I have gleefully painted windows for a couple of decades. Learn about my technique and decorate your windows this holiday season!
Window Painting As A Business
When you can paint Christmas designs and other images on a consistent basis you can use window painting as a business. You'll need a few supplies and and little creative thinking
Selling window art is like any other sales gig. You may have to take a lot of rejection before you make your first sale, but don't give up. If you are prepared correctly you will find clients who will welcome your services.
Knocking on doors in your area may reveal a seasonal side job that will earn you a few bucks during the holidays. This is how I took my art to the streets. I packed up a paint box, a window cleaning bucket, and started pounding the sidewalk. It turned into an amazing opportunity.
For a budding, young artist it is the gateway to sign painting. For others it is a seasonal hobby.
Learning how to price your time and paintings and do the job well will earn you long term clients. They will call you back or greet you kindly when you contact them before the season starts and set your appointments. Window painting at Christmas generally starts the day after Thanksgiving, but you might want to start checking out window clients as soon as you think you are ready to paint.
It all begins with a sketch book.
All the images here are property of M Burgess. All rights are reserved, please do not copy them, thank you! =)
Santa At The Barber Shop - Window Painting Design
Your Window Art Portfolio
Assemble a sketch book full of traditional holiday designs in your style. The sketch to the right is a preview for the painting for the painted image in the introduction.
This sketchbook becomes your window art portfolio. Don't forget to bring a camera when you paint so you may eventually include photographs of your work. You want to collect full color demonstrations of your work and what you have to offer clients.
Sketches help you see what details to include in a design. Each artist has a unique style and using a pre-planned drawing or sketch helps demonstrate that. Collect designs you want to paint. Show these sketches to potential clients when you are ready to sell window painting. With a sketchbook in hand, clients can see your talent and art design mastery.
Images can be personalized for themes based on the businesses you are working with. If you have a pizza restaurant for example, you can draw and paint Santa or elves tossing the dough or have them sharing a pizza pie.
Start with Christmas designs then move on to other holidays and themes such as Thanksgiving and Fall, Valentine's Day, St. Paddy's Day, Easter, and Fourth Of July.
Image: M Burgess
Hubpages' Holiday Window Painting Pages
- So, You Want To Paint Holiday Windows?
Painting windows in Las Vegas has been my favorite way to celebrate the holidays. Have you ever wanted to know how these art paintings are done?
- How To Do Halloween Art For Window Painting
Halloween art is a great way to attract ghoulies and goblins to your festivities and share your favorite images of the season. Pumpkin paintings are bright, colorful images, and can be very entertaining. They can be painted in a natural shape or...
- Valentine's Day Window Paintings
Valentine's window paintings can be designed with a multitude of characters and images. They are a colorful and a sweet way to tell that special someone you care about them in a big way.
Sketchbooks & Sketching Sets
Bring along plenty of sketch paper when you start selling window paintings. You will need it to draw out your designs after you have discussed what your client would like on their windows. Having these materials handy is a great way to cut time and show your talent to your prospective clientele.
Design a new theme each year using your favorite elements. Make sure you sketch out each one of your ideas so you have a base of designs to work from and you have a future portfolio to show. You can go back later and see which elements are your favorites and which ones your clients liked the best. Make notes for each of your designs to keep track of their popularity.
Candy Cane Sketch For Window Painting
Selling Window Painting
How To Set Up Window Painting Prices
I would recommend you set your pricing before you start selling window painting designs. Add price tags to your design sketches.
When a customer knows up front what your designs will cost them, it will be easier to come to an agreement on the price of the window painting. They might not be so quick as to ask you to draw and paint Uncle Harry's fuzzy mug in a funky design.
Make sure they see a blank page that says that you charge extra for special images. If they want to put up the cash for that painting -- by all means, paint it! Don't sell yourself short and do charge accordingly for it. Its your art, what is your time worth? There are sign painters that charge $1 a MINUTE so you can base what you want to charge using that as a guideline.
A holly leaf design is a simple design. I would charge $5 to $7 for each holly leaf I paint. It is a simple image to complete so the pricing is lower. A candy cane would be $10. I charge more for a candy cane than I do for the holly because of the detail work in this design.
A scene such as a fully detailed Santa Claus Sled and Reindeer would be at least $45. The amount of detail work involved, the paint and supplies used, and the time it takes to complete a Santa scene is more extensive. The same rule of thumb applies to painting a snowman. The more detailed a window painting design is the more work you put into it. And this means you will charge more for them.
