forward. Then you need to check the registering requirements in your planned area of operation. 

In some states, there’s no need to register your business with the office of the state secretary. Some states require registering a business name with the country registrar, recorder, or clerk. You just have to check the requirements in your state to understand the registering process and procedure that applies to a painting business. 

Apply To Get An EIN

The second procedure you may undertake to legalize your painting business is to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This nine-digit number will work as the social security number for your business. 

The EIN is very helpful for all business owners as you can use it as a taxpayer identification number instead of the social security number. This comes in handy for big clients requiring providing the taxpayer identification number for their tax requirements. 

Create A Website

Having a painter’s website is very important regardless of the size of your business. Many people today search for painting service providers online. So, you must bring your business closer to where your target customers are.

Having a killer painter’s website will serve various purposes, including: 

Generating leads

A painter’s website should include all details that potential clients may need to contact you regarding your services. The ideal website should have an appealing design with punchy sales copy. This will draw potential clients and convince them to book your services. Including your contact details and clear calls-to-action makes the website generate leads without you having to go from door to door. 

Telling your brand story

Marketing a painting business is all about storytelling. Ideal marketing strategies tell your brand story. This is usually in an engaging manner that makes potential customers relate to your brand and request your services. A painter’s website is a good tool to tell your brand story. This makes potential customers trust you before talking with you on the phone. 

Make your brand get noticed

Google makes searching for information so easy. Any painting business owner who wants to get noticed must build a solid reputation online. The first thing to do is to get a painter’s website. Using the right keywords on your website will make it easier for potential customers to find your business in Google search results. 

Make your business look professional

Most customers search online for service providers today. Having a well-designed website gives potential customers the impression that your business is real and trustworthy. The website makes your brand look more professional, accountable, visible, and so easy to connect with. 

Get Insurance

Acquiring insurance for a painting business depends on your location. However, it is in your best interest to get insurance cover. Insurance will keep you and your staff safe while in the line of duty. 

This is very important since accidents on the job are inevitable. More so, insurance will offer financial support when facing a legal issue. However, your insurance cover depends on the policy you may purchase.

Some insurance options for a painting business include:



General liability 

Covers against property damage and bodily injury

Business property  insurance 

Covers business supplies and equipment

Equipment breakdown

Covers equipment replacement or repair resulting from mechanical breakdown.

Workers’ compensation 

Employee compensation for injuries on the job

Property insurance 

Covers business premises 

Commercial auto 

Protects business vehicles

Professional liability

Covers against client claims for loss suffered resulting from work errors or omissions

You have to consider some factors when choosing insurance for your painting business. These include choosing a plan tailored to your business needs and requirements. Additionally, the policy should be simple to understand and affordable.

Painting Equipment

Now you must be wondering what I need to start a painting business. Well, handling painting jobs require having the right equipment. Keep in mind that each task may require different equipment and materials. The kind of equipment you use will play a significant role in how well you do the job. 

Here are some of the essential equipment not to miss in your painter’s toolkit. 

Pressure Washer

One of the most important tasks before completing a paint job is to prepare the surfaces. You have to properly prepare where you’re going to paint before application. All surfaces should be free of dust, dirt, grease, oil, or chipped paint. Ignoring to remove these will make the paint not stick to the surfaces properly. 

The paint will chip or ripple after a few weeks or months. Depending on the surface to paint, a pressure washer is a handy tool. It cleans the surfaces to make them ready for painting. 

Drop Cloths

It is important to keep the area near the paint site protected before the job. So, you need to get some drop cloths. Invest in some canvas drop cloths, cotton sheets, or plastic sheets. These will protect the surfaces from paint bleeds or drips. The use of drop cloths ensures that the nearby surfaces remain clean after the paint job. 

Ladder, Scaffolding, and Lifts

Painting jobs may cover large surfaces, and some may be in high places. Scaffolding is essential to handle paint jobs involving tall buildings, manufacturing plants, or garages. It allows getting to higher floors safely and steadily. Alternatively, lifts may be a wonderful option to reach high places with the flexibility of moving around with ease. 

Compound and Caulk

While painting, some surfaces may have cracks, crevices, or holes. These need filling before the painting begins. So, you need appropriate material for fixing blemishes on the surfaces. You may fix blemishes using putty or caulk. 

Scrapers and Sandpaper

Another key aspect when preparing surfaces for painting is sanding and scraping. Scraping is necessary to make the surface even after repair. Alternatively. Sanding may be necessary on the surface to allow the paint to stick. It is very important to understand the surface for painting to determine whether scraping or sanding is necessary. 


While painting, a primer may be necessary to apply on new surfaces to seal the original material. it prevents the paint from soaking into the material which may come with additional costs. Additionally, primer hides seams or joints and limits bleed-through which may come from knots or other blemishes. Some painting jobs may require a primer to prevent corrosion and rust. 

Quality Paint

Various surfaces require different types of paint. Additionally, interior and exterior paint jobs require different paints. Exposure to heat, moisture, or sun may also determine the paint to apply on a surface. Some jobs may require special paint. The rule of thumb is to understand the job requirements to select the most appropriate type of paint for the job. 

Rollers and Brushes 

Making a paint job look more uniform and nicer requires using quality rollers and brushes. This encourages a more steady and faster work completion. Completing a job in less time is very important since time is money. You have to invest in quality rollers and brushes for your team to work at a quicker pace without compromising quality. 


Commercial paint jobs require more than rollers and brushes. You have to invest in quality sprayers for applying the paint to the surfaces. Sprayers come in various designs, including air-assisted, airless, gas, electric, and pneumatic. Investing in a sprayer with the right size and style for your project will lead to a nice paint job in less time. 

