Choosing to Work with House and Business Painters Having a License, Insurance, and Bonded

Choosing to Work with House and Business Painters Having a License, Insurance, and Are BondedPainting your house or business can be overwhelming, especially if your goal is to achieve a professional and long-lasting result. That is why many people choose to hire painters who can do the job for them. However, not all painters are created equal, and you need to be careful about whom you entrust with your property. 

One of the most crucial factors to consider when hiring painters in Danville, CA, is whether they have a license or insurance and are bonded. These are not just fancy words but essential protections that can save you from a lot of headaches and expenses in case something goes wrong. Here are some of the benefits of choosing to collaborate with painters who have these qualifications:

The Importance of a License for Painters

A license proves that the painter has met the minimum standards of training, experience, and competence required by the state or local authorities. It also means that the painter follows the codes and regulations that apply to their trade, such as safety, environmental, and quality standards. A licensed painter will deliver a high-quality service that meets your expectations and specifications. The information below expands upon these ideas.

Painting is a popular and profitable trade that enhances the value and appearance of residential and commercial properties. However, painting also involves working with hazardous materials, tools, and equipment that require proper training, skills, and safety measures. California regulates the painting industry and requires painters to obtain a license before offering their services to the public.

A Man Painting The Wall

The license that painters need in California is the C-33 Painting and Decorating Contractor license. This license allows painters to perform various tasks related to painting and decorating, such as scraping, sanding, priming, painting, staining, varnishing, wallpapering, and applying other coatings and finishes to surfaces. The license also covers the installation of wall coverings, moldings, and accessories that are incidental to painting and decorating.

To qualify for the C-33 license, painters must meet the following requirements:

– Be at least 18 years old

– Have at least four years of journey-level experience in the painting trade within the last ten years

– Pass a two-part examination including sections that test their knowledge of trade skills, business, and law

– Submit payment for the current license fee

– Obtain a $15,000 contractor bond and a $12,500 qualifier bond

– Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance if they have employees

– Provide proof of general liability insurance if they work on projects over $25,000

– Comply with the state and local codes, regulations, and ordinances that apply to their trade

The benefits of having a C-33 license are:

– It enables painters to bid on and work on projects that are valued at more than $500, which is the legal limit for unlicensed contractors in California

– It demonstrates to potential clients that painters have the necessary training, experience, and competence to perform quality work

– It protects painters from legal liabilities and penalties that may arise from working without a license or violating state laws

– It gives painters access to more opportunities, resources, and networks in the painting industry

– It allows painters to start their own painting business and hire other licensed or registered workers

The consequences of working without a C-33 license are:

– It is illegal and punishable by a misdemeanor charge, a fine of up to $5,000, and up to six months in jail

– It exposes painters to civil lawsuits and claims from dissatisfied customers or injured parties

– It prevents painters from using the legal system to enforce their contracts or collect their payments

– It limits painters to small-scale and low-paying jobs that do not require a license

– It damages painters’ reputation and credibility in the market

Therefore, licensing for painters in California is a crucial and beneficial aspect of the painting trade that ensures the safety, quality, and professionalism of the painting services. Painters who want to work in California should obtain their C-33 license and maintain it by renewing it every two years and completing the required continuing education courses. By doing so, they can enjoy the advantages of being a licensed painter and avoid the risks and drawbacks of being an unlicensed one.

Insurance: Essential for Protection


Insurance covers the painter and their employees in case of accidents, injuries, or damage during the painting project. It also protects you as the property owner from being held liable for any of these incidents. For example, if a painter falls off a ladder and breaks their leg, their insurance will cover their medical bills and lost wages. If a painter spills paint on your carpet or furniture, their insurance will cover the cleaning or replacement costs. We go into further detail below.

Insurance for painters in California is a type of business insurance that covers the costs and liabilities that may arise from painting-related accidents, damages, or lawsuits. Insurance for painters in California can include the following types of coverage:

  • General liability insurance: This covers third-party claims of bodily injury or damage to the property that the painter may cause while working on a project. For example, if the painter accidentally spills paint on a customer’s carpet or breaks a window, general liability insurance will pay for the cleaning or repair costs. Public liability insurance may also cover the legal fees and settlements if the customer or a bystander sues the painter for the damage or injury.
  • Professional liability insurance: This covers the legal costs related to claims of mistakes or negligence that the painter may make while performing their work. For example, if the painter fails to meet the contract terms, misses a deadline, or uses the wrong color or material, professional liability insurance will pay for the defense and damages if customer sues the painter for breach of contract or poor workmanship.
  • Commercial auto insurance: This covers the expenses related to accidents that the painter may get into while driving a vehicle for business purposes. For example, if the painter crashes into another car or a building while transporting their tools or materials, commercial auto insurance will pay for the property damage and injuries that the painter or the other party may suffer. Commercial auto insurance may also cover theft or vandalism related to the vehicle or its contents.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: This covers the medical bills and lost wages for the painter’s employees who suffer a work-related illness or injury. For example, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for their treatment and recovery if the painter’s worker falls off a ladder or gets sick from inhaling paint fumes. Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law in most states, including California, if the painter has at least one employee.
  • Tools and equipment insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace the painter’s tools and equipment that are lost, damaged, or stolen. For example, if the painter’s ladder, workbench, or stand light is broken by a storm or a tool is stolen from a job site. Tools and equipment insurance will pay for the replacement or reimbursement. Tools and equipment insurance protects the painter’s assets if they are in their vehicle, in a trailer, or on a job site.

