Start a House Painting Business

Many individuals have turned part-time house painting into a full time, multi-employee business for themselves. College students are notorious for doing this kind of work during their broke years. And who else could think of ways to build it up successfully with minimal starting capital?

If you have an eye for detail, a steady hand, and maybe love the fragrance of an open can of paint while wearing blotched overalls then this could be your type of gig. House painting brisbane might be the way to start, can specialize with interior or exterior painting, or both. If you decide you’d like to eventually add businesses, that could involve more permit and license requirements with your state.

You can start with just yourself and a basic supply of equipment –

Business license/tax ID – will be needed to open contractor accounts at supply stores


Rollers plus pan/liners

Tape (although many pros use minimal to no tape on their prep work, they’re that good and steady!)

Good paint supplier

Drop cloths



It’s easy to go into a store and see all kinds of neat gadgets and tools to use. Control yourself not to overspend on equipment, yet make sure you have the right tools to get the job done right the first time.


a must so shop around and compare rates and coverage. You need liability insurance in case something is damaged on a client’s property. You may also

consider an insurance policy to cover your business assets, especially your vehicle. Any money made over time can quickly disappear into owing money with one incident. The small payments will be well worth it.


You can start out with a Craigslist ad and flyers. Print up some free or low cost business cards online at VistaPrint to hand out too. Some small businesses and grocery stores have corkboards where you can pin up your business card.

Do the old fashioned pavement pounding in neighborhoods you’d think could afford to pay for your painting services and start knocking on doors. This is strictly to let them know about your services, not to perform pushy, one visit sales closing (although it could happen occasionally being at the right house at the right time). Get your face out there and let the trust build up as people get to know you over time.

Have your parents and friends pass the word at their work. Some of those people might use you, then pass the word to their friends and neighbors.

One way to gain customers is to subcontract for other painting contractors.

If you’ve completed a house’s exterior, get your customer’s permission to give their address to those who might like to see your work before hiring. Some yard signs can be handy in this regard too as people drive by – “Another house painted by Joe’s Painting Service”

Having a website can be an effective tool for people to find you and see your work. Take before/during/after pictures of your projects and post to the website along with satisfied customer quotes.

One contractor states they’ve had success sending out post cards to high end neighborhoods –

“If a new company sends out 10,000 post cards there is usually little left in the budget for subsequent advertising. I feel this is a huge mistake many contractors make. I have had much greater success sending out my message to 2000 people five separate times. Not only do I generate more overall leads than one mass mailing, Towards the end of my campaign my close ratio increases. People already trust me before I walk through their door.”

There’s a niche out there with women painters. Many older women like to have women painters for security reasons and also because women tend to have an eye for detail and respect people’s property more than most guys. If you show these qualities in your work, there’s no doubt the ideal referral based advertising will eventually take off. Many small painting businesses do not demonstrate this kind of behavior.

What to charge?

It’s not easy to pinpoint a rate on this one. Do you want to charge by the hour? Project? Square footage?

Call around to other businesses to ask their rates. Check Craigslist ads to see what some are charging by the hour.

One mistake many new business owners do is try to undercut their rates to attract business. It’s a common mistake and a costly one down the road.

Many do that strategy to get work and gain referrals, but it’s been proven that low to no referrals ever get generated from charging low rates.

You are wanting to be a professional providing quality work for your customers – quality work comes with a quality price. If someone doesn’t want to pay your rate, then that’s probably someone you don’t want to deal with as a customer.