Colorwheel has the best team of artisan painters in Milwaukee.   And having great people is a major part of our success.   The top remodel firms and interior designers in the area recognize this, and turn to us for good reason.  And it’s a part of why we win many awards in our industry.   For homeowners direct, you can expect to receive the same great team members!  To read about these people visit our team page.

Colorwheel operates primarily with W2 employees, not many subcontractors.  For this reason, we need full time painters that want to work 12 months a year (aside from planned vacation/personal days).  We are also open to part time employment options.  So, let us know what you’re thinking!   Our work is throughout the metro-Milwaukee.  And at least 8-years of experience is preferred.  For other frequently asked questions, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Please note, our work is exclusively inside homes and offices.  Because customer interaction is commonplace, we are very careful about who we hire!

We thrive on accommodating highly independent painters, even small business owners who are tired of running their own show.  Forget the estimating, invoicing, and all the paperwork and other headaches.  Do what you love, do it well, and do it with a ton of flexibility, and benefits, at Colorwheel!  

Ideal Candidate

  • speaks English -due to the one-on-one contact with our homeowners
  • extremely polite
  • respectful
  • timely
  • organized
  • detail-oriented
  • self-motivated
  • values personal time being balanced with work
  • highly experienced
  • craftsman-like to artist-like attitude
  • enjoys and contributes to a positive work environment

Ultimately, the candidate must deliver an excellent experience to our customer, not just great painting.

If you’re a production painter, or seeking abundant overtime, this isn’t the place for you.

If you require management and instruction constantly, this isn’t the place for you.


Comp & Benefits

The annual compensation is typically between $32,000 to $55,000 in w2 wages.

A 401K with employer match up to 4.5% is offered after the completion of year one.

There is seldom weekend work, evening work, or overtime.

Our scheduling is flexible, as we want “life balance” focused employees.  Want to hunt? Go ahead.  Want to travel?  Go ahead.  Just communicate it with us!

Bonus opportunities are situational, from project bonuses to year end bonuses.

Paid time off is negotiated as seniority grows


  1. Email and specifically please do this:
    1. Email subject line should say “Interested Career Painter”
    2. Include your name, email address, and phone number so we can easily reach you
    3. Indicate your years of painting experience
    4. Type a short paragraph about who you are and why you think you’d be a good fit at Colorwheel.  One line emails will generally be discarded.
  2. Upon our receipt of a properly done first email
    1.  Qualified applicants will be invited to take our painter’s test
    2.  You will be asked to pick a specific day and time, Monday through Friday, between 6am and 1pm to take our written test
    3.  With an appointment set, you’ll be invited to our building
  3. Testing
    1. Upon arrival, you’ll be seated at a small desk to take the written test
    2. Please take this test (most skilled applicants take 1 to 1.5 hours to do this)
    3. During the testing you will likely interact with other painters or management team for general conversation
    4. At completion, please set the test on the desk, and let someone know that you need to leave so we can secure the door
  4. After leaving and next steps… the test will be graded within 48 hours, and you will be contacted about our interest level

Please do NOT just show up at our shop unannounced, or without following these instructions.  While we respect imitative, we have this process in place for a reason.   Thank you!


General Job FAQS (last updated 6/9/2022)

