Why Start a Painting Business?

In 2010 it was time for me to start my own business. I had just graduated from college after working with another painting company for the last 6 years where I trained other students on all of the aspects of running a painting business. It was a no brainer for me – I KNEW I could run a successful painting company, but I didn’t want to.

I wanted something sexier like an awesome online company, or some new amazing idea nobody thought of. I tried starting a t shirt company that I thought was going to take off.. it didn’t.

I started a consulting business which I thought I would love… I didn’t love it.

I did a multi level marketing business that I thought would make me rich without working… I hated it.

While I was starting all of these other businesses, I had a painting company on the side. For the first 2 years I really didn’t bother trying to grow my painting company – I didn’t want to! I wanted something else!

Do you want to start your own painting company? Click Here to Get Your Business Startup Checklist

And after 2 years and 4 other businesses, I realized something…

It could take 5 years… or 10 years… or 20 years… before I create that monster business I was after. And for the last 2 years I’ve been avoiding the one business that has been profitable, successful, and growing with ease…. My painting business! So I thought, maybe it’s time I start to invest my energy into my painting business.

What I realized I LOVE about the painting business…

  1. The market isn’t going anywhere and it’s huge. Roughly 10% of homes will be painted every year. There are always houses that need to be painted, and they will always need to be painted. Other businesses could grow and die in a short amount of time. Technology could make them obsolete. But painting? It’s not going anywhere… and the market is only getting bigger.
  2. The competition is terrible. Everyone has heard stories about the horrible contractor they worked with, the painter that didn’t show up on time, the guy who didn’t finish the job, the person who took payment and ran off with it… These are the people you compete with when you start a painting business. When nobody else even shows up on time, it’s pretty easy to win business.
  3. Profit margins are great. It’s not hard for us to make a 20%+ profit margin consistently. In fact, when I started my business I was making over 30% margin on every job without doing any painting.
  4. Low start up cost. You can start your painting company for less than $1,000, depending on the state you are in and licensing fees. I started my company for less than $300 and made a profit in the first week. No, you do not need to go out and buy equipment, ladders, sprayers, brushes, etc…
  5. Easy to find workers. Remember – the competition is terrible. Not just for finding customers, but for keeping employees. Have you ever worked for someone who treats you like garbage? Ever worked for someone who doesn’t pay you on time? Doesn’t pay you well? It sucks… and that’s how a lot of the painting business works. You can hire the best people and keep them on your time by being a better boss. Lots of people know how to paint, so it’s not hard to find help.
  6. Simple. It’s a simple business. There isn’t a lot to painting. It’s pretty straight forward. So there isn’t a lot to learn – it’s not like learning how to develop software. I can teach you to paint a house much faster than I can teach you to write code (I don’t even know how to write code). But anyone can learn to paint a house, faster than how to write code!

I think what I like more than anything though… I was able to grow my company to a $1,000,000 painting business in 4 years, without ever working more than 20 hours per week.

It’s why I’ve helped several friends start painting companies who are all crossing the $1,000,000 mark… 3 of my best friends own $1,000,000 painting companies in Colorado, who also started their business within the last 5 years.

It’s why I’ve helped hundreds of people start painting companies.

Painting business pro course testimonial
I have an amazing life because someone helped me and taught me how to run a painting company. And it’s time to pay it forward.

I love entrepreneurship, I love entrepreneurs, I love being self employed, and I think you’ll love it too.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the world, play tons of golf, spend time with friends, go to weddings, take time off, sleep in when I feel like it, and really create the life I want to have because of the painting business.

Before you start any business, think about WHY you want to be in business and share it with me in the comments! I’d love to hear why being self employed, and working for yourself is important to you – what would that make possible in your life?

Do you want to start your own painting company? I’ve been there, and it can be a little overwhelming getting started. So I made a “Checklist for Starting a Painting Business” so you know you covered everything and a “$1,000,000 Business Blueprint” to give you some direction. You can get them here:

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Have a question or something to add? Please share in the comments.

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  1. geoff | July 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I work my butt off and i really am tired of living pay check to pay check and i want to start a business and be successful at it. I would love to learn more about the business and how to be successful at it. I have painted a few houses before on my own for myself and family. I think it could be a good business to start. i have a buddy who builds houses so i could have some connections. I just need to now more about the business end of it and the most efficient way to paint houses.

