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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am 22 and new here. Looking to start a painting business. Just wondering whats the best way to get jobs and get started?

I dont know alot about painting, just basics. I dont know how to estimate a project or know how many coats a room will take, etc....


I posted an ad on craigslist to find a partner to paint with. I told them I am not an expert but have money for advertising and would like to partner with an experienced painter.

To my suprise, I had about 20 responses.

What should I do here?

Should I advertise and find jobs, and send my "new" experienced painter partner to estimate it and do the jobs with him?

All answers welcome.

P.S. I know that quality is the most important thing. Pleasing the customer is a must.
 

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...jammin
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5,234 Posts
You won't like it but...

Apprentice yourself to a quality painting company for a few years
Seriously...that's the best possible thing you could do right now
...On so many levels
I'm not kidding or "being a jerk" or whatever
I'm just telling it like it is
 

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Particulate Filter
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4,430 Posts
Of course you got twenty responses.

Here's what you said "I don't know what to do with this money in my pocket could you tell me how to spend it?" 20 people have great ideas on how to best spend your money.

Partnerships are almost always a colossal failure. The most important reason is because a business, and really any enterprise that involves lots of people, needs one leader who makes the calls.

A short to do list for starting a painting company -

Answer the following question - Why am I choosing painting as the trade I am going to perform? There are lots of trades and lots of different types of businesses. Painting has a lot of cons - ladders, cancer, lots of competition, weather dependent for performance and some pros anyone can do it, doesn't take much to get started. If you're really starting a construction business to make it in the long run you might want to lay the foundation with an apprenticeship. And if you're going to apprentice why not do it in one of the more lucrative trades like electrical, masonry, elevator repair, plumbing well pretty much every other trade pays more than painting. You can look up the prevailing wage rates as an indicator of the relative power and earning potential of different trades.

You may be in a hurry now to get started with your business which is great. You will thank your self later when you take a little slower route with an eye on better benefits down the line.

Or you could save yourself all of the heart ache and just open a burrito cart.
 

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A good idea would be to gain experience somewhere..I worked with a couple of companies(10years) before I started..the last guy I worked for had 43 years experience..there are lots of companies out there..as soon as you make mistakes/errors at customers places if you dont have experience and then it takes longer to fix because you have to figure out how to go about it,it starts costing you money..partners..well thats a hard one..advertise..thats easy..word of mouth keeps most of us working..the local community paper is cheaper to use know in my area as the Elgin Market..a weekly ad under Painters runs $12 a week..cold calls where construction is happening to get you name out works..another painter may use you as a sub this is where you can gain some knowledge..the paint stores give out my card..I may receive 7 or 8 jobs a year out of 12 estimates with the stores..get to know your paint dealer,how to cover stains with products,what to use to fill holes,drywall compound vs. sheetrock vs. durabond vs. spackle,types of sandpaper...woodstains,clear coating...and your discounts at stores..when to use a DTM paint,galv. metal primers and oil vs. latex paints,how to clean out an airless sprayer,what nap to use for rolling,best scraper to prepare old clap board houses...all the best...Paul
 

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vandy
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266 Posts
Work for an old timer for a few years. Pick his brain and ask tons of questions. Don't just learn how pro's do it, learn why they do it that way too.
Learn prep work, learn patching and maybe a little drywall taping too, learn brush and roll, learn how to spray, learn wood finishing.....learn our trade, then learn the business, then go on your own.
If you catch on quickly, you may be able to start doing mid size repaint work on your own by the time you are 25 years old or so.
While serving your apprenticeship, you can start taking on small side work here and there. A couple of bedrooms, a kitchen etc..small cash work.
For now, save your money, stay away from craigslist and apprentice yourself to the dark art of painting.

:thumbsup:
 

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House Painting Denver
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221 Posts
Of course you got twenty responses.

Here's what you said "I don't know what to do with this money in my pocket could you tell me how to spend it?" 20 people have great ideas on how to best spend your money.

Partnerships are almost always a colossal failure. The most important reason is because a business, and really any enterprise that involves lots of people, needs one leader who makes the calls.
I agree with what he says about the partnership. I would suggest that since you are the person with the financial investment, that you just take on the role of ownership and not partner with somebody that doesn't bring in equal value to the company. So, if you are bringing in the financial aspect of it and a partner brings in clients to get you two going it might be a fair trade.

But still, I would reccomend that, if you have never painted professionally, to save your money and learn under somebody else. Sure, the thought of making more money by working for yourself sounds great now, but you will blow through your money for startup really fast if you don't know what you are doing. It is a great idea to save even more money and learn while working with somebody else. I've been in your shoes before and I had a really really hard time for the first couple years.

There is no point in rushing to start your own business.
Tip: Start your company with cash; not loans or Credit cards.
 
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