How to Start a Painting Business

Written by Dave Lavinsky

How to Start a Painting Business


How to Start a Painting Business

If you’re looking to start a painting business, you’ve come to the right place. Since we’re going to show you exactly how to do it.

We’ll start with key painting industry fundamentals like how big the market is, what the key segments are, and how revenues and profits are generated.

Then we’ll discuss keys to not only starting a painting business, but succeeding in it!

How Big is the Painting Industry?

According to IbisWorld, there are 242,374 painting businesses in the U.S., that generated $48 billion in revenue last year. This represents an annual growth rate of 3.3% over the past 5 years.

What are the Key Segments of the Painting Industry?

Residential painting is the largest segment of the industry. This is followed closely by non-residential painting, while other painting services account for the remainder of the industry’s revenue.

Incorporate Your Business at the Guaranteed Lowest Price

We are proud to have partnered with Business Rocket to help you incorporate your business at the lowest price, guaranteed.

Not only does BusinessRocket have a 4.9 out of 5 rating on TrustPilot (with over 1,000 reviews) because of their amazing quality…but they also guarantee the most affordable incorporation packages and the fastest processing time in the industry.

Incorporate with BusinessRocket at the guaranteed lowest price now.

What External Factors Affect the Painting Industry?

A number of factors affect the performance of the painting industry. These drivers include:

Housing starts: Trends in housing starts are an indicator of demand for painting work on new construction projects. As more houses are built, demand for painting services is likely to increase. In the recent years, the number of housing starts is expected to increase, presenting an opportunity for the industry.

Value of private nonresidential construction: As commercial building construction increases, demand for paint contracting rises. The value of private nonresidential construction is expected to increase on the coming year.

Local and state government investment: Painting services are needed during the construction, repair and maintenance projects that are undertaken by local and state governments.
Demand from local and state government is expected to remain relatively flat over the next five years, thereby representing a potential threat to the industry.

Private spending on home improvements: Growth in household disposable income stimulates demand for alterations and maintenance for single-family homes. Therefore, an increase in private spending on home improvements boosts demand for paint contractors.

If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Ultimate Painting Business Plan Template and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

What are the Key Costs in the Painting Industry?

Wages: In the recent years, wages are estimated to consume about 20% of total industry revenue, down from 24.6% in the past five years.

Purchases: Purchases are the largest industry expense.

Other costs: Rent, utilities and depreciation absorbs account for a minimal portion of the industry’s costs.

What are the Keys to Launching a New Painting Business?

  1. Outline a Business Plan:
    House Painting is one of the lowest cost and easiest business ideas you can start with, however the competition is immense so, a house painting business plan is an important key to determine if you will be able to thrive. It is the essence of your business and a poor and unrealistic business plan will not earn you any profits. A good plan will also attract potential investors or banks for financing.
  2. Decide on What Services to Offer:
    You have to determine your service offering. You need to decide if you want to specialize in interior painting or exterior painting or both. You also need to establish your area of specialization which is very important if you want to have more clients.
  3. Training:
    Although you may have experience painting, professional training is recommended to learn professional tips and tricks that enable you to do a better job in less time. Training may be acquired at specialty trade schools or you may purchase training manuals or video courses through paint supply distributors, trade associations, painting business franchises or reputable training companies found online.
  4. Apply for Business Licenses:
    Check all necessary requirements and paperwork from your city or state and be sure to comply especially the policies so that they will allow you to operate your house painting business legally.
  5. Equipment and Materials:
    Gather all essential supplies needed to execute your painting service. You will also need a vehicle big enough to transport your equipment to and from the job sites.
  6. Marketing and Promotion:
    Traditional advertising can be effective, as long as you do it well. To produce an effective ad, emphasize the benefits your clients receive from using your service. Traditional advertising tactics include: direct mail, online advertising, newspaper and magazine ads and online listings/directories.
    A website showcasing your expertise and experience will be vital for potential clients to see your work.

What are the Typical Startup Costs for a New Painting Business?

The cost of starting a painting business is dependent upon a myriad of factors and can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.

Helpful Videos

Marketing a Painting Business

Sales and Setting Up The Perfect Estimate


Additional resources in the Painting Industry

For additional information on the painting industry, consider these industry resources:


How to Finish Your Painting Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your business plan today.


OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan writing services can create your business plan for you.