    • admin | July 25, 2015 at 7:48 am

      Hey Geoff,

      Just keep reviewing my videos and articles. If you are serious about getting started with it after you’ve gone thru all of the free information, I’d recommend getting my course which will go into a lot more detail for you.

      Let me know if you have other questions,


      • geo kennard | October 23, 2015 at 7:23 am

        i have a p/u and a van and a skilled employee already!

      • Megan | December 5, 2015 at 2:04 am

        HI therem I was hoping Eric would get the chance to respond to this, Reading the comments above Eric kept mentioning a course to take that will make things a little more clearer and understanding. I never saw a link or a course, school, etc., no details about what he might be talking to. That’s be great to get an answer, or even some input from any once else as far as a little education for starting something like this. Please! Any and all inputs and advice are greatly appreciated! Thanks!!


  2. Pamela Schiavone | July 19, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Eric – I’m not sure if this is the right place to submit this..but here you go….I will email you the photo.

    This course is extremely helpful. It is well worth the money if you are considering starting a painting business, or if you are already in business and would like to increase your sales.

    I studied this course for several months before I went into business. I had no prior experience so I needed every tidbit I could get. The CD’s are full of practical information. Eric leaves no stone unturned. In fact, I couldn’t believe how much information was included. Everything from hiring, sales, marketing, production and forms was spelled out in detail. I also found the estimating formulas and worksheets particularly valuable.

    Before I started, I estimated all of my friends houses to get good at it, and then painted a few at cost. Within a few months of opening my doors I literally had more business than I could handle.

    This course is by far the best investment I’ve made for my business.

    • admin | July 25, 2015 at 7:47 am

      Hey Pamela! Thank you so much for the kind words! Keep kicking ass.

  3. John | July 24, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I am currently 52 years old and I earn N$45 000 a month, my work is too demanding and I need to start a painting business so that I will be free from stress and at least earn more, be on my own and have time for my family and able to visit places. Actually for me it is also a hobby to run a business. In the mean time I do part time business of buying and selling goats and sheep.

    Please advise me further.



    • admin | July 25, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Hey John,

      I just recommend reviewing all of my free information: articles on the website, and videos on YouTube. If you are really serious about it, I’d recommend getting my course. My course has a lot more information for you. Cheers,


  4. Maryam Iravani | August 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Dear sir
    I,m profesional an artist painter- 12experience- so many gallery and in Tbilisi state academy of art (2013)
    I,m so happy to connect you and i hope to will help me that find a good buisness in art painting.thank so much.
    Best wish

    • Eric | August 11, 2015 at 9:34 am

      I hope you find this helpful! It’s not exactly based around ‘art’ type of painting.

  5. jacksolinn | August 9, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Eric I am Jacksolinn from sa in cape town I am 30 years oud .I starting a painting business in cape town I don’t have money to hire marketing people for my company sale rep. I steel need clients help me I am female
    Regan’s Jacksolinn

    • Eric | August 11, 2015 at 9:35 am

      I’m really not familiar with the Cape Town painting market. I would recommend trying door to door marketing, and looking online for any companies you can pay for leads. Sorry I can’t help more with your area.

  6. Dyson | August 11, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Market your business by purchasing marketing materials for your painting company — business cards, portable and vehicle signs, fliers, brochures — from your local printer and sign shop, and place classified or display ads in local newspapers.

  7. Nick George | September 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Hey Eric, I am only 20 years old but I have been painting for about 3 years now and helped my friend run a business (Student Painters). I have been wanting to run a painting business but I feel I am too young and a little nervous. What do you think? I am in school still till next year also. I know there is a ton of money in this business, I have seen it with my own eyes.

    • Eric | September 12, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      You can definitely start this business while in school and while you are young. The 5 years before I started my business, I helped college students start and run a business. My entire course is designed to teach someone with no experience how to start and run a painting business. Other college students have bought my course and done very well. I encourage you to just DO IT.

  8. Eric Tomlindon | September 16, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Wow your information is on point. I have a painting business; Air Tight Custom Painting located in Maryland. My question is when you hire a sub contractor with insurance, does your company have to have insurance as well. The contract is under your company’s name, does that make your company liable for any accidents which require insurance claims?

    • Eric | December 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Yes, your contract – you are liable. Make sure you hire subs with active insurance. Have your own insurance and workers comp. Don’t put someone on a job you don’t trust. Oversee the first couple jobs pretty tight to make sure there aren’t problems.

