Learning Residential Painting 101
Painting walls, ceilings, and trim can be very much like a relaxing meditation, even if it is a job. And you can make decent money as a part-time house painter.
I quit a job as a security guard last fall, so it was time to look for another income source. A house flipper let me join his renovation crew. Although I previously hated painting, that’s what I did most of the time, and you know what? I started to enjoy it! Let’s look at some of the advantages of this work.
You Don’t Need a License
Painting can be one of the easier building trades to get into because you probably don’t need a license. Here in Florida, most work that doesn’t involve structural components of a house doesn’t require a license.
The law is similar in many states, and even in those states that require a licensed contractor for painting jobs, you can usually work for a contractor and be covered by his or her license.
You Can Learn Painting Skills Quickly
Part of the reason I was hired by the house flipper was that I had been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and had spent a few days painting with them. That’s one way to get experience (and help out a good cause), but you can also do what my new employer told me to do: learn online.
I found a great YouTube video channel on how to paint a house. It covered interior and exterior painting, and the videos were easy to follow. I watched a few other painters’ videos as well, because even the professionals do not all paint in the same way.
Practice by painting your own home. I did our bedroom, two bathrooms, a closet and the screened porch shortly after I discovered I could paint decently.
Of course it takes a lot of time on the job to become a really good painter, but not all jobs require that fine touch. If you work with someone who does have years of experience, you’ll be corrected when you err, and painting mistakes can almost always be corrected (learning how to fix them should be one of your priorities).
Jobs are Plentiful
Now that the housing industry is growing again, more and more builders and contractors are looking for painters. As a result, the job outlook for painters is great. Projections show faster-than-average growth in this field. (Like this idea? Click to tweet it!)
If you want part-time or occasional work, look for real estate investors who need a painter for a few days now and then, or offer your services to friends and acquaintances on weekends. If you see a fixer-upper being painted, stop and ask if they need help. Once you work with other painters, they can tell you who else is hiring.
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