How Much Money Do Painting Companies Make

Starting a painting company without training can cost youu a bag sack of money as this picture shows
How much money do painting companies make?

Whether you are interested in owning a painting business or buying a franchise, you probably want to know one thing.  How much money do paint companies make? 

The short answer is – it depends on a few factors.  However, by the blog’s conclusion, you will fully understand this can be a lucrative business.

The owner of a painting business can expect net margins to vary between 12-30%.  This is a vast swing in net profit.  The larger the company, the smaller the margins because of additional expenses. 

But if you are asking the question of “how much do painting companies make?”  You are likely interested in getting started and want to see if the juice is worth the squeeze.

How Much Money Do Painting Companies Make Depends On 3 Tenants

The amount of money that you can make in this business is well into the six figures.  That’s good news!  Even better,  you are in control of your growth.  How well you lead, plan and execute will ultimately answer how much money do painting companies make.  

Leadership – one person, can only grow a business so far.  If the company relies on you for too many roles, then you will eventually burn out.  

Planning – In addition to leadership, you absolutely have to plan your day.  Planning allows you the opportunity to put time into your day for developing your people and sales.  

Execute – knowledge is absolutely useless if you don’t execute and take action.  

Following the 3 tenants listed above will generate substantial profits and income.  Furthermore, you will be building a business where you are not wearing all the hats!  

How Much Money Do Painting Companies Make Depends On Experience

How much money do painting companies make is shown on this chalk board that shows experience plays a role.
Franchising is a great substitute for experience

Without experience, you are going to make a ton of mistakes. Most mistakes cost money and can lead to a damaged reputation.  Having a supportive franchisor with good systems can be excellent to the bottom line.

In addition a franchisor is going to wear some of the hats as well.  These include:

Estimating software

  • Website
  • Marketing Materials
  • Necessary Software
  • Training
  • Support

Without experience, you are going to make a ton of mistakes. Most mistakes cost money and can lead to a damaged reputation.

Painting  Profitability And The Role A Franchise Can Play 

Whether it is best to franchise or start a painting company independently is not the purpose of this blog.  However, if I give you the short answer would go something like this.

For the first 2-3 years the advantage goes to the franchisee because of everything they bring to the table.  Once you have closed a 1,000 jobs or so you will have a decent foundation on how to operate a successful company.  

How Much Can A Painting Company Make? The Numbers

A typical independent painting company with a working owner and a 3-4 person crew can expect to make around $80,000 – $120,000 per year.

In addition, with gross sales around $500,000, the margins would be 25% – 35% depending on how involved the owner was in the actual painting.

A franchise model would likely have higher gross sales.  Perhaps as high as $750,000 – $950,000 for a typical franchise in their 3rd-4th years.  However, because they are not painting, they will have higher labor costs.  Also, franchisees pay royalties which will reduce the margins as well.  Typically one would expect the margins to be between 15-25% for a franchise under a million and less as the company grows.

How much money do painting companies make

How Much Do Painting Companies Make? Our Franchise Is Different

Benefits of Franchising With Klappenberger & Son

We understand that buying a painting franchise takes a huge leap of faith on your part.  So, we have sweetened the pot like no other painting, or handyman franchise has ever done.  We have a guarantee.   Our guarantee is simple.  If you follow our system and do not gross $500,000 in your first 20 months, we will reimburse your franchise fee in full.  For more details, please see our Guarantee.

Territory size – we have the largest territories of any painting or handyman franchise.  Our territories are 2-4 times bigger than our competitors. 

In addition, other major benefits include:

These advantages are significant time and money savers.  They allow you to focus more on growing the business.

However, franchising comes with a price.  

Franchises have a one-time initial fee, plus ongoing fees of around 8-10% of gross sales.  

How much painting companies make varies depending on how they get started.

How much money do painting companies make

Figure 1


There are several estimating software programs on the market that are all good but not great.  Pepcloud is the best one I have used.

