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Important Things to Consider When Running a Paint Business

If you’re currently an employee of a painting and decorating company and are thinking about starting your own business, you might be wondering about what you can expect.

Being an employee and an owner are 2 entirely different things and as such, it’s a big step you’ll be taking. With that in mind, we asked some successful paint business owners what they thought was the most important things to consider when starting a paint business.

Read on to find out what they had to say.


I would say make sure you properly price your work. Everything you’ll ever buy comes with profit built in to the price. If all you do is make enough to pay your painters and buy your materials, you’ll make no money.

You have to build in a profit. So when you estimate a job, you have to figure out how much it costs to do actually do the job (labour and materials), what your overhead is (insurance, fuel, licenses, taxes, etc), add those together and get your break-even point. Then you have to add on a profit, and you get your total job cost – what the customer pays.

The profit amount will vary, and you will need to increase or decrease profit margin depending on your reputation, quality, demand, etc. Sadly, many painting business owners fail to take all that into account and just figure out what they think is a fair hourly wage and charge that, then wonder why they’re busting all day and not making any money.

Being a good painter and running a good painting business are two very different yet interconnected skills. Lots of guys are great painters but can’t run their business to save their lives. And lots of guys are great in the office but can’t estimate properly because they don’t know much about actually painting. You need both to be successful.


Do what you said you would. Show up everyday and knock projects out. No starting and stopping, taking deposits and disappearing. Also make sure you communicate with clients. Getting to know what their expectations are will help you make the best decisions for the project.

Try to always do good work so the clients see your value. After all those things are happening, you can charge what you want within reason and will then have profits and systems to dial in.

Dean W

Reputation. Making your clients happy enough that you come highly recommended and get referrals often. You want to get to the point where you’re having to turn down business. This will especially help increase your profits as you can either expand or increase the cost of your projects.


There are a few things at the top of this list for us but the biggest in the beginning was financial discipline. Be ready for the taxes, payroll, materials and lots of other expenses. We also use Quickbooks which enables us to see what’s profitable, what’s not and what to focus on to maximise profit while staying competitive.


Treat someone’s home as if it were your own. Don’t cut corners. When painting starts to become a “job” and not something you enjoy, find a different profession. Your heart wont be in the work.


The money comes with business, not the individual jobs.