How LIME Painting grew to $5.5M in revenue by serving custom property owners in luxury painting market.



When Stefanie Loren planned to renovate her house, she knew exactly how it should look. Days after the painting job when the sun was just about to set and the rays were scattering through the lacey white curtains, she bought last weekend at the flea market hoping that they would finally bring out the so-called turquoise walls of her living room. Loren was settling down by the window after a long day at work with a hot cup of tea. That’s when she was probably looking around just a little too carefully, struggling to ascertain what’s still missing beyond the fact that it’s the mock-up wall paint which is still two shades away from being turquoise!

“We are a premium brand that serves an affluent demographic who wants quality, we are a unit of business owners who deliver a world-class product and service consistently.”


Nick Lopez, the Founder, and CEO of LIME Painting realized this massive consumer base which remains underserved when he started his first company ‘Spartan College Painters’ to financially support himself through his ongoing undergraduate business degree at the Michigan State University. “I was an independent out-of-state student attending Michigan State University from Denver, CO. Once my hopes for a wrestling scholarship dwindled and the bills piled up, I made one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made– to quit wrestling after my freshman year as a scholarship was not in sight. I did so to pay for tuition, books, and cost of living as I could no longer use credit cards to pay off credit cards. In fact, I even maxed out a credit card just to get to campus and start my college days,” shares Nick. “It was 2009 and in the middle of The Great Recession just outside of Detroit which was suffering greatly from the auto industry crash. The foreclosure signs that littered neighborhoods didn’t deter me from starting and growing a high-end painting company to pay my way through college. After a couple of years of operating Spartan College Painters, I began taking business classes and learned about competitive advantage. The combination of compliments and horror stories over my first couple of years lead to an epiphany in one of my business lecture halls, that what I was doing was truly unique and valued by the clients I was serving.” 

What began as a means of survival became an obsession to solve an epidemic for inconsistent high-end painting. Not knowing how to scale the market, Nick was recommended a book by his mentor called ‘E-Myth’ revisited by Michael Gerber, where he was introduced to the idea of franchising. That was the seed for LIME, which Nick intended to scale through franchising. He also devised that the founding location would prove out the viability and unit economics. By addressing each customer’s expectations, Nick was able to develop a solution-driven model, showing his willingness to serve. As he moved back home to Denver, he launched LIME Painting as the world’s first and only high-end painting franchise company that works on contractual basis and provides a unique combination of fifteen services that also include maintenance, construction, coatings, and even complete restoration. Going by the plan within four years, the founding Denver location grew from $550K to north of $2.2M annually and the franchise was formulated thereafter. After a year of warranting licenses, the founding location had grossed $7.5M in sales and three franchise locations have been awarded within CO i.e. in Boulder, ft. Collins and Castle rock. LIME is now expanding nationally.

Their mission is to raise the status quo for painting and contracting services received by plush property owners, by delivering a consistent quality solution with an easy, enjoyable and refreshing experience. At LIME, they are driven by value and never hesitate to work with new-age innovations and technologies while still operating in proven old school industry way.


Love, Integrity, Mission and Excellence

Job done Right!

Paint is the top layer of surface that requires several coatings in order to sufficiently protect the custom properties from natural wear and tear while providing an aesthetic touch. From metal to masonry, wood, stucco, drywall and much more; each surface requires proper surface restoration prior to applying a coat. Whether it is a new build, repaint, or restoration project- LIME is capable of servicing both residential and commercial custom properties that require much more than just painting to do an elegant job the right way.

Using the latest technologies and inventions, the company provides homeowners a simple yet sophisticated support system with a combination of fifteen distinguished services in the renovation sector all the while educating clients on options to maximize the value of their investment. The luxury approach revolves around meticulous prep, process and product selections which are unique to each project and client to execute a tailor-made result that lasts the test of time. “As founder and CEO of LIME, I most value our culture for excellence and stewardship. Being that we are a premium brand that serves an affluent demographic who wants quality, we are a unit of business owners who deliver a world-class product and service consistently,” says Nick. “Additionally, we value people before profits and that is what ultimately drives how we steward our community of businesses as a franchise family.” 

Uniquely being the only painting franchise that focuses solely on high-end homes and businesses that have values of $1 Million or more, LIME has created a niche that does not compete with other painting franchise options. This means that LIME franchise owners have virtually no competition. Additionally, with fifteen different revenue streams, the franchise owners have the ability to generate higher revenues on each job. 

Nick Lopez, Founder & CEO, LIME Painting

Good Stewards of Profits

LIME also gives owners a platform to give back to their local communities through its Christian-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm, LIME Light Outreach. It is an actionable extension of the LIME’s core values of Love, Integrity, Mission, and Excellence. The non-profit is focused on empowering local youth with the LIME Light’s four pillars of knowledge—Faith, Family, Patriotism, and Prosperity. 

LIME Light Outreach’s non-profit business model makes it easy for franchise owners to fundraise for local youth causes and partners with established non-profits to reach the youth with varying community-focused campaigns. 

Fundraising is done by offering repeat clients- signed into LIME Painting’s loyalty program- benefits such as giving access to additional warranty coverage, free professional color consultation, rewards points, bi-annual audits and more. Also, 50% of each membership fee automatically goes toward the franchisee’s LIME Light Outreach fund. The clients also have the option to donate even more on top of that. “Many of our clients are high-end homeowners who are affluent and have designated budgets for giving back every year,” says Nick. “Since LIME Light Outreach is a 501(c)(3), donations are also tax-deductible. We want to see homeowners becoming invested in a franchise owner’s vision for how they want to use the nonprofit, then giving above and beyond their membership fee.” The established local non-profits help execute the initiatives with the franchise owners. The LIME Light Outreach’s non-profit board votes to approve campaigns for releasing the funds. This provides a level of informed oversight that is vital for success. “LIME owners are able to network with nonprofits to find an organization that aligns with the initiatives, then share their vision for what they want to fund,” says Nick. “This streamlines and simplifies the process while minimizing risk. You let those organizations do what they’re great at while also impacting youth, which is the goal at the end of the day.” 

Nick further adds, “I’m excited to see the franchise owners take the mission of the nonprofit and own it locally. There are so many directions that they can take, and they can make such a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”

Following Passion

In his strive to give back to the local communities, Nick is looking for the right fit partners who bleeds and shares his vision, someone who is ready to work his business diligently and intentionally. Some of the core skills that are required to be a LIME Painting franchise owner involves public relations, project management, sales, team building, leadership and a genuine desire to change the world and competitive landscape with selfless and heart-led servant-based leadership, while emphasizing a culture of change, innovation, brand excellence and community outreach. In order to help franchise owners master their business, LIME provides ongoing coaching and webinars post completion of initial training. The national initiatives and local co-ops related to advertising, branding, marketing, and design are headed by corporate.

According to the franchise owners, the training is rigorous and challenging but rewarding and the support team is engaged and responsive. Also, the combination of technology and industry partners helps to ensure that the local business is organized and well supported by industry experts. “My plan is to empower business owners with the LIME business platform by providing them with an asset that they can control the ROI of and establish a legacy for themselves that is themed by freedom and independence. Finally, with that empowerment franchise owners can steward their businesses with values and a ‘people over the profits’ mentality that gives back to the community that supports their thriving business,” says Nick.

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