Starting a House Painting Business [Ultimate 2023 Guide]

Thinking of starting a house painting business? This one’s for you.

A coat of paint on a wall makes the house fresh, lively, and brighter. As such, many people consider getting a fresh coat of paint for their houses and would most likely outsource the services of a painter. Here is where you come into the picture.

Several reasons are beckoning you to start a painting business. You don’t need the rigorous certifications of carpenters or metalworkers. Instead, you can start and learn on the job and enroll in continuing education classes to fine-tune your skill.

The thrill about painting is that it’s less expensive and you can start simple, with just a brush and a ladder. Of course, you will upgrade as you grow the customer base. Similarly, you can do it part-time or full-time, depending on your flexibility.

Having made up your mind and considered painting as your future specialty, here are the steps to drive home that vision.

9 steps for starting a house painting business

1. Work for someone else first

Yes, it’s possible to start your own house painting business with no experience and make a good living, but like all good things, there are certain caveats.

While you may be new to running your own house painting business, you absolutely must know how to paint houses properly. No book or article can substitute for experience.

Even if your goal is to eventually have a crew to do the actual house painting, you still have to know how to paint a house properly to supervise and oversee your crew.

2. Planning

Planning involves drafting a good business plan that maps out how you will set up, build and maintain your vision. It involves asking yourself some questions and getting answers. If you can get it right with the questions and answers below, you are on a roll.

3. Register your entity

You may choose the type of entity your business takes, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you are going it all alone, you may register as a sole proprietor or go for a partnership. Alternatively, you may go for a legal entity of LLC or Corporation.

4. Registration for small business tax

Before you open a shop, bear in mind tax compliance to avoid state and federal run-ins. Check with the relevant authorities the types of taxes applicable to your business.

5. Open a bank account for your business

Separate your personal and business affairs by opening a dedicated bank account for your business. Having registered your business, open an account under the business name. Besides segregating your income, the business account will help you build a relationship with the bank and even qualify for loans in the future.

6. Obtain the necessary documentation

You can’t run a business without the required local permits. So before you start, get familiar with the licensing you’re going to need.

Apart from authorization, you need an accounting system and contracts to be signed by your clients. The accounting records will assist you in analyzing the performance of your business. Service agreements ensure that payment terms with your clients are well documented. You may consider involving a lawyer to make the agreement binding.

7. Get an insurance policy

Insurance serves two purposes. One, it is a state requirement that you insure your business and staff against work-related risks. Secondly, insurance covers loss of your business property and injuries to third parties.

8. Define and build on your brand

Your brand tells a lot about your business, and you need to define what you stand for right from the beginning. Then, with a lot of promotion, you can popularise your brand and when you have a following, capitalize on that crucial trust.

9. Market your new house painting business

When everything else above is done, it’s time to promote your business. You have several options, including social media, sales promotions, websites, magazines, flyers, home improvement forums, and mainstream media. A Facebook page can do for a start.

It is essential to have a website that spells out your services and strengthens your business presence and legitimacy. You may have to hire an expert to build your website or do it yourself using website building guides.

Moreover, you may set up an office and a phone system to make the business more professional. A sound phone system creates legitimacy for your business and directs potential customers to you.

House painting business FAQ

What are the basic startup requirements and the capital?

To start, you need to be insured, bonded, and licensed by your local authority. You will find that the costs vary depending on your locality. You also need to consider the minimum items required to kickstart your painting business. Start with the following tools: a ladder, brushes, rollers, trays, caulking gun, masking gun, scraper, wire brush, sandpaper, and cloth or old newspapers.

What are the recurring expenses for the house painting entity?

Your day-to-day costs of transport, painting brushes, advertising, and utilities are ongoing expenses to contend with. In addition, the costs of renewing licenses and certifications are recurrent.

What are your rates?

Standard costs are charged according to the size of the building, difficulty levels, the required items, time spent, and the people. You ought to compute your rates depending on the ease or difficulty and whether you require the expertise of other professionals to offer assistance.

