Painters and contractors must have a license to work in Virginia.

The state requires painters and contractors working on projects worth over $1,000 to obtain a state license and register with their cities.

What kind of license does a painter in Virginia need

Painters will apply for a General Contractor license in Virginia.

There are three categories that a painter can opt to get.

  • Class A category. It allows holders to work on projects worth over $120,000.
  • Class B category. It allows holders to work on projects worth over $10,000 but less than $120,000.
  • Class C category. It allows the holder to work on projects worth $1,000 to $10,000.

Where to get a painting license

You can get your license from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Here is the application process and the conditions to qualify for a license.

  • Have a registered business. Individuals are not issued contractor licenses.
  • Choose a license category and pay the required license fee.
  • Provide information on the individual responsible for licenses in the business. You can nominate yourself if your business is a sole proprietorship.
  • Provide details of a qualified individual in the business. It is a person in the company who meets all the set requirements for licensing.
  • Take the pre-licensing course.
  • Complete the application.
  • Submit your completed application and wait.
  • You will be notified by the board when your license application is successful.

What can happen if you work without a license in Virginia?

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

  • Civil fines up to $500 per day if you operate unlicensed.
  • Criminal charges
  • Jail time.
  • You risk losing all the money earned when you work without a license.

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 Virginia.

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 with a license to work in Virginia. 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 Virginia

Lead paint disclosure Virginia

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

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

If you have a baby, have them checked twice before they get to 36 months for any lead paint side effects.

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.