Revised and updated January 3, 2019.
The US painting industry, which includes residential painting as well as commercial painting, is worth $43 billion. There are relatively few franchise companies that do painting, but entrepreneurs do have a strong set options to check out in this list of the top 6 painting franchises of 2020.
The Great Recession took a big toll on all construction operations, and given that the downturn was driven by the housing market crash, it has taken a while for the painting industry to recover. But growth has been quite strong in recent years, thanks to pent-up demand and lots of housing construction.
Quality of work is the key to success in the painting industry. Customer referrals are essential to building a painting business, and getting those referrals hinges on performing high-quality work for every customer.
Common themes across most companies include a free consultation/quote conducted in person, some kind of limited warranty (two years is typical), and supplementing painting with a range of other services. Here are the 6 best painting franchises of 2020:
1. CertaPro Painters
CertaPro Painters does both residential and commercial painting projects, including exteriors and interiors. It emphasizes not only the quality of their work, but also how they stay in constant communication with the customer before, during, and even a check-in after work is completed. The Certainty Pledge outlines all the promises the company intends to fulfill, including daily updates, treating property with respect, being on-time, and so on. There is also a limited two-year warranty on the work.
In addition to painting, CertaPro offers color consultation, concrete staining and epoxy finish, EPA-certified lead paint services, drywall repair, crown molding services, cabinet refinishing and repainting, faux painting and decorative services, popcorn ceiling removal, power washing, wallpaper removal and installation, and more.
This company operates as a subsidiary of FirstService Brands, a collection of various property service franchise chains. Founded in 1992 and franchising since then, the number of locations currently stands at 359 (a loss of three units from the previous year’s total of 362), none of which are company-owned and 23 of which are located outside the US.
2. Five Star Painting
Five Star Painting provides “Five-star quality without the five-star price” with a free “exact price quote” based on measurements it takes for a project. Additional services offered include painting garage floors, fences, and decks, textured and faux painting, pressure washing, wallpaper removal and installation, eco-friendly painting services, acoustic ceiling removal, and carpentry services.
Five Star Painting is a Neighborly company (formerly the Dwyer Group), a collection of 21 different franchise brands all focused on various home services. Founded in 2002 and franchising since 2005, the number of locations is currently 181 (a loss of 12 units from the previous year’s total of 193), none of which are company-owned and four of which are located outside the US.
3. Fresh Coat
Fresh Coat is a referral-based residential and commercial painting company that works on both interior and exterior projects. It has what it calls its 3-3-3 service pledge: Answering calls within three minutes, producing accurate quotes within three days, and starting every project within three weeks. It does not make any promises around completion time because every project is too unique.
Other services available include gutter cleaning, epoxy floors, wood refinishing, pressure washing, fence painting, fence staining, deck staining, deck sealing, and repairs to drywall and plaster.
Founded in 2005 and franchising since then, the number of locations currently stands at 162 (a big jump of 31 units from the previous year’s total of 131), none of which are company-owned and all of which are located in the US.
4. 360° Painting
360° Painting uses only well-known quality paints such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams for its residential and commercial painting projects. The company outlines a nine-step process for interior residential projects and a six-step process for exterior projects.
Related services offered include drywall repair, concrete staining, fence painting and staining, and deck painting and staining. Customers can call or book an appointment online for a free in-person estimate.
Founded in 2005 and franchising since 2006, the number of locations has expanded very rapidly to the current total of 133 (an increase of 22 units from the previous year’s total of 111), none of which are company-owned and three of which are located outside the US.
5. Wow 1 Day Painting
Wow 1 Day Painting makes a big promise to its customers up-front: It will complete any painting project in just one day. Needless to say, busy people love the idea of a painting project being done in just one day. And customers return home to find not only a completed project, but also a bouquet of fresh flowers and a card signed by everyone who worked on the project.
In addition to both residential and commercial painting (interior/exterior), other services include deck painting, fence painting, drywall repair, cabinet painting, wallpaper removal, and popcorn ceiling removal.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Brian Scudamore in 2008 and franchising since 2010, the number of locations currently stands at 52 (an increase of three from the previous year’s total of 49), none of which are company-owned and 17 of which are located outside the US.
6. Color World House Painting
Color World House Painting provides full-service residential and commercial painting services, power washing, carpentry, drywall repair, deck and fence staining, gutter installation and cleaning, and even holiday light installations. Prospective customers can receive a free estimate.
Those who sign a contract and make a deposit can take advantage of a free color consult in which they go to Sherwin-Williams and get two free quarts of whatever colors interest them most in order to try them out. Customers who need assistance with choosing colors can arrange for a Sherwin-Williams representative to visit their home to help. Final color choices are forwarded to Color World so they can order the right amount for the project.
Founded by Tom Hodgson in 1997 and franchising since 2016, the number of locations has risen quickly to 25, only one of which is company-owned and all of which are located in the US.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.