The business of painting is one that can take on variations such as residential or commercial. If you are interested in residential painting, then you will be primarily working as a house painter. In this area, you will paint the interior and exterior of homes and apartments.
A commercial painter would look to businesses as their primary source of revenue. They may include apartments but also restaurants and office buildings. Each of these have their own special challenges that you will need to deal with. With residential you will have to deal with colors and painting techniques that will not make it into the commercial world.
The commercial world will generally be larger projects requiring more staff and less time to get the projects completed on schedule. In both cases, if you are trained and know the little tricks that make projects go faster you can make a lot of money as a painter. The equipment needs are not all that great, though the quality will need to be higher than what most people would buy to paint their own home.
You will need a wide variety of brushes, rollers, ladders, scaffolding and, of course, something to transport it all into the job site. The cost of the better quality supplies is certainly going to be higher, but you can spread that cost over several jobs. This will make your business more profitable by being able to reuse your supplies again and again.
The profit potential is certainly there and will continue to be there so long as you do good work and build a good reputation. This is accomplished by being to the job on time and doing it right the first time. Being able to get it done on time and even a little early will definitely help. To get started you will need to contact contractors or even a union representative if you want to join a union.
Being a union painter will have its advantages especially for the new comer. They provide benefits and a steady stream of work for the cost of your union dues. If you decide to not go the union route, you will be responsible for all your own marketing and benefits yourself. You will need to visit many contractors and promote yourself to them.
You can place ads in the local paper and in the local stores looking for residential work. Word of mouth has always been a mainstay in the field. If your work is high quality and you are professional, you will be recommended to others very quickly. The biggest cost you will have is labor and you will need to judge just how much labor you really need to get the job done right and on time. The web has also made it possible for you to have a website to show samples of your work to prospective customers.