Management software

Software such as Field Complete is the backbone of any contractor business today. Using this software will make assessing and tracking paint jobs easier. Additionally, the software makes invoicing, scheduling, messaging, and dispatching easy. Apart from saving you time, the field management software allows you to focus on getting new clients. 

A good paint job significantly changes any space. It makes the appearance more appealing and safeguards the surfaces against elements. Investing in the right tools is the best way to make your painting business customers happy. 

How to Bid for Jobs

Getting high-paying paint jobs requires understanding how to bid successfully. This is very important since submitting a high bid may lead to rejection. However, you don’t have to bend too low. A good bid reflects the professionalism and quality of your work while allowing you to make a good profit. 

You have to understand how not to bid too high or too low. This is very important since all paint jobs are not made the same. Some are easier and quicker to complete than others. Here’s a checklist before bidding on a paint job. 

  • Visit the paint site to determine the surface square footage and condition. 
  • Determine the cost of materials necessary to complete the job. 
  • Calculate labor costs while considering potential obstacles. 
  • Estimate how long it will take to complete the job. 

Having the above checklist at the back of your mind whenever you’re bidding for paint jobs will increase your chances of getting more jobs.

Getting Your First Painting Customer

Potential customers for a painting business include building contractors, homeowners, housing associations, and property developers. Others may include commercial property managers, gutter installers, flooring installers, and roofers. Getting the first customer for your painting business may not come easy. 

You need strong presentation, propositioning, and follow-up techniques that promise solutions to problems that customers may be having. The first step to getting your first painting customer is to call local property managers and realtors. You can send an email to find out whether they may need your services. The email should include some pictures of your work and references.  

Alternatively, your family and friends or people they know may become your first customers. Talk to them to know whether they need painting somewhere. If they don’t have one, they might know someone who needs your services. 

Make a Profit

Management plays a significant role in the profitability of a painting business. The best way to streamline managing your business today is to rely on Field Complete. This is a simple and affordable software for painting contractors. Using this app will contribute to the profitability of your business through its endless features, including

  • Creating estimates and quotes on the fly.
  • Scheduling and dispatching painters effortlessly.
  • Tracking job statuses, progress, and deadlines. 
  • Creating and sending out invoices on the go.
  • Keep in touch with your painters in the field 24/7.
  • Managing job details and tasks.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Painting Business?

There’s no written down figure on how much you can use when starting a painting business with no experience. It all comes down to your budget, business size, and business plan. Some factors that determine the start cost of a painting business include equipment, business vehicle, marketing cost, and business location. 

Start A Painting Business For $2000

You can start a painting business with $2000 with a good plan. The table below shows how you may budget $2000 to start your painting business. 


Minimum cost ($)

Maximum cost ($)




Industry expenses 



Management software


29 per month

Equipment and supplies



Advertising and marketing 



Office space 



Inventory expenses 



Total start-up costs 



Start A Painting Business For $1000

You can also start a painting business with $1000 if you budget well. This means that you ignore some items that would cost you money and spend only on those you can’t get for free or cheaper. Let’s show you how.

  • Register your business in less than 15 minutes for not more than $100.
  • Create a free website using Wix, WordPress, SquareSpace, or Weebly.
  • Acquire liability insurance for about $100 monthly.
  • Use your personal car to reach clients’ locations.
  • Find space in your home for your office 
  • Purchase or hire painting equipment for less than $500 to complete the job

Do You Need A License To Start A Painting Business?

You need to get a painter’s license to operate your business legally. Check your local authority for appropriate steps to get your license. You may check your state, city, or country government website to learn about the painting business license guidelines. Alternatively, you can identify the licensing requirements in your state by checking the SBA’s guide. 

Getting your painter’s license is very important to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law. Operating without a license means you’ve failed to comply with requirements. You risk getting hefty fines. 

What Kind Of Painting Business Is Most Popular?

Now that you’ve decided to start a painting business, it is time to choose a niche. There are various kinds of painting business ideas and opportunities. Let’s see some of the most popular painting business ideas. 

House Painting Business

This is one of the most common and lucrative painting businesses to start. House painting is an essential element after construction for a property to be occupied. Adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to enhance the appearance of a property. Additionally, painting also makes a house attractive to prospective buyers. 

Your service location determines how to start a house painting business. Locations with high housing prices usually offer more opportunities. There’s always a demand for painting services to enhance the value of the various homes. Areas whose residents have enough to spend on home repairs after a few years also offer opportunities for painters.

Homeowners associations also require homeowners to give their homes a fresh coat after a particular period creating demand for painting services. 

Interior Painting Business

An interior painting business gives the interior of offices, homes, and buildings new looks. People request interior painting services to make their properties look clean, fresh, and more appealing to potential buyers. 

Additionally, interior painting creates a positive first impression for anyone entering a house or commercial property. Potential customers for an interior painting business include homeowners, property managers, and business owners.

Keeping the tips in this article in mind will give you everything regarding how to start an interior painting business

Car Painting Business

Finally, you should also consider a car painting business. Knowing the kind of opportunities and potential customers is part of how to start a car painting business. You’ll be responsible for spraying cars to give them a fresh look. People who usually demand car painting services include those with accident cars and who wish to give their cars a new look. 

Other people may just want to add fancy artwork to their vehicles. A regular car painting job takes from 40 to 80 hours, depending on the damage or size of the vehicle. This kind of job is ideal for people looking forward to merging their mechanical aptitude with creativity.