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The Ultimate Guide to Painting a House for Your Customers

Jun 17, 2022 · 7 minutes to read

A painting paints a house

Painting professionals help homeowners freshen up or transform their houses, inside and out. As a new painting business owner, you might be looking for ways to make a mark in your local area and attract new customers. This house painting guide has got you covered, with helpful hints for impressing your clients from the first coat of paint to the last!

Assess the Project

The first step to taking on any painting project is to assess the situation. While your customer will have ideas about what they want to be done, they’ve hired you for a reason. You should use your knowledge and experience to fully scope out the house painting work you’ll need to do, the tools you’ll need, and how long it will take.

As a painting professional, you might notice additional work that may be necessary that your customer is not aware of. You might also spot other areas of their exterior that could need a new coat of paint or touchups. These items could be added to the current project or help you create repeat business.

Provide an Accurate Quote

Most customers want to know two things when they hire a professional painter: How much does it cost, and how long will it take? It’s in your best interest to provide a quote that is as accurate as possible. This not only gives potential customers the information they want but it shows your professionalism and skill. You know what you’re doing, right down to the last coat of paint!

Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Unexpected rain or an out-of-stock paint color could add time and expense to a job. However, a real painting pro builds some buffer into their quotes to help account for unforeseen issues.

Offer Services Your Competitors Don’t

Standing out from the competition is one way to attract new customers and win their painting projects. Offering services that your competitors do not can help you do this. There are many unique services a painter could offer, such as:

  • Helping customers choose color schemes that work well together on their homes, compliment their neighbors’ houses, or match existing coats.
  • Target a single neighborhood and offer discounts on HOA-approved hues (This strategy may work well if you’re able to book several jobs in the same area and share supplies.)
  • Provide a guarantee for your work, including free touchups for a certain period after a job is finished.
  • Offer discounts on other services, such as 25% off interior painting when you book exterior house painting work.

It may help to study what your competitors are doing and think of ways you might be able to do things better.

Schedule the Job

When it comes time to schedule a customer’s job, you’ll need to consider many different factors. Your current schedule is one. As your painting business grows, you may need to juggle several different jobs and customers at the same time. That might be the time to hire some employees or bring in painting contractors to help with the workload.

Another big factor in when you can paint a house is the weather. Some exterior house painting tips to keep in mind when scheduling jobs are:

  • Avoid moisture – You shouldn’t paint a surface that’s just been rained on. If the forecast calls for rain, you may need to wait a day or two before starting a job. Humidity can also be an issue. High relative humidity (RH) levels cause paint to dry slower and could add days to a project.
  • Watch the temperature – Direct sunlight and intense heat can cause paint to ripple. It’s also not comfortable to work in (and could be potentially dangerous). On the other hand, if the temperature is 34-37° F, the paint will not dry.
  • Consider the time of day – Exterior painting is best done from late morning to mid-afternoon. This gives the morning dew time to evaporate and gives the paint time to dry before temperatures drop in the evening.
  • Think about the season – While most people think about painting their homes in the summer, late spring and early fall may be better because temperatures are generally milder.

Collect Your Supplies

You should have a good idea of what supplies you’ll need after assessing the job and providing a quote. You will have measured walls and calculated how much paint will be needed for the entire project. While you want to avoid overbuying paints, it is wise to order a little extra in case something goes wrong. Leaving a can or two behind with the customer at the end of the job is useful if you’re called back for touchups.

Along with paint, you will also need to check your brushes and rollers to see if anything needs replacing. Regular maintenance of power tools, such as sprayers and sanders, is recommended to keep these items in working order. If anything needs to be repaired or replaced, try to do it before the job starts, so nothing slows down the work.

Get to Work

You’ve assessed the project, provided a quote, scheduled the job, and collected your supplies. It’s time to get to work!

You are the painting pro, so you probably don’t need any exterior house painting tips from us. However, it’s important to remember that your customers might be watching you very carefully. Acting professionally at all times can help set their minds at ease and potentially earn you a customer for life.

Some things to consider:

  • Always clean up at the end of the day – Even if a project is still in progress, tidying up each day can help prevent accidents, such as trip and fall injuries or spilled paint.
  • Keep phone use to a minimum – If a customer sees you on your phone all day, they might start to worry about the job going overtime. Consider leaving your phone on mute and responding to voicemails and messages before and after project hours.
  • Respect your customer’s home – Treat each client’s home and belongings as if they were your own. Remove dirty boots when entering, take care when moving furniture, and be mindful of fragile items.

Follow Up After the Job’s Done

A business owner’s job doesn’t end as soon as the paint has dried. You should follow up with your customers to make sure they are happy with the work you have done. If yes, you might want to ask them to leave you an online review or refer you to their family and friends.

If a customer is not satisfied, you should try to fix the situation. There may be ways you can turn things around and still earn a good review.

Finally, you might also consider ways to create repeat business. Collecting customer emails is one way to sell additional services and offer discounts. Though, if you’ve done your job right, your customers may already be thinking about the next paint job they can hire you for!

Is your painting business protected?

Business insurance, such as General Liability* coverage and a Business Owner’s Policy*, could help you protect your growing painting company. These policies cover common risks that painters may experience in their line of work. Instead of paying compensation and legal fees from your own pocket, your business insurance does it for you. You can even get coverage for the tools and equipment needed to do your job.

Compare insurance for painters online with BizInsure – Start now.

*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

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