The problem I have with estimating software is that it deals in absolutes.  

Whenever I teach someone about estimating or owning a painting business,  I am always reminded how few absolutes there are.

The only absolute that comes to mind is, DO NOT PAINT IN THE RAIN!

How much money do painting companies make

Using painting software is 1,000 times better taking a wild ass guess, but it is no substitute for experience.  If you are new to the painting industry, please use estimating software.  

If you invest in a painting franchise, I highly recommend that you rely on the franchisor for guidance. 

A fifteen-minute phone conversation and a few pictures can 

mean the difference between profit and loss.

If you are acting as a sole proprietor, ask your favorite sales rep.  for assistance on complicated estimating projects 

Sales reps enjoy helping contractors and may give you some 

assistance on the labor and help choose the right product.

How Much Money Do Painting Companies Make? Depends on Industry

When owning a painting business, there are multiple sectors to consider, and each has different levels of profitability.

Figure 2

Now you can see that asking, “How much does a  painting company make?”  is like asking the question, “How fast can a car go?”

We need to know:

  1. Who is the driver?   
  • Do you possess leadership skills
  • Good problem solver
  • Do you have the willingness to follow a process
  • Do you have any experience

2. What are you driving?  Do you want to be a sole proprietor or franchisee?

3. And what type of road do you want to take?  What painting sector are you targeting? Residential? New construction, etc.?

Starting a painting business is not a good idea; if you chose to paint apartments.  Labor costs will eat you alive.  Most of the time, painting apartments are for Chuck & a Truck.

However, owning a painting company is much more profitable in other categories.  See figure 2

profitability of owning a painting franchise

With your permission, I would like to ask you, the driver, a few questions to determine if starting a painting business is a good idea.

Responsibilies of starting your own painting company
  1. Are you able to make tough decisions quickly?  
  2. Do you prefer to give in to avoid confrontation even when you think you right?  Or are you comfortable being calm and resolute?
  3. If a customer asked you to lower your price by 20%, would you be satisfied to split the difference at 10%, or would you want to stand firm and sell them on why the initial price is correct?
  4. Do you prefer to do things your way, or are you willing to learn and follow a process?

If you found yourself in agreement with the second part of each question, your margins will be good to excellent.  

If you found yourself saying yes to each question’s first part, I believe you will face more challenges, and your margins will be lower.  It doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t succeed; it just tells me this is where you are, and you will likely have some additional hurdles.

Below is an example of what your profits would be depending on how you answered question #3.

Figure 3 reducing the price by 10%

Figure 3B Not reducing Price

Three painters should be able to complete that job in 7 days.

How much money do painting companies make in the future?

Owning a painting company has treated my franchisees and me very well. 

Robots cannot prep or paint anytime in the foreseeable future.  Good.

Amazon cannot overtake the painting industry. So far, so good. 

And just about every structure in the world has some protective coating on it, so the supply of possible jobs is everywhere.  Excellent!

Is the painting industry competitive?

This is a great question.  I know what you are thinking.  What about all the cheap labor out there?  

Is starting a Painting company a good idea if I have to compete with Chuck & a Truck?

The truth is they will only undercut you on the off chance they show up for the estimate.

Call five painting contractors and see how many answers.  It is typically between 1-3 who answer. Fridays thru Monday is even worse.

Consider this:

Be grateful for Chuck & a Truck because they do you a huge favor.  They take the customers who are just looking for the lowest price.  Those will not be the customers you want to target.   A better customer has gone with the lowest price and has regretted that choice.

The Painting industry is not as sophisticated as other industries, and that works to your advantage.

How much money do painting companies make

People have always demanded good service, but now they want it faster than ever. 

 In my experience, 65- 70% of the customers are willing to pay a fair price for painting and handyman services.

Consider this:  Paint is applied to every home and building in the United States, and the    number of places to paint is staggering.  If most customers are willing to pay a fair price, I believe that it makes starting a painting company a good idea. 