Personalized Window Painting With Pets
Portfolio Cases - Keep Your Sketches Organized
Keeping your design sketches organized is easier when you can keep them all in one place. These sturdy portfolio cases will help you do that. They are attractive and durable and they keep your artwork organized in a professional manner. They will protect your drawings and sketches and prevent the edges from being tattered and torn. They will also save you the heart ache of having your precious art damaged. Keep your images cataloged and you will be able to find them quickly to show your potential customer.
You will have to knock on a lot of doors and take a bit of rejection when you go out to hustle your window art.
Rejection is part of the sales business so don't take it hard when people say "NO!"
Once you get one client the effect snowballs... Everyone will want you to paint!
Cleaning Off Window Paint - Cleaning Windows After Christmas
Cleaning off window paint after the holiday is over can add a few more dollars to your pocket. It is also required if you are going to paint for the next holiday. Take the time to do it right and will win long time clients for your business.
Take care to remove all the paint spatters from the frames and panes and leave a shiny impression behind you!
In this video you will see how simple it is to clean up tempera from a window painted for Christmas.
Sales Receipts - Job Invoices
Whenever I do a window painting job I write up a receipt for myself and for the client's records. Fill out the date and the work completed on the receipt. I always put my phone number on the receipt because business cards get lost or tossed out. I usually write, Holiday Painting $X and indicate on the receipt that the windows were cleaned PRIOR to painting and that service was free. Make sure you write on the receipt that paint removal is not billed and will be charged at the time services are rendered.
When Pricing For Window Painting
Never charge for window cleaning after the season is over until you actually complete the service. Make sure the business owner knows this and it is clear to them you will be back when the holiday is past to do the cleaning.
Be neat in your painting and when you clean the paintings off. Good business in window painting means leaving behind NO MESSES!
Make Your Own Cards & Fliers
Print Them Easily At Home
You will need business cards for call backs and to leave with stores and businesses where the owner or the decision maker is not available. You will also need them for leaving behind with businesses you have painted for so they can call you or refer you to another client. Make sure you give a card to everyone you talk to about your window painting business. They may not want the decorating today, but they may call you if they do decide they want your services.
Pick a unique title for your business and design an attractive simple card for printing. Print up a few dozen. When your business grows you can have fancy ones printed!
You may also want to print out a flier with your services included on it. A half page flier is generally a good size. Make sure you include window cleaning and paint removal with your services. The clean up before painting should be a free service. The paint removal afterwards is a fee you charge when services are rendered. The general charge for paint removal is $10 for a couple of small windows up to $30 or more for businesses that have a zillion windows.
Window Painting As A Small Business
Part Time Art Business
The window painting business can be a lot of fun and the money you make from it can be really good. If you decide you do want to go into business for yourself, make sure you check the ordinances where you live for the proper licensing you will need to run your business.
A simple business license will be needed and you will need to keep good records for tax purposes. Make sure you save your receipts and all invoices. You will need to file a tax form for itemizing your deductions and for claiming and paying your taxes. You may choose to use this as a hobby for profit or it can qualify for a small business. These factors depend on if you have made over $600 or more when painting windows.
Make that green but keep it honest!
Image: M Burgess
Window Painting Agreement / Contract / Contact Sheet
Whether you paint for yourself on your home windows or you choose to venture out and sell window paintings, I hope you found these directions and tips easy to follow and apply. Thanks for visiting today!
Guestbook Comments - And Review
KS-Kat on January 02, 2017:
Is there a basic pricing list i.e. $/hr that you charge or just for basic designs?
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on November 15, 2014:
You are welcome, Evelyn!
evelyn on November 07, 2014:
This info. Was the bomb. The. Whole. Bomb. And. Nothing. But. The. Bomb. Blessesings. For. Sure. Gratitude. For ur. Teachings. N. Wisdom
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on August 20, 2013:
@RuthieDenise: Thank you for stopping by!
RuthieDenise on August 20, 2013:
What a great business idea. I wish I was artistic. Great Lens.
idealshedplans on August 04, 2013:
Window painting is an art form, do like your lens topic, I am not an artist myself but do like good work
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on February 17, 2013:
@lesliesinclair: Thank you! =) Appreciate your comment!
lesliesinclair on February 16, 2013:
Occasionally I did paint on our home windows. Yes, you did a nice job of presenting concise tips.
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on January 21, 2013:
@Scotties-Rock: Thanks for your visit!
Clairissa from OREFIELD, PA on January 20, 2013:
Sounds like a great idea! I wish I was more artistic.
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on January 18, 2013:
@Jo-Jackson: Thanks for the comment and visit! =)
Jo-Jackson on January 17, 2013:
I'm not artistic enough to do this but it looks like a great idea.