Aside from the above, also consider transportation and costs of materials. Of paramount importance is the texture of the surface to be painted. Your rates should be higher for rough surfaces because you will need more materials to smoother. Furthermore, rough surfaces accelerate the wear and tear of your brushes.

How will you be identified?

A suitable business name is significant for identity and marketing purposes. Your business name should lead people to the kind of service you offer. Of course, you want people to identify with your brand, therefore, have a catchy name.

How do paint companies charge?

Typically, contractors try to keep it simple and charge around 1.25 per square foot. So a 2500 square foot house would cost a homeowner $3125.

What’s the average cost of painting a house?

Of course, this will vary, but the average contractor charges around $3,000 per house (source).

How long does it take most contractors to paint a house?

According to, an average-size house will take 3 or 4 days to paint if you have a team of 2 or 3 people. On the other hand, a large house will take 5 or 6 days with the same sized team.

What’s the average wage for a house painter?

Painters typically make from $18 to $21 per hour in salary when they work for a licensed contractor.

How much of a house painting job is profit?

According to Scalebloom, about 40 to 50 percent of every job goes to labor, and around another 15 to 20 percent goes to material costs.

The office staff takes up an additional 1 percent, project managers and estimators take up another 15 percent, and marketing takes up around 9 percent.

The owner can expect to make roughly 13% of every job.

How much money do you need to start?

While you can definitely get started with $1,000 (for equipment), aim to have $10,000 to start your house painting business.

Once in a while, you may need some working capital boost to grow your business. There are several tailored facilities by banks that you can utilize depending on your ability. For example, asset financing loans provide a solution to your painting equipment needs. To qualify, you need to look for the equipment and provide the bank with the proforma invoice.

However, it may not be a good idea to borrow a loan while starting. One is that the start-up costs of the house painting business are minimal. Secondly, borrowing increases the risks in your startup, and if it fails, the more trouble from banks. As such, it is better to start small and to borrow when the business is growing.

What’s a typical day in the painting business look like?

Having set up everything needed, you might want to know what your typical day is like in the painting business. Depending on the size of orders you have, you can start your day meeting potential clients, signing contracts, and promoting the business.

On the field, you will be washing, masking, covering furniture, scraping, and the actual painting. Then, as you wind the day, you would be cleaning your equipment.

What skills do you need to run a successful house painting business?

Like in other businesses, you need analytical skills for accurate cost estimates, proportionate paint mixing ratios, calculation of labor costs, and general office accounting. Your communication skills help you relate well with customers, while your creativity would be instrumental in bailing you out of an unforeseen emergency.

What about hiring employees and contractors?

If you are a one-person entity, you need extensive knowledge and tools to grow. Moreover, you inject a team of employees or contractors to propel your company. You may employ office assistants and painters whom you have control over.

On the other hand, you cannot control what the contractors do and how they do it. You have no control over when they should start or stop. Nevertheless, one good thing about sub-contracting is that you are not responsible for their salaries, allowances, or taxes.

What’s the growth potential of the house painting business?

Given the rising demand for housing and office space, a house painting business can be lucrative. Research conducted by Coherent Market Insights placed 2019 revenue on the global paints and coatings market at $140 billion and predicts a 5.4 %growth in the period 2020-2027.

House painting is in high demand, given the demand generated by real estate investors. The painters’ industry revenue decreased by 2.6% in 2020 due to COVID-19 but is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2021.

With satisfied customers and resources, you can grow your painting business through partnerships and funding by financial institutions. Specialized painting skills attract more pay, and as you learn new techniques, you can capitalize by creating unique styles.

The house painting business: The bottom line

Starting your own business is beneficial in that you can set your schedule and work your way. You become your own boss and work as and when you want, but prepare to work hard and get your hands dirty. Despite this, the customer becomes your boss, and you must satisfy him to remain in business.

With the right mindset, insurance, and the necessary paperwork and tools, you are set on your journey to painting heights. A cautionary piece of advice here is that you must be inclined to home improvement ideas.

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