How to Start a Painting Business in 2021 – A Complete Guide

Consider yourself creative and hardworking? Then starting your painting business can be a good option for yourself. Before learning how to start a painting business, you need to have an insight into why you should be a part of the industry. The painting business is in demand and the painting industry has seen growth over the years. The painting industry grew at a rate of 4.2% from 2014 till 2020 and more than half a million people joined the industry during that time. As of right now, the industry is about $43 billion and is expected to grow at a good rate. 

If you want to start a painting business with no experience, then you’ll need the help of a painting business course. If you’re wondering how much does a painting business make? Then that’s another reason to be part of the industry, the average profit margin is about 20-30% percent based on the type of work and some external factors. Here’s our guide on “how to start a painting business?

Pros and Cons of Starting a Painting Business

Before investing your money in a business, you need to know about all the pros and cons of the industry. No business is perfect and the same is the case for starting a painting business. There are a number of perks that may make it an enticing business option. Here are all the pros and cons of starting your own painting business.

Pros of a Painting Business

  • The business is fairly easy to start, if you’re starting it as a part-time business, then the time required is minimal. 
  • It doesn’t take much capital to start a business. You can start your painting business even if you are under a budget constraint. 
  • Can generate good income once you’ve established your business. 
  • You can specialize in different types of niches to improve your customer base. Some common niches are faux painting, special finishes, and historically authentic painting. 
  • You can become a part of the franchise to earn more money and get a regular business.
  • The target market is huge. A huge target market means better business opportunities and more income. 

Cons of a Painting Business

  • The work requires good physical health. You have to be in good shape to be able to work as a painter. 
  • The industry is vast and there’s huge competition. 
  • There is a chance that you may go long periods without working as some niche work is seasonal. 
  • If you aren’t proficient enough in painting, then you may get bad reviews from the customers. Bad reviews aren’t something you need while starting your business. 
  • Your work is usually dependent on the health of your economy. 
  • To start the business and make it profitable, you need to have a good enough knowledge of paints, primers, cleaning solutions, equipment, etc. 
  • Based on your geographical location, you may need a business license, insurance, and other legal obligations to follow.

What Tools do You Need to Start a Painting Business?

One of the best reasons to start learning how to start a painting business and build your business around the knowledge are the tools needed. The initial investment in terms of tools is quite low, if you source the material from the right place, you can save a lot of money. To start your own painting business, you’ll need:

  • Paintbrushes (a couple of brushes in different sizes)
  • Rollers
  • Paint trays
  • Tarps for covering the floor
  • Tape
  • 2 ladders (8’-12’ and a 28’- 32’ size)
  • Sandpapers (the whole roll is the more efficient choice)
  • 1 wire brush
  • A caulking gun
  • A breathing mask to protect you from the fumes of the paint
  • Protective clothing to protect your skin from chemicals

If you have some issues with the budget, then you can reduce your costs by making your home your office. Once you start earning profits, and once you are well known, you can invest in an office. You can also invest in more sophisticated equipment like:

  • Scaffolding
  • Sprayers
  • Compressors

Having the right tool can improve the quality of your work. If you’re questioning yourself “is painting business profitable?” then you should know that the right tools improve your work quality and efficiency, thus increasing the customer base. 

What Are the Basic Setup Costs for Painting Business?

Most of the cost inferred on starting your painting business is the amount you’ll spend on equipment. Managing your finances is a part of learning “how to start a painting business”. One of the major reasons for starting a painting business is that the initial setup costs are minimal. As your business will grow, your expenses will also grow but most of the expenses will help you increase your quality of work. Here’s a breakdown of the major expenses and average setup costs for the painting business. 

  • Brushes, rollers, paint trays ($100-$150)
  • Spray painters, mechanical tools (for commercial businesses)
  • Paint ($25-$45 per gallon). A gallon of paint covers about 350 square feet
  • Ladders 8-12 foot ($100-$150) 28-32 foot ($300)
  • Tarp, Tapes, and protective clothes ($100)
  • Transportation (a new van costs around $30,000), buying a used vehicle is a much better option.
  • Insurance for painting business and additional ($50 -$400)

On average the cost of starting a painting business is pretty low. To start the business and earn a good enough profit, you’ll need an average amount ($700- $2000). 

How Do You Prepare for Launching a Painting Business?

Learning how to start a painting business is tough, there are a lot of elements that you need to take care of. Successfully preparing for launching a painting business, require you to follow through with some major steps. Here’s how you can prepare for launching a painting business:

Market Research

The painting industry is huge, there’s tons of competition and there’s always someone in the market ready to offer cheaper rates for the same services. Doing ideal market research can help you build a solid footing for your business. You can learn about your competitors and their pricing structure. 

You can decide if you want to be a part of a franchise. Being part of a franchise can help you reduce initial costs, and you can gain considerable experience. If you’re worried about starting a painting business with no experience, being part of a franchise can clear that problem.

Attractive Business Name & Logo

Having a business name & logo is the first step towards building your business identity. You will have to do brainstorming, in choosing a name for your business. Your business name should be short, catchy and should give the customers a clear idea of what you’re offering. Plus, it’s important to ensure that the name isn’t similar to any other business. Once you pick the painting business name, it’s time to get a logo built. Your business name and logo help you make an identity for your business. The right logo ensures that your brand remains in the customer’s minds. You can get painting business cards built for your brand. 

Choosing your Niche

Learning how to start a painting business is tough and preparing well is a good choice. There are various methods and techniques of paintings and one can try building their business based on their specialization. Normal home painters can start the business easily and don’t really require any special skills. Different niches require different skills, here are some common niches you can specialize in, and grow your business:

  • Wall painting internal/external
  • Garage floor painting
  • Wood door re-staining
  • Wallpaper removal
  • Deck staining/waterproofing
  • Faux painting
  • Special finishes
  • Historically authentic paintings
  • Mural paintings

Focus all your marketing effort on the niche you think suits your skillset. Your efforts can help you gain customers in a particular niche. Once you’ve established your niche, build your whole marketing around that.

