The Birth of Ron Rice Painting & Consultation

The Birth of Ron Rice Painting & Consulting 

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about 18 or 19 and living in the heat of a Tucson, AZ.  A friend asked if I’d like to do some construction work during my college summer break from studying media communications and documentary filmmaking. The desert sun and the heat is unforgiving, just plain brutal, but I said yes. My friend and I did odd jobs. One day we would be working on a roof, the next we would be landscaping, and the next we would be painting a fence. While I was not a big fan of the roofing and landscaping part, I actually liked the painting. I enjoyed taking something that looked really bad and transforming it to look really good. In all honesty though, no young man in college says ‘I’m going to leave the arts and become a painter.’ 

Fast forward to a couple years later. I had landed a job at a local AM radio station and I knew my path was set. Then one day I was visiting my mom and there was a painter at her house. He would come every afternoon when he got off from his “day job.” He worked hard and late every night for a week, painting the exterior of my mom’s house. I was blown away by the change that took place, and I fell in love with painting. 

Shortly after her home was painted, my mom passed away. Heartbroken and devastated, I knew I needed a change. My mom had always wanted me to move to Nashville to pursue a career in music (Did I mention I play guitar?). I had a sister there and made the big move to Music City, leaving my radio job and putting college on hold. We all know how this story goes…I did not sell a million records, In fact, I only played one or two shows the whole time I was in Nashville. I also did not land a monster job in radio doing “morning drive.” Instead, I ended up landing a painting gig and I LOVED IT. I could really focus on making things change, whether it was a whole room or a set of steps. I worked hard and learned the craft. I had many great teachers along the way and took full advantage. 

I started as a helper, working for a company painting large apartment complexes. As a helper, I moved ladders and cleaned brushes. I had a friend that was painting new homes and I bugged him repeatedly until he gave me a job. This is when I really learned how to paint. This was back in the day before paint sprayers were common, so we would paint house after house by hand. I remember those days fondly, listening to my walkman cassette player (remember those?) and rolling miles of walls. 

I picked the trade up fast and after about two years of painting everyday, I started to do small side jobs. You can guess what happens next…. I was doing so many side-jobs that I decided to go out on my own. At this time I didn’t think I was starting a business. I just thought I was a “free lance painter.” At that time in Nashville, Tennessee, there were no license requirements and no real laws regarding insurance. If I remember correctly, I had a business license and auto insurance, and that’s about it. I eventually got a small liability policy. Then the jobs started to get bigger and at one point, I had 12 painters working. 

I was still young, making good money in Nashville but I wanted another change. I wanted to be closer to the rest of my family, closer to the beach,  and closer to warmer weather. I wanted to come home. But this time home wasn’t Tucson. Home became San Diego, CA. 

I pulled into San Diego the first week of November 2000. And I got a job in corporate sales. That’s right! I went from wearing painter’s whites every day to donning a suit and tie. Needless to say, this wasn’t me. I wasn’t changing old shabby houses and cruddy rooms into something nice. For the first time in many years I had to answer to someone else which was new to me. I MISSED PAINTING.

In the late part of 2001, Ron Rice Painting was born. I started with nothing. The first job I landed was pennies on the dollar (really, I charged $300 for something that would coast $2,500 back then). I knew that the only way I was going to make a splash in the tough Southern California market was to hustle. I had to work for peanuts to show people what I could do. I knew that I would have to build new relationships. I did this by telling everyone I met I was a painter. I gave them my card, I asked if they knew anyone that needed anything painted. You see, I knew that if I could show people the quality of my work, I would win them over. I knew that if they gave me a shot, I would have a customer for life. 

Since then we have made quite the splash in the San Diego market. We have grown every year. Even with a couple of downturns in the economy we continue to grow, improve and better our company. Not only for our clients, but for our employees, too. 

Ron Rice Painting & Consulting isn’t going anywhere. We are still growing and continue to learn new and better ways to serve our clients, our employees and our community. We are commonly found in the Top 10 Painters List of San Diego County. We have been heavily involved in the community doing service projects and working for non-profits. 

When not running a painting company, I have 2 AMAZING children, Machalla and Sadie, as well as my incredibly gorgeous and talented wife, Tori. I can also be found playing music with my band or performing Improv comedy at local improv clubs and theaters. 

Ron Rice