How to Start an Interior Painting Business

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Starting a business is no easy task, no matter what industry you decide to delve into. For those looking to start business with lower up-front costs and less financial risk, an interior painting company may be a good choice. These companies provide painting and wall-covering services to homeowners and commercial construction firms. The work is relatively simple, especially compared to other construction trades, and the initial financial investment can be fairly minimal. Like all businesses, however, an interior painting company will require a lot of hard work and perseverance in order to succeed.

Gain experience in the painting field. To properly run a painting business, you must understand how all aspects of the company should function. The best way to do this is to work for a painting company for at least a year. Try to learn both field operations and office procedures so you will be well-equipped to start your business.

Decide whether you want to work in the residential or commercial market. Very few companies are able to successfully work in both. This is due to a belief in the commercial world that residential painters aren't skilled enough to perform this type of work. Commercial companies will find that the cost of their employees and equipment makes their price levels too high for most homeowners. Decide before you begin where your interests lie, and focus your energy there.

Purchase equipment. For an interior painting company, this will include ladders, drop cloths, brushes, rollers and company vehicles. If you plan to do commercial work, look into drywall lifts and more specialty tools. You'll also need a computer and printer to allow you to bid work and print drawings.

Take care of the legal aspects of your business. With construction companies, it is generally advised that the owner form a corporation or LLC to protect his/her personal assets. Consult a lawyer to determine which business model is best for you.

Get insured. You'll need liability, worker's compensation and company auto insurance to protect yourself and your employees. Even if you are using your own personal vehicle, your regular auto insurance may not cover work-related trips.

Hire staff. You'll need painters and wall paper hangers, as well as support staff to take care of estimating, project management, payroll and accounting. Focus on finding quality field leaders to manage your team, which will free you up to focus on marketing and sales.


Consider teaming up with a painting company that focuses on exterior work. This will allow you to bid complete painting packages.

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.