portrait of Steve Tomlinson of Tomlinson Paint Contractor, Bullard, Texas.

Contractor Q&A: Steve Tomlinson

Steve Tomlinson has been a professional painting contractor since 1979. He is based in Bullard, Texas.

The biggest turning point in the success of my business was when…

…I started funding each job separately from the others, not taking money out of one job to support the successive jobs. For instance, I didn’t let my residential repaints fund my payroll for my larger commercial work.

My favorite part of running my own painting company is…

…watching the younger painters grow and learn more about the paint trade each week.

One of my most rewarding projects was…

… painting the new Anytime Fitness facility in Denison, Texas. The specs called for an oil-based dryfall on the ceilings, but I disagreed. So I got Michael Boswell, the manager at the Sherwin-Williams Tyler South store, involved. Michael recommended Pro Industrial™ Waterborne Acrylic Dryfall. He said this product would save me a lot of labor and cut two days out of my completion date. He was right.

The best business advice I ever got was…

…from my father. He told me, back in the early ’80s: “You are only as good as your last day’s performance.” He said there was no resting in the service industry

What advice do you have for young painters entering the business?

If you don’t mind working hard, this could be a good career for you. The painting trade is some of the hardest work you will ever do. Set some achievable business goals and work hard to meet or surpass them. The painting business is the most rewarding job out there for me. I love it and have a deep passion for the work and my customers.


This article was originally published in the Winter 2016 issue of PPC magazine. See more of what pro painters have learned here. Want to share your success story? Email us at ppcmagazine@gmail.com