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About Us

Since 1984, University Painters has proudly provided Ottawa and the surrounding area with professional, award-winning interior and exterior painting services.


Locally Owned & Operated

We're not a franchise; we're locally owned and operated. The current owner is James Cleary who founded University Painters in 1984 as a summer business while attending Carleton University. After graduating from Carleton in 1987 with a B.A. in law, Mr. Cleary expanded the business to year round service. With Mr. Cleary's attention to details and excellent customer service, the operation grew from $30,000 in annual sales to over $1,000,000. During this growth phase, University Painters began doing commercial jobs and hiring full time professional painters became the norm.


The current general manager, and future owner, is Jimmy Cleary. Jimmy has worked in the construction sector since 2012. Jimmy graduated from Ottawa University in 2011 with a B.A. in economics. Prior to University, he went to French schools. Jimmy has shadowed his father to learn hands on every aspect of sales, customer service, administration, management, and finance. Jimmy's formal work history started at age 14 when he started a service business on the Big Rideau Lake doing yard work and odd jobs for lake residents. This enterprise taught him about marketing, time management, customer service, and business basics. Jimmy then migrated to full time summer employment with Parks Canada working at the lock station on the Big Rideau for 7 summers. This endeavour included dealing with the public in both official languages on a daily basis. One summer Jimmy saved a man's life who had driven his car into the water beside the lock station. Jimmy jumped into action by diving into the water, attempting to open the car which was locked, and broke the window to extract the drowning man. As a result Jimmy was presented with the following three awards: Parks Canada CEO Award of Excellence, Smith Falls Mayor, and The Police Services Board Accommodation and sincere appreciation, and The Most Venerable Order of St-John of Jerusalem Lifesaving Commendation award.


In the spring of 2021, to keep up with increasing demand due to the rapid growth & popularity of University Painters, we were very fortunate to bring onto our team another manager, family friend, and future co-owner, Will Grace. James Cleary and Will's father have been friends since their childhood and have both made their careers in the painting industry. Will is a very ambitious and motivated individual, ready to service our clients needs. Will has gained lots of sales experience working at Best Buy for 5 years. He is going to be putting his sales experience and quality customer service skills to good use here at University Painters. Will is now fully trained with estimating and is eager to continue meeting with potential clients to provide them with our free quotes. Before joining our team, Will had worked for the Government Of Canada gaining many useful skills in dealing with technology and team work. Will has proven to be a great addition to the University Painters team.


Our Estimating Team

James, Jimmy , and Will are happy to provide all estimates free of charge. Traditionally and ideally this is done with a site meeting and a detailed customized written job description is presented to you at the end of the meeting. This site visit takes between 15 and 60 minutes.


Note: As technology has changed, and some customers’ time constraints have tightened, we receive more and more request for a ball park quote to start the procurement process. This can be done using photos, dimensions and Google street view for exterior jobs. We strongly recommend that you meet in person with prospective trade’s persons, prior to any contract award.

Once You Decide to Hire Us

You will have either Jimmy Cleary or Will Grace act as project manager. They will set up the painter(s), provide the materials, equipment, and information required to do the job. The painter(s) are skilled and professional. James Cleary is also involved. If needed, James will support the client, amend the job description as required, and provide any expertise and customer service necessary.


If you have an issue and need to contact us, you can trust that we'll always be there for you—after all, we have been in business for the last 40 years.


Pay When You're Satisfied

You can also trust that any painting job we do will exceed your standards. We don't ask for any money until you're satisfied with your completed project. University Painting will deliver a seamless paint job every time, inside and out.


An Award-Winning Company

We'll care for your property as though it were our own. We carry $5 million in liability insurance for your protection and peace of mind, not to mention that we've won some awards. Call University Painters today for your free estimate.

Our Team - Skilled Painters with Years of Experience

We would love for you to meet the University Painters team! We're all professional painters who want to help your home or business look beautiful. James, Jimmy, and Will have a combined half century of experience, which is why you'll get a meticulous paint job every time. We know all the pitfalls, and we know how to avoid them.


Contact Us Today

We can handle all of your painting projects, interior or exterior, residential or commercial. Whatever the time of year, we're eager to serve you! Please contact us for a free estimate about our services.


Award-Winning Painters

At University Painters, we take special pride in our quality of work and apparent customer satisfaction. For instance, some years ago we won an award called the Minister's Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Ontario Ministry of Skills Development.


Better Business Bureau

While many of our competitors don't even belong to the Better Business Bureau, we are an honour roll member of that venerable organization. We achieved this very high rating because the BBB has never received complaints from customers about our painting services, and no government actions have ever been filed against us. We also get credit for our longevity—three and a half decades in business!


Meticulous Painting Services

Our painters will revamp your property.

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