In Tennessee, painters and contractors must get a state license to work.

Contractors and subcontractors working on projects worth over $25,000 must have a license.

Do Painters Need To Be Licensed in Tennessee

There are six licenses a painter can apply for depending on their skills and the type of contracts they want to handle.

Building combined license

Allows the holder to work on all construction projects, including painting and other specialty building tasks.

Residential contractor license

License holders can construct, repair, remodel and improve residential properties. Residential properties in Tennessee are three stories or less.

Limited residential contractor license

Allows contractors to work on single-family home projects worth less than $125,000.

Commercial contractor license

It allows contractors to work on commercial properties of all sizes.

Small commercial license

Allows contractors to work on commercial projects worth up to $750,000.

Industrial contractor license

Allows contractors to build industrial properties.

Where to get a painting license

Get your license from the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Apply for your license online at the Comprehensive Online Regulatory and Enforcement System.

Here is the requirement for license application.

  • Pass the Tennessee Business and Law exam.
  • Copy of exam results.
  • Pay $250 application fees.
  • Complete the application form.
  • Provide a personal financial statement prepared by a CPA.
  • Reference letter from client or employer.
  • Get general business liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance if you have any employees.

What can happen if you work without a license?

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

  • License or permit revocation
  • $5,000 fines per offense.
  • 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.
  • You can be sued for hiring an unlicensed painter for work that requires a license.

Can I paint my own house without a license?

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

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 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 Tennessee. 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 in tennessee

Lead paint disclosure Tennessee

A lead-based paint disclosure is a federal and Tennessee 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.