All contractors in Wisconsin working on projects worth over $1,000 must have a license.

For projects worth less than $1,000, that do not need a permit and are not one or two-family homes, you will not require a license. However, you must comply with the rules in the city you work in.

Do painters need to be licensed in Wisconsin

Where to get a painting license

You can get your contractor license in Wisconsin from the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

To get your Dwelling Contractor License:

  • You need to get your Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license. To get your Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license, you need a Qualifier Certification. To get your certification, you must take a 12-hour course and pass the exam.
  • When you pass the exam, apply for your Dwelling Contractor Qualifier License. It allows you to work on two-family dwellings.
  • Register your business with the Department of Revenue.
  • Comply with worker’s compensation requirements
  • Meet unemployment compensation requirements.
  • Get general business liability insurance.
  • Get a surety bond.
  • Complete and submit your application.
  • Pay requisite application fees.

What can happen if you work without a license?

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

  • Fines
  • Criminal charges
  • Jail time

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.

Can I paint my own house without a license?

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

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 Wisconsin. 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(Wiscosin)

Lead paint disclosure Wisconsin

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