  9. Carlos Marsach | September 17, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Hello Eric first i want to humbly thank you for all the help been looking through all ur videos.My question to you would be what are your top 3 money makers how much u spend on just materials and what does the profit look like.Again I thank you for ur care and concern. Paint the world…

    • Eric | December 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      I don’t know what you mean by top 3 money makers. All of my advice is really in my videos. We love using lead services, door to door, and referrals with other companies. Materials comes out of the sub’s pocket – it’s around 15% of the total job size.

      We earn around 20% after paying subs, production manager, sales people, marketing, and overhead.

  10. Diana | October 19, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I have a painting business just my wife and I but I am tired of struggling financially. I want to expand my clientele I live in Chesapeake va so I am going to follow your advice.

    • Eric | October 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Definitely do that! Let me know what questions you have once you start going thru all the videos, articles, and my course. I’m happy to help direct you. You don’t need to struggle! Time to put an end to that.

  11. Shon | October 20, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    I am 42 years old and have been making others good money my whole life while working for a small wage. I was at one time working for a roofing company as a sales and estimator. Great job and was making more and more money every year. Found out boss was doing shady stuff with the company so I thought I better get out of there. Look forward to working on my own.

    • Eric | October 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Congrats man! You can learn a lot working for others, but it’s better to do your own thing once you get over some of the early hurdles. Good luck.

  12. Mandy | October 28, 2015 at 12:38 am

    I painted houses and commercial buildings for several years in Arizona before becoming a mother and moving back home to Iowa. Since then I have mostly waited tables and struggled as a single mom. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own painting company but since reading your articles I am ready to do it! Thank you for paying it forward and giving me the extra push I needed.

    • Eric | November 4, 2015 at 8:18 am

      You’re welcome! Let me know what questions come up and how I can help. Good luck!

  13. Annette Manning | October 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I have been out of work for over a year, because of cancer treatment. I am back on my feet and before my cancer, I was doing construction in Jamaica. I really do not want to work for anyone else and I enjoy working for myself. I decided I want to open a Painting company in Florida, Broward county and as a woman I have though several men how to do a good clean job and I think I can bring what I know here and be successful. I am in need of funds.

    • Eric | November 4, 2015 at 7:45 am

      I’m emailing you about this.

  14. Darius | November 3, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Hi Eric my name is Darius I’m 29 years old I took up IUAPAT and graduated from it I really want to start my own painting business I’m in Chicago so I know some of the fees but I want to be successful tho can u help me like you helped your friends

    • Eric | November 4, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Hey Darius,

      There are 2 ways I may be able to help you.

      #1: You can buy my course, which will teach you exactly how we run our business, how to start the business, and everything in between. The course is designed for someone who has no background in painting.

      #2: You can apply to be one of our new business partners. Click on “About” and go to “Work with me” and you can fill out an application.



  15. Barbar | November 4, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Hi, I’ve worked in business and retail and home remodeling on and off while raising five beautiful children. I love painting and I am very tired of working for someone else. I also have plenty of family that could work with me.

    • Eric | November 4, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Awesome! I’m glad you found my site. Check it all out and let me know what questions you have.

  16. Rawia | November 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    My main reason to be in business and be self-employed, I graduated as Chemical Engineering 10 years ago and finished my MBA a month ago but still I was able to find a job because they required a long working experience. I got frustrated and living as a low income me and my family. I decided to do anything and work hard to pull my family up, I can work general labor in warehouses but after 10 years what I will be? still I will be in the warehouse. That is why I want to start my own business at least I can develop myself and pull my business up and improve my life. I think about this business because its within my budget, I am sure we can always start a business as low as we have, I will not wait until I have thousands or millions to start up, I am willing to start a smallest business as long as I will start it the right way and have all the knowledge to help me be successful.

    • Eric | December 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      Sorry for the delayed response. I don’t check my comments often enough. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Entrepreneurship is the only way to go. It’s hard until it isn’t hard anymore – and it’s totally worth the struggle. But make sure you are learning from mistakes, find a mentor, follow in other’s footsteps.

  17. Anthony wood | November 30, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Eric, I m very interested in this program. Recently had my interior house painted and have a very sour taste in my mouth. 3 months to paint 4 rooms and still not completed. We live in a rural area but the potential be successful is very real. Keep it up

    • Eric | December 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Anthony… a lot of bad business owners out there! We need more good ones!