There are plenty of roads to get to your destination; competing with the lowest price is not a route I recommend.  

How much a painting company makes is determined by two factors.   The driver is the most critical factor; the road or sector you choose in the industry is second.  There are painting contractors who have built successful painting businesses painting apartments, for example.  A painting contractor with poor leadership and can not handle responsibilities is a dangerous driver on a windy road.

Owning a Painting Business via Franchise

There are a few questions I recommend you ask yourself before exploring a painting franchise.

Will you follow the franchise model, a proven process?    I understand everyone prefers to do things their way.  But I have found that if you do not like to follow a strategy, you won’t.  And the results not good for anyone.   

If you do not think you will follow a process, I don’t recommend buying a franchise.

Do you want complete autonomy?  Meaning you want to create your website, logo, all the software and systems, marketing material.  If you wish to have full independence, I don’t recommend buying a franchise.

A proper franchise provides continued training, digital marketing services to assist in growing your business.  However, it comes with royalties and additional fees.   Will you be agreeable to paying royalties and a brand development fee? If you agree with the questions above, we would like to discuss this opportunity with you.

How much does a painting company make when franchising?

Example of a $3,000 painting project through a painting franchise

Owning a painting business is no different than other home service businesses.  You need:

  • Marketing Strategy to get leads
  • Promptness and professionalism
  • Accurate estimate
  • Close jobs like a pro
  • Good crews
  • Leadership
  • Be a problem solver

Franchises include most of these necessities in their system.  

Our franchise, Klappenberger & Son, has a training program that is six weeks long.  Most franchises are 1-2 weeks.  Our six-week training program allows us to dive much deeper into learning how to:

  • estimate jobs accurately
  • sales training
  • products
  • processes
  • marketing
  • leadership

 I believe that our training program is second to none.  For information on our franchise training, visit our website.

In addition to learning the fundamentals of growing a successful franchise we also, 

  • Contacting customers with you.
  • Giving estimates with you.
  • Interviewing sub-contractors and employees with you.

The painting and handyman industry has plenty of opportunities.  It is quite possible to build a multi-million dollar company, but it takes determination and know-how.  If you are new to the industry and want to start a painting business, I suggest two ways.  

Start your painting business and work with a veteran painter—work side by side for a minimum of three years as if it was a mentorship. 

This way, you minimize mistakes and drastically reduce labor costs.  You can immediately start making decent money, but it is an impossible way to grow a business.  But you will learn and earn but find it incredibly challenging to grow the business.

Investing in a franchise requires capital, but it is so much faster than a sole proprietor.  Klappenberger & Son has everything in place for you.  To grow a company properly, you need to have systems in place.  Our franchise does, and you can be the beneficiary of our process.

Affordability of Franchising

We can assist you through the process of your financial options.  The Small Business Administration has approved our franchise agreement.  Klappenberger & Son has relationships with Sterns Bank that also can authorize the process.


How much a painting company makes is determined by who the driver is and what road (sector) they chose to go down. 

Owning a painting company, I believe, is a wise decision.  The industry is recession-resistant, and the competition is less than many other sectors.  The painting company’s profitability is excellent as long as you follow smart business practices and have sound systems in place.  Klappenberger & Son offers a complete franchise system that can help build and grow your business.   Their training, estimating software, and continued support all help you get out of the starting gate quickly and grow a business that generates income and prosperity. 


Similar topics include:

  • Starting a Painting Business or Buying Klappenberger & Son Franchise
  • Are You Overwhelmed Evaluating Franchise Opportunities? (Here Is One with A Guarantee, and It’s A Dozy!)
  • 7 Strategic comparisons:  Starting a Painting Business Alone Vs. a Klappenberger & Son Franchise 
  • Six Reasons Why Veterans Transition So Well To Franchising
  • Evaluating The 7 Top Painting Franchise?  Who Finished First?