For more than 30 years, PPC magazine has been on job sites throughout the U.S. and Canada asking residential and commercial paint pros to share their stories. This issue: Andrew Campagnone, owner of Finished Work Painting in Swansea, Massachusetts.
How did you get started in the painting business?
At the age of 14, I learned to paint with the CEDA (Community & Economic Development Awards) program that was offered every summer in Providence, Rhode Island. I did it for three summers. They were impressed with how I painted and especially my ability to cut in. I then started working for a local paint company.
When did you decide to start your own company?
I got married at the age of 26, and shortly after is when Accurate Painting began. My late brother Ronnie knocked on neighborhood doors, and that is how I got my first jobs. In 1995, I had such an overload of work, and couldn’t find workers, that I eventually closed Accurate Painting.
I started working with commercial companies to expand my painting education, since I had only done residential. That was invaluable. Six years later, I really felt in prayer that God wanted me to begin Finished Work Painting; hence, the name is about Him.
How does the geography and climate of your area impact the type of work you do?
I am located in Swansea, Massachusetts. As you may or may not know, New England is known for its crazy weather. That can be a challenge when trying to do exterior painting. Or if there is a Nor’easter, I may not get to an interior job for days, depending on the severity of the storm.
What kind of work do you specialize in, and how many do you employ?
I specialize mainly in residential but do commercial work as well. I currently employ four people, but am always looking for a couple more.
What do you do differently that makes an impression on customers?
We stand out by the way we present ourselves in a professional manner – in uniform, no smoking or swearing, etc. on the job. What I think we do differently is to really care about our customer’s home by the way we clean up each day before we leave. The atmosphere is very peaceful, and the customer hardly knows we are there.
What would you say have been the most important turning points in the growth of your company?
I would say my turning point to increased growth has been when I increased my giving, first to God, and then to people. I like to bless others, such as family and friends, when they need their homes painted. I have painted a women’s shelter and churches. I volunteer when I can. We support several charities, as well as a men’s softball team.
Your company is on Facebook and Houzz. In what ways does your presence on those social channels help your business, and what do you recommend to other paint company owners when it comes to digital marketing?
I mainly use, and get really good feedback from Facebook, specifically.
I also get calls from Google searches, where I have a business page, as well as the Yellow Pages. I recommend getting on the free sites such as these, and start posting photos of your work. I also do Facebook live videos when I start a job. I like to engage with my audience. You will be surprised how people will share your work. My advice is to be consistent!
What role does your paint supplier play in your company’s success?
I mainly use Sherwin-Williams in Seekonk, Mass. They have really been amazing all these years with color matching, training, and having my paint ready for me to pick up. They also make sure I know about upcoming promos and sales. My rep, Andrew Kelly, goes above and beyond to get paint to the store for me, or right to the job site. He also lets me demo a new product that he feels will benefit my company. He really cares about the success of my business.
Is there any specific business or personal advice you have gotten over the years that has really made an impact on how you approach your job?
While working for other painting contractors, I paid attention on how they ran their jobs, as well as how they spoke to their customers. I learned what to do, and what not to do! Also, to just be myself.
What advice do you have for young people getting into the trade?
My advice for young people would be to get with a really good company that is willing to invest in you and your painting education. There is more than just painting to learn such as knowing the correct brush to use, roller nap size and thickness, and the correct paint products and applications, to just name a few. Learn, and keep learning!
What do you do to recharge from the hard work of running your own painting company?
I recharge with family time where we have our dinners and get togethers. We play bocce, cornhole, football, etc. We enjoy our time together! Plus, I enjoy spending time with my church family as well.
This article was originally published in the Winter 2021 issue of PPC magazine. © 2021 Northbrook Publishing. Andrew was interviewed by PPC editor Mike Starling. Read more about what pro painters have discovered on the job in the PPC magazine What I’ve Learned archive.