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Painting Contract Work: What Must a Contract Include?

The only way for your painting contract work to be safe is to sign a real contract. You need to have at least a sample contract for painting work prepared in advance.

A standard form contract contains painting work contract template text. There are blank fields where you should put your name, contact and business details.

You should also know that the party who prepares the contract always has some sort of advantage. Standard form contracts can contain a lot of fine print.

The party who creates the contract will do anything in their power to protect themselves. They will attempt to shake off a bit of responsibility, as well.

If you want a good and fair standard painting work contract, make the effort to create one for yourself. You should ask for legal advice when doing so. Even if you have found your clients on an online platform such as Service Seeking. Signing a contract is always a good idea.

Here are some tips when signing a standard form painting work contract:

  • Read it all very carefully. Even the fine print. That is where the ‘traps’ are.
  • Don’t sign a contract that you don’t fully understand.
  • Fill out every blank space there is. If you don’t have anything to write in it – cross the blank space.
  • Always get a copy of your contract.

What Every Contract for Painting Work Must Include

Your painting work contract template should include all the relevant information about the:

  • People involved
  • The painting contract scope of work
  • Deadlines
  • Payments
  • Responsibilities and liabilities, and others.

These are some of the main elements of a standard painting work contract. We elaborate further on each of these items and explain them in plain language.

Who Are the People Signing the Painting Work Contract?

In legal language, this is called “the parties.” This means two sides that are signing the contract. It is important to know whether you are signing the painting work contract with an individual, a business, an agency or some entirely different party.

When signing the painting work contract with a private individual, you need their name, address and a signature.

When the painting contract is signed by two business parties, you need to make sure that the contract includes:

Painting Work Contract: Scope of Work

The painting work contract needs to describe what needs to be done. It also needs to describe the desired results in great detail. This means that it should clearly list what needs to be done, when and where.


Great Painting Company PTY LTD will do detailed exterior wall painting of the house in Witte Road nr 345, Maple Valley, WA. The painting will include preparation of the wall exteriors, a coat of primer and two coats of paint. The paint colour will be the combination of Pipe Clay for walls and Lexicon Quarter for trims. The work will start on 1st December 2019 and finish on 6th December 2019.

Exterior House Paint Colour Ideas

Image from ADP

Pipe Clay / Lexicon Quarter

Image from ADP

Don’t write:

Great Painting Company PTY LTD agrees to paint the house in Maple Valley, exterior only.

While you need to describe what will be done and the result of your work, don’t go into too many details. For example, agree on the specific colours, but don’t go into details about how the painting will be done. Allow some freedom and wiggle room in your painting contract work.

Painting Work Contract: Payment

The amount of money you expect for your painting contract work is not enough. You should also agree on the method, timing and expenses.

Payment Method – You can charge your painting contract work by the hour, day or per project. If you are getting paid on an hourly or daily basis, you need to specify the details. For example, you need to specify how many working hours you include in a day. How many days will your work last?

If you are being paid by the project, it means you will receive one fixed payment for the entire painting contract work you do. Sometimes, there are unexpected complications with your project. That is why your painting work contract should contain a clause that allows for the fixed fee to be changed under some circumstances.

Whichever payment method you choose, you should always specify whether GST is included in that price or not. If you don’t mention the GST in any way, the law says it is already included.

Payment schedule – Some customers think that is is only fair for them to pay upon the job completed. If the job lasts just for a couple of days, this is one of the ways you can schedule the payments. If it is a big project that lasts for a long time, this means you will be without pay for that entire time. Take that into consideration.

Some painters prefer to take a part of the payment upfront and then the rest upon completion. The upfront payment usually covers the costs of materials that are necessary to do the painting contract work.

Another good way to schedule the payments is by milestones or instalments. Painting work contract should specify precisely when these payments should take place.

Painting Work Contract: Indemnity

Painting can get messy. At times, mistakes happen and you can end up damaging your client’s property. Indemnity is a clause in the painting work contract by which you accept the responsibility for the damage your work might have caused for your client.

This doesn’t mean that all indemnity clauses are a loophole for your client to deny your payment. Indemnity clause can also state that you are not responsible for the losses over which you have no control. It is highly advisable that you have professional indemnity insurance.

Painting Work Contract: Subcontracting

The painting contract scope of work can sometimes exceed your capacities. That is when you should consider hiring a subcontractor. You need for your hirer to agree on this first. Secondly, you need to list this in your contract. Sometimes, your hirer will allow it and sometimes they won’t.

They can sometimes allow only for certain parts of the painting contract work to be subcontracted. Subcontracting means you will also have a contract with the person that you are hiring. In that contract, you will be the hirer.

Contracting and subcontracting imply you should know what the exclusivity agreement is. In short, it means that your hirer demands that you work only for them while the project lasts.

Make sure you are always well compensated for the painting contract work that requires you to give up other clients for the length of your contract.

Painting Contract Work: Variations and Changes

After crafting a painting work contract, you may want to put some changes in. This happens when contracts are for work that needs to be done over a long period of time.

Both parties can put their desired changes in writing and include it in the contract. They both need to sign the painting work contract. If both parties don’t agree, a court can make the final call.

Painting Contract Work: Solving Disputes

No matter how much you like your client, you can never tell if they are fair hirers. Sometimes, you simply can’t see face-to-face. If you can’t agree about some important issues stemming from your contract, like money, results or work conditions, it’s time to address the dispute. Here is what you can do:

Nothing replaces a written painting work contract. However, there is a certain security that you can get when listing your business with Service Seeking. While they are not offering legal representation, they have a system of reviews.

It means badly done work can hurt your reputation and rating. On the other hand, you will have some written trace of preliminary agreements that you had with your client. This is not a replacement for a solid painting work contract. Still, Service Seeking is a great place where you can find clients and sign legal contracts with them. Find some good new clients today!