  1. What are the basic requirements of this position?
    1. Physically, lift up to 50lbs (although rare).  Lift 4’ to 6’ ladders, maybe an 8’ at most.  Climb same ladders.  Repetitive motion of painting and sanding.  Limited overhead work.
    2. Speak English for one to one customer transactions, other languages are a bonus
    3. Transportation, your own vehicle
    4. Valid drivers license and registration 
    5. Tools, you invest in your own basic hand tools (a list will be provided), but get to use our discounted pricing at suppliers
  2. What’s the general culture like?
    1. Laid back, compassionate, helpful, but with high performance expectations/work quality and customer service
  3. What are your guiding principles?
    1. You need to realize that every decision brings a choice… will you hold yours accountable, responsible, and take ownership OR will you engage in blame, excuses, and denial.  The people who succeed here take the high road.  
  4. What are key factors to succeed?
    1. Abide by the founding principles
    2. Be On-Time!
    3. Be prepared
    4. Learn, always learn
    5. Make plans and execute the plan
    6. Be a kind human
  5. What would get me fired?
    1. Blaming, excuses, denial
    2. Tardiness
    3. No-call no-shows
    4. Poor attitude
    5. Obvious major bad things like stealing, threats, racism, etc.
  6. Who am I learning from?
    1. This will vary, but ultimately our goal is to have you learn from our best people at all times.  But, given that not every job needs 2 people on it, and because people’s schedules vary, you can expect to learn from a wide variety of people on our staff.  
  7. What am I learning?
    1. Basic painting skills and techniques
    2. Advanced painting skills and techniques
    3. Color varnishing
    4. Paper hanging
    5. Refinishing
    6. Cabinet painting
    7. Color mixing
    8. And more! 
  8. Where is the work?
    1. Milwaukee metro, including suburbs and outlying towns within about 35 minutes drive (this varies a bit based on where you live)
  9. Are any fuel/mileage costs covered?
    1. Yes, somewhat.  Our staff pays for their own costs within 15 miles of the shop, and within 15 miles of their house.  So, this is the more immediate area.  When you’re asked to go outside this range, the office does a calculator to reimburse your mileage at our current rate (changes year to year).   Also, there are jobs that paid TIME will be allocated to your check, by the back office, to help cover some travel time.  
  10. What time is work?
    1. 7am to 3pm is pretty typical, sometimes 8am to 4pm.   This can vary from customer to customer, and job location.  
  11. Is 40 hours required?
    1. No.  Due to the nature of these projects, it’s common to end up between 35 and 40 hours.  IF you want to ensure that you get 40 hours, there is always work at other sites, or possibly in the workshop, to do. 
  12. As an APPRENTICE or ENTRY LEVEL position, what does this pay?
    1. Starting pay at this time is $17/hour.  Raises to this pay are evaluated as progression occurs.  There are bonuses available and awarded by sales and management teams.
    2. Skilled painters, paper hangers, etc., have a higher starting pay.  Each is individually established based on experience.
  13. Where can the pay scale go to?
    1. At some point, you’re really not an apprentice anymore.  Or you may need help on select skillsets.  Generally, skilled painters make $20 to $23/hour.  Painters who really learn and excel make between $23 and $26/hour.  Other specialized services can earn $30/hour. 
  14. How often is payroll done?  When is payday?  
    1. Weekly, your Monday through Friday hours get totaled, and paid Wednesday morning at 12:01am.  It is done by direct deposit.  You get an access account to see all related records.
  15. How do I record my hours?
    1. Using our punchclock app Minuteworx.  
  16. What about time off?
    1. Plan it appropriately, and we have no issue with you keeping a healthy work-life balance.  
  17. And holidays?
    1. We generally observe Christmas, New Years, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.  If these fall on a weekend, we need you to communicate if you’d like to take off on the nearest Monday or Friday.  
    2. Holidays are not paid days off. Sorry
  18. Is there insurance?
    1. Sorry no.  One option to explore for health insurance is Medi-Share.  We also encourage people to explore AFLAC options, from our AFLAC rep
  19. Is there a 401K or SIMPLE IRA?
    1. Yes.  Eligibility begins after 1 year.  There is an employer contribution/scaled match as well. 
  20. Is there paid time off?
    1. For seasoned employees yes, if that is what gets negotiated as part of a benefit package.  We are flexible in finding the right benefit per employee. 
  21. Is there overtime
    1. Not usually.  We want you to go relax!  
  22. What do I wear?
    1. Painters whites (shorts or pants) are to be purchased by employee.  T-shirts and other company gear are provided and our expectation is that you keep the items as clean as possible.  Don’t use them as rags or spots to wipe your hands please!
  23. Can we listen to music while we work?
    1. Yes, provided it does not interfere with communication, especially while you’re learning. 


If you have further questions, please reach out to us!

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