Insurance for painters in California can help the painter protect their business from the financial risks and liabilities they may face while working in the painting industry. It can also help the painter comply with the state and local regulations and requirements that apply to their trade. By having adequate insurance coverage, the painter can avoid paying out-of-pocket for the unexpected costs and losses that may occur due to painting-related incidents.

The Role of Bonding in Painting Contracts


A bond is a guarantee that the painter will fulfill their contractual obligations and perform the work as agreed. It also serves as a security deposit that you can claim in case the painter fails to complete the job, does a poor job, or breaches the contract in any way. For example, if a painter abandons the project halfway, does not pay their subcontractors or suppliers, or uses inferior materials, you can file a claim against their bond and get compensated for your losses.

Bonding for California painters is a type of financial guarantee that ensures that the painter will complete the work as agreed and follow the state and local laws and regulations. A bond is a contract between the painter, the customer, and a third-party bonding company that acts as a guarantor. Suppose a painter fails to fulfill their obligations, such as finishing the project on time, paying their subcontractors or suppliers, or complying with the codes and standards. In that case, the customer can file a claim against the bond. After review by the bond company, they may receive compensation from the bond company. The painter will then reimburse the bonding company or purchase a new bond.

The benefits of bonding for California painters are:

  • It increases the painter’s credibility and reputation in the market, showing that they are dependable, professional, and trustworthy.
  • It helps the painter secure more contracts and customers, as many customers prefer to hire bonded painters who can guarantee their work quality and performance.
  • It protects the painter from losing their money or assets in case of a dispute or lawsuit with the customer, as the bonding company will cover the costs and damages up to the bond amount.
  • It helps the painter comply with the state and local requirements, as bonding is mandatory for some painting projects or contracts in the state.

The requirements for bonding for California painters are:

  • The painter must obtain a C-33 Painting and Decorating Contractor license from the California State License Board (CSLB). The painter must pass an exam, have at least four years of experience, and pay the current licensing fee.
  • The painter must obtain a $15,000 contractor bond from a licensed surety company and submit the bond information to the CSLB. The bond must match the business name and license number on the CSLB’s records.
  • The painter also must obtain a $12,500 qualifier bond. This requirement is if they apply as an individual or as a responsible managing employee (RME) of a partnership or corporation. The qualifier bond ensures that the painter will comply with all laws and regulations that apply to their trade.
  • Painters must renew their bonds every two years when they renew their licenses. Once they are renewed, they must tell the CSLB of any changes in their bond status or information.

Bonding for California painters is an essential aspect of the painting trade that provides security and assurance for the painter and the customer. By obtaining and maintaining their bonds, painters can demonstrate their professionalism and competence and protect their business from potential risks and liabilities.

Window Shutter

How to Check Credentials

The quickest and easiest way to check a potential painter’s credentials is to visit the CSLB website and use the Check License feature ( You can search by the business name, the business license number, or the painter’s personal name. With the information you received during your interview in hand, you can find out if the painter’s license is active and valid, what insurance they have, and the status of their bond. 

As an alternative, you can also contact the insurance company they used to purchase their insurance and get verification through them. You can also contact the surety bonding company and confirm the painter’s bond is valid.

If you haven’t chosen a painter yet, the CSLB website also has an option for you to build a list of potential painting contractors based on the city or zip code you add to the form, along with the license type you want ( 

Renovated Room


As you can see, choosing to work with house and business painters who have a license and insurance and are bonded can give you peace of mind and ensure that you get the best value for your money. It can also help you avoid potential legal troubles, disputes, and scams that may arise from hiring unqualified or unscrupulous painters. Therefore, before you hire any painter, you want to confirm their credentials and verify their license, insurance, and bond status. It is also good to ask for references, take the time to talk with them, and read reviews from their prior clients to get a sense of their reputation and workmanship. By doing so, you can ensure that you hire a painter who will do an excellent job and make your property look beautiful and fresh.

Custom Painting, Inc. has been a licensed, insured, and bonded company providing painting services to homes and businesses in the Danville, CA, area for over 40 years. Contact us by filling out our online form or by calling 925-866-9610 to schedule an appointment for a free estimate or to discuss your future painting needs.