  18. Sean Dennehy | December 9, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I am looking to start painting for myself as a sole proprietor and was curious if your program is intended to help with that or just running a business by hiring employees to do the actual work for me. To start I plan on doing all of the labor myself so I’m very curious as to what equipment you would recommend I purchase. I live in Montana and am a college graduate but the wages here are pathetic and I’m tired of busting my ass working for other people and not making any money. Thank you.

    • Eric | December 15, 2015 at 5:39 am

      My course doesn’t cover anything about equipment to buy or how to actually paint. It’s focused on how I run our business. You’ll need to look for another resource if you want to learn how to actually do the painting. My course is all about running the business of painting houses and buildings… marketing, sales, managing contractors, etc..

  19. Wezo | December 11, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Hi Eric,

    I’m currently in the property space and I aspire to be a developer soon so the painting space will fit very well to my developer aspirations as all my developed infrastructures will need to be painted and over and above that in my network I have lots of Successful Developers whom I can approach for long term paint supply.Even though I don’t have paint background but I have so much passion for paint.

    Please help me I want to attend your course, Kindly share course details.


    Wezo Ngqeleni

  20. Adeleke | December 18, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Enter your comment here.I love to have my painting business.How can u help me?Thanks

    • Eric | February 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      I have a lot of information available for you. Free articles, free videos, and my course has everything you will need to get successful – except the hard work part. That’s up to you.

  21. Michael Wendt | January 8, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    2 of my sons are painters and worked for other people for years. The trouble was that it was never steady work. Their employers were unreliable. The younger son
    asked me to help start a painting business.. All 3 of us started a company in april 2014. We did very well but still can’t keep them busy 5-days a week. Their both very good and very fast. Need more sales! Can u help?

    • Eric | February 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Hey Michael,

      Hopefully you’ve found a lot more of my videos & articles by now – and my course. There is a TON you can do that you are not doing right now to get more sales. All of that is in my articles & videos – and make sure to sign up for my emails. Lots of good info available to you.

  22. Tim | February 1, 2016 at 1:03 am

    i live in kalispell montana, i have been painting for two years and need to start my own so i can take vacations and not stress about geting fired for nothing but boss having a bad day. i was wondering if anyone knows how to get local contractors

    • Eric | February 9, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Start by posting on craigslist. That’s where we find most of our contractors. If you’re a customer, you usually start with a google search… or call a flyer you received… or the person who knocked on your door.

  23. Denise | November 24, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Eric,
    Love the idea of owning a painting business without painting. 52 years old, have work for a great company for 30 years. (not painting). own commercial rental properties managed by someone else. I totally see the money to be made, because I can’t believe how much I pay out to paint. Live near the booming town of Grand Rapids michigan. Real estate is flourishing and painters are hard to find. I should probably watch your videos because it seems to me that finding sub contractors that are dependable could be challenging.

    • Eric | March 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      You’re right. There is a huge opportunity, great margins, great business, weak competition… and you are in a good area. The only downside is the long winter, but I enjoy the winters off. And we just get it when the gettin’ is good! It can be challenging to find good subcontractors, but it’s not any more challenging than finding good employees.

      The hardest part in any business, and where most people get stuck, is building their team – at all levels of employees or contractors.

  24. John | November 29, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I’m your course do you discuss how to acquire good subcontractors?

  25. king | January 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Your comment is awaiting approval
    I really thank you for this privilage am greatfull. But in my locality there are alot of paint companies around and it’s kind of difficult for people to patronize new and up coming company like mine so how do i get to the market and get patronage ?I have followed a project from foundation but when it was time to award the contract it was giving to know (older)company! It’s painful

  26. JHB painting-services | January 22, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Eric, I live in gilbertsville pa and there are so many painting comtractors here its rediculous, what do you recommend besides buying your program. I gave up my business but thinking og opening it again, but need to have a marketing plan. I was a member of home advisor and they would send me leads but got to exspensive. any ideas

    • Eric | March 21, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      There are tons of ways to market your business. Lots of competitors is not necessarily a bad thing… there are thousands of painting companies in each city, but they are not very strong business people and not well run businesses. So they are easy to compete against.

      You also only need a small slice of the pie to make a 6 figure income. There are other lead services you can use, direct mail, online ads, door to door, website & SEO, etc… And yes, of course I recommend my course because it will walk you step by step. I have tons of success stories from students.

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About Me

I’m Eric Barstow, creator of Painting Business Pro, founder of National Painting Group & Foothills Painting, Co-Owner of Painter Choice. I’m disrupting the painting industry, and helping thousands of painters start or improve their businesses. I love what I do!

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