Painting Made Simple: Paintzen Launches in Pittsburgh

Partnering with PPG Paints, the company uses an online platform to match customers with professional painters and provide supplies.

photos courtesy PPG Paints

Painting — from which colors to choose to finding someone to paint the walls — can be cumbersome, but Pittsburghers can now utilize an online service that strives to simplify the process.

Paintzen launched in Pittsburgh in late July after partnering with PPG Paints. The company allows users to pick colors, generate a quote, get matched with professional painters and book their services through one online platform.

Mike Russell, CEO of Paintzen, calls Pittsburgh a good fit economically for the company.

“[Pittsburgh] was always on the top of our list as one of the top cities,” he says. “It’s one of the best cities to be in.”

When users access the Paintzen website, they answer a series of questions about location, type of property to be painted, room sizes and room quantity. Paintzen’s algorithm then calculates the amount of paint and supplies needed and matches customers with painters from the organization’s vetted, professional painting network. The process takes a a few moments and painting can begin in as little as 48 hours. Paintzen also offers color consultations to customers.

“People like on-demand now, and they want it to be quick and seamless and something you can just hop online and book really easily,” says Greta Edgar, associate communications manager at PPG. “I think Paintzen makes it super simple for customers to book a paint job and not have to worry about the details.”

All Paintzen jobs in Pittsburgh are completed by local painting professionals, with the paint coming from one of the area’s 18 PPG Paints locations.

“One really important thing when we think about our relationships with our paint company partners is we want to bring a lot of value to the paint companies,” Russell says. “We try to time it, so as demand starts to grow, we’ll introduce more paint companies to the platform.”

Before launching Paintzen five years ago, Russell co-founded a company in 2009 called MyClean that digitized the process of booking a home cleaning. He says MyClean, which is still up and running, caused him to think about other industries.

As painting became an industry of interest Russell says he wanted to find a way to combine the purchase of paint and service for it.

“There was really a creative element to the painting industry, so we liked that,” he says. “We also noticed there weren’t a ton of online paint sales at the time back in 2013, so we thought there was a really big opportunity to take what was previously an in-store purchase and bring it online.”

In addition to Pittsburgh, Paintzen also launched in Seattle and Houston in July. The service was already offered in eight other cities, and the company plans to launch in three more cities by the end of 2018.  

“When a customer or a potential customer thinks about needing to have their place painted, or buying paint and hiring a painter, we want them to think ‘Paintzen,’” Russell says. “We’re focusing on growing our presence within our existing markets, and looking forward to opening new markets as well.”


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