General contractors in South Carolina must get a license to work on projects worth over $5,000.

Painters and other specialty contractors working on residential properties may carry a license or register with the city they work.

South Carolina offers painters three types of licenses.

Depending on your experience and the jobs you want to work, you can choose from the following licenses.

General and Mechanical Contractor License

It allows holders to perform commercial, general and mechanical work on a range of projects. All contractors working on projects worth over $5,000 must carry the license.

Residential Builders

Contractors working on family homes must carry a residential builders license.

Specialty Contractors License

It allows painters, carpenters, roofers, and other specialty contractors to work in South Carolina legally.


Do painters need to be licensed in South Carolina

Where to get a painting license in South Carolina

A painter can get their Specialty Contractors License from the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission.

Here are the requirements you need to meet to get the license:

  • Commission-approved and supervised one year of experience.
  • Completed application form.
  • Pass the trade exam.
  • Get a surety bond.
  • Get general business liability insurance and workers’ compensation for your employees if you have any.
  • Pay $100 license fee.

What can happen if you work without a license in South Carolina?

Painters working without the proper licenses in South Carolina may face penalties such as:

  • License or permit revocation
  • Civil fines
  • Criminal charges
  • Loss of lien rights.

What are the negative consequences of hiring an unlicensed contractor?

  • They may not deliver as agreed. Licensed contractors risk losing their license if reported for unfinished jobs or overcharging. Always hire only licensed contractors for your painting jobs.
  • Shoddy work. Licensed contractors have passed practical and written examinations to show their experience and competence.
  • You will have to pay for any damage or accident during the job since unlicensed contractors do not have insurance. It will cost you more if an unlicensed contractor causes damage to your property.
  • It may be hard to get your money back from an unlicensed out-of-state painter.
  • It will affect the value of your property.
  • It may void your home insurance.

Can I paint my own house without a license?

Yes. You do not need a license to paint your own home in South Carolina.

In many states, homeowners can paint both the exterior and interior of their homes without a license or permit.

Painting your home is an easy task. It is affordable since all you need is the paint and paintbrushes.

Why hiring a professional painter is recommended

If you do not have the time or skills to paint, you can hire a contractor.

One of the greatest benefits of hiring a professional painter is that you can expect the paint job to last at least ten years before you need to repaint your home. Make sure to use high-quality paint for the best results.

If you choose to hire a contractor, ensure that you hire a painter licensed to work in South Carolina. Seek referrals to hire a good painter.

Also, get at least three quotes before you hire. It helps you to find a painter who will work with your budget.

When you hire a contractor, the cost of painting your home is higher than if you DIY. Different painters charge different prices, hence the need to have three quotes to compare.


Why hiring a professional painter is recommended (South Carolina)

Lead paint disclosure South Carolina

A lead-based paint disclosure is a federal and South Carolina legal requirement when selling or renting property built before 1978.

Before selling a house, sellers must inform their prospective clients of lead-based paint. Additionally, sales contracts must include the lead paint disclosure.

Landlords must also include the disclosure in the rent leases.

Failure to make a lead disclosure exposes the seller or landlord to liability. You could be sued for damages if your buyers or tenants fall sick due to undeclared lead paint. You may also have to pay a $10,000 fine.

Lead is harmful to human beings. It gets into the body through breathing in or swallowing lead dust from chipped paint. It causes brain damage and nervous disorders in children under six years.

To prevent the likelihood of falling sick due to lead paint, ensure that the paint is not chipped or cracked. Clean the walls regularly and allow for proper air circulation in the house. Open the windows regularly and clean the air ducts.

Benjamin McInerny
Author: Benjamin McInerny - is a qualified arborist with 20 years of industry experience. Ben has a wide knowledge of renovation and DIY projects around the house such as lawns, fencing and painting. Ben shares his skills with DIY and gardening enthusiasts.