How to Start a House Painting Business from Scratch

Jan 19, 2022 · 6 minutes to read

A painter paints white on a wall

Nothing beats a new coat of paint when it comes to bringing a room to life. However, most individuals find painting their own home to be a nuisance. Many don’t have sufficient time to setup, perform the labour, or clean up after. That’s why a lot of homeowners would rather hire a professional painter to perform the work on their behalf.

Establishing a professional house painting business might be a lucrative and rewarding career path if you’re detail-oriented and have a steady hand. Let’s explore how to get your painting business off to a good start, from initial investment to publicizing your new business. (If you currently have a home painting business, these steps could help you expand your services.)

How Much Should You Invest in Launching a House Painting Company?

Starting a house painting business might be quite inexpensive at first, especially if you take on smaller jobs at first. In fact, you might be able to start your house painting company for just a couple thousand dollars.

You’ll need items such as the following when you start out:

  • Brushes and rollers
  • Paint trays
  • Dust sheets and protective covers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ladders
  • Wire brushes, sanders, and sandpaper
  • A caulking gun
  • Protective clothing and masks

Starting a business out of your house or truck might help you save money on overhead expenses. As your projects grow, you’ll need additional equipment to complete them. Rather than invest in things like scaffolding, compressors, and sprayers now, you can add these as you need them and when you’ve saved up money to purchase or rent them.

Choosing the Most Appropriate Structure for a House Painting Business

There three common types of business structures that you are likely to choose from. Each has its own set of advantages. You’ll want to rethink which structure is ideal for you as your painting business expands.

  • Sole Proprietor. Being a sole proprietor (sometimes referred to as an independent contractor) is a terrific way to get your feet wet in the business world. You’ll be responsible for all aspects of your business. This can provide you with the freedom to take on a wide range of painting tasks at whatever speed works the best for your business and lifestyle.
  • Starting a successful painting business as a partnership allows you to share costs and risks. Another advantage is that you can complement each other’s business skills—after all, two brains are better than one.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC is a separate legal entity. This means you will not be personally liable for any small business debts, and your personal funds won’t be put at risk to cover it. And with an LLC in place, placing your employees on a payroll is the simplest of the three alternatives.

Getting Licensed and Protecting Your Painting Business

Before you can begin working as a painter, you’ll need to make sure you are compliant with local laws and ordinances. This may include getting relevant licenses and certifications and protecting yourself with business insurance.


There are no national certification requirements for breaking into the painting industry, but there are a variety of ways to learn the trade. To acquire the fundamentals, you decide to enroll in a professional home painting and/or decorating course or complete a formal apprenticeship, where you will get education and hands-on experience.

If you’re already in the industry but want to broaden your service offering, you might consider obtaining certification in certain areas of expertise, such as industrial coating. If you’re going to work on a structure that was built before 1978, keep in mind that the EPA requires house painters to be certified via the Renovation, Repair, and Painting programme (RRP).


You may need a painting contractor’s licence, depending on your state’s laws. This might entail anything from filling out a basic registration form to sitting an exam on your industry knowledge. State and local government websites typically have information on what licensing painter’s need to legally do business in that area.


Contractors, including painters, may need certain types of business insurance to work in some areas. Check your state or local government laws to understand if you are required to carry General Liability or other forms of coverage.

If your company is sued, your personal money may be at risk, depending on the structure of your company. Insurance for painters will help take care of the costs associated with compensating clients or defending yourself in court. This can allow you to concentrate on growing your business, instead of constantly worrying about your business and personal finances.

How to Promote a House Painting Company

Once you’ve set up your company, you’ll want to spread the word! There are several ways to generate more clients and sales, many of which are budget-friendly.

Family and friends

Word-of-mouth recommendations can be a powerful way to build your business. Asking your family and friends to pass your details to potential customers will result in natural, in-person referrals.

Printing Flyers and Business Cards

House painter business cards, magnets, and brochures remain an exceptionally successful means of getting your company’s name in front of potential customers. Print a few hundred fliers and business cards for the painting contractor and knock on doors. It’s an old-fashioned method, but it works. People will remember you from the first time they met you, making them considerably more inclined to contact you for painting assistance in the future.

The Internet and Social Media

Most people expect to find businesses online, so you’ll want to establish your online reputation as a professional home painting company. A website and social media profiles are a good place to start. You can use these sites as a portfolio of your work and place to answer customer questions.

Once you have satisfied customers, ask them to leave a review for you online. It may help to focus on one site at a time, for example directing your customers to Yelp and building your reputation there. High ratings can help new customers find you and have the confidence to hire you for your painting services.

While success in any business requires good old-fashioned hard work, addressing these key areas at the start will make your hard work as a painting contractor even more productive.

Looking for insurance for your painting business? With BizInsure you can find, compare, and buy policies in just 10 minutes. Find policies today.

*As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained in this article is general only.  Coverage for claims on the policy will be determined by the insurer, not BizInsure, and will depend on the specific facts and circumstances involved.

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