Choose Your Target Market

To learn how to start a painting business you need to learn everything possible about your target market. Finding the right target market and sticking to help you gain new customers and keep generating a healthy profit. Unlike the niche in the painting business, there are three main target markets that you need to focus on. The target markets of the painting business are:

  • Commercial painting
  • Residential painting
  • Other painting businesses (this contains any other painting business except commercial and residence)

As the painting business is a human-based service then you can’t offer export-based services. Commercial painting requires a lot more investment and a team. Residential painting on the other hand requires no particular skill and much less initial investment. 

Building The Ideal Skill Set

Building your painting business is tough as the competition is huge. To make things easier for you, you can acquire a series of skills that can help you take your business to new heights. Obviously, you can think of starting a painting business with no experience, but having a skillset is always a good option. 

If your target market is residential painting, then you just need to see a couple of YouTube tutorials and that’s all the training you need. Things are different for commercial painting as there are several skills involved. You can work under some established painting business near you to gain an idea of how the industry operates. 

There are some other skills that you can learn like social media marketing, setting up and managing a website. Tax management, funds management, following through on safety protocols, and more. 

Sourcing Raw Materials

Most of the painting business revolves around the tool you use. We’ve already mentioned the tools and equipment that you need for learning how to start a painting business. You need the best quality tools as they will help increase efficiency and quality of work. If you do a great job in your first few projects, the chances of getting referrals are high. 

One of the best ways to get the tools is to simply visit a hardware store, there you will find every single thing you need and maybe tools that you weren’t aware of. The next thing you need is paint and for that, you can refer to the biggest paint sellers in your location. Let’s take an example of the USA, some of the biggest paint sellers in the country are:

Just visit the website of these brands and buy the kind of paint needed for the job. You can also source tools from online shopping sites like Amazon. 

Setting Up Your Pricing Structure

The pricing structure of the services you want to offer relies on a number of factors. To find the ideal cost with a good enough profit margin, you have to take the cost of materials, transportation, ongoing costs, and the area that has to be painted into account. Additionally, you should consider whether the walls are textured, how much trim is involved? You need to pick a price point that is competitive, good for the customers, and offers you enough profit margin. 

Wondering how much a painting business makes is common. The current national average for an interior painting project is around $1800. Self-employed painters can earn more than $50,000 annually based on certain circumstances. 

Is There a Need for Office Space?

The painting business is not like any other business. If you’ve ever visited a handyman, you’ll notice that they don’t really have an office space, that’s because their nature of business doesn’t require an office. If you’re planning to become a self-employed business, then you don’t need an office as it’ll just add up on your expenses. Let’s say your business starts growing and you want to expand the business, then you can look for an office space. The ideal office space should be near to your home for easy commuting, the location should be pleasant. There is also the prospect of starting a home-based office. 

Arranging the Funds

As we mentioned above, the cost included in the painting business is relatively low. The initial investment is about the tools and equipment, and in most cases, you can rent the tools for less expenditure. You need a small investment to start a painting business. Arranging funds is simple and easy as you can just start doing some savings. If you need to start right away and don’t have the funds required, you can ask for a small loan from your friends and family. The costs are relatively minimal so any of your friends and family can help you get up on your feet with the initial investment. This is one of the last steps to do after you learn how to start a painting business.

Do You Need to Hire Employees?

Your need for hiring employees mostly depends on the kind of business you want to open. If you are becoming a part of the franchise, then over time you will need to hire a team for painting projects and for maintaining in-office tasks. You can cut back on the costs of hiring employees, salaries, health insurance plans, safety insurance, employee benefits, and more. You can either hire a freelancing team that can take the burden of work away from you, or you can learn skills like accounting, tax management, etc. 

If your goal is to start a self-employed painting business, then you don’t need a team. The work is usually simple, the customer record keeping is easy too. As your business grows, you may need to hire a team to support the additional work pressure.

Common Challenges You May Face In a Painting Business

If you’re creative and you love doing work that involves manpower, then everything should be smooth sailing for you. However, there are some challenges that you might face while starting your painting business. 

The industry is huge, and the level of competition is enormous, it may be hard to find your place among the industry leaders and build a successful, profit-generating business. There may be some time in a year where you may not get any work at all. Some projects may require you to go visit faraway locations. 

There are a lot of challenges, just like any other business or industry. The main thing is to keep working hard and putting in your best efforts. You’ve learned how to start a painting business, just focus on your marketing efforts and quality of work. With enough hard work and dedication, you can build a profitable business venture. 

Conclusion: How to Start a Painting Business?

With a good enough painting business course, some skill set, the right allocation of resources, and a long list of satisfied customers, you can consider your business successful. The industry has been growing at a steady rate for a decade and with some right decisions, it is easy to earn profits and fulfill your goals. 

The business obviously comes with its set of pros and cons, but the low start-up costs and a solid industry type make it worthwhile. You need to be able to market your skills onto the right channel to get the customer base you desire. In the end, starting a painting business can be worth the investment you put into the business. 

FAQs

  1. How to bid for the jobs?

The average bid for an interior home painting is $1800 in the USA. However, that cost can increase or decrease depending on a number of factors. Our suggestion is to do some market research and learn how your competitors set their prices.

  1. What’s the best way of getting painting projects?

The best way is word of mouth. Ask your customers for referrals every time you finish a job. If they’re satisfied with the quality of work, they will surely refer you. You can also utilize marketing channels like social media, craigslist, a website for getting new leads. 

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