Painting Jobs: Fill Your Schedule

If you have been considering making a job change, consider opening up your own painting company. Start your business with only one employee, you, or talk a friend or family member into joining you in the adventure. Professional painters are always in demand and usually offer services to both residential and commercial clients.

Painters who work full time can make between $30,000-$45,000 a year, depending on the area serviced. The growth projection for this industry shows that it is stable and the average per hour charge is around $19 an hour. If you have been looking for a job that allows you to work with your hands, get out from behind a computer chair and Zoom meetings, or if you have been looking for a great side gig, then this may be the career for you.


Considerations Before Becoming a Professional Painter

Maybe you have painted your own interior or exterior walls and did a decent job. Most professional painters will tell you that this skill is only half the battle. Most clients want more than one room painted, may want different finishes or styles, and some homes may have extremely high ceilings or walls. If you are afraid of heights, do not intend to have anyone helping you, then you may be limited to only working on residential painting jobs for specific style homes. However, if you are willing to rent or purchase the scaffolding or ladders required, have skilled individuals you can call when you need assistance, then you have a very good shot at being a professional painter in a very short while.


What You Need to Start Your Painting Business

When you decide to start your own business there are several other considerations besides being able to paint. You must also be able to operate your business as a legal entity in your state and local area. To do this you must register with your county, usually the Clerk of Courts, as well as register with the IRS. As a startup business you can select from any of these tax entities:


  • Sole Proprietorship: less paperwork, but less deductions allowed. It’s the highest taxable entity you could select. However, if you hate filling out paperwork and just want to get to painting, this is the one to choose. Keep in mind that if you are ever sued, with this tax type your personal finances can also be targeted in addition to your business account.


  • Limited Liability Company: As the name implies, your liability as the owner of the company is limited to just the business assets and accounts. Your personal accounts are relatively safe. This type allows you to bring on partners or hire employees.
  • S-Corporation: You may laugh to consider yourself a corporation, but in reality you can be a corporation of one. S-Corporations allow you the most flexibility. You can hire employees, contractors, take maximum tax deductions, qualify for tax credits and in the event of a law suit, your personal accounts are generally exempt. There is more paperwork to fill out, but most states have you do that online to make it easier.


How much will it cost to set up your painting business?

In the beginning you can start up your business for less than $500. Here is the general price breakdown to start on a shoestring:

  • Register your business: $100
  • Get liability insurance: $100
  • Get a cheap website: $50
  • Register on Painting Lead and Home improvement sites: $100

Keep in mind that some states require painters to also have a contractor’s license. If this is the case then you may spend a little more in order to take and pass the test.

A cheap website can be built for next to nothing if you are okay using the freebie templates available through such sites as WIX, GoDaddy or Weebly. Each of these offer domain registry (that .com name that all links have). The freebie website and the domain registry are less than $100. It helps to establish that you are a legitimate business and it is an almost free advertisement on the world wide web.


How to Start your Painting Business without Equipment

When it comes to most painting jobs clients expect to make a down payment. Use this to rent or purchase any materials you do not have already. In many cases the contractors you hire to work with you will already have all the equipment so you will not need to rent anything. A good rule of thumb is to charge the client 25% of the overall cost of the job as a down payment.


It is entirely possible to start your painting business and start making a profit after only a few weeks on the job. This is because the overhead is so low with this type of work. As you gain more customers and your reviews begin to appear on YELP you may wish to branch out and offer painting services to commercial businesses as well. Many painting companies have long term contracts with apartment complexes. The service comes in after someone moves out and gives everything a fresh coat of paint before the new tenant moves in. Obtaining a few of these long term contracts can help you predict the amount of money you will have coming in from month to month. 


How to Get Your First Clients

When you are first starting out word of mouth is golden. Tell everyone you know, especially on social media, that you are open for business. Have pictures to show potential clients (it can be your own home job). Additional ways to find work is to list yourself on such service sites as:

  • Home Advisor
  • Angie’s List
  • Task Rabbit
  • Amazon Services

While these services take a fee if you are booked through them, the up side is that you now have work. You can always charge accordingly to cover the fees you pay to the job sites.