There’s a good chance you’ve never met a cooler pair of house painters, but don’t let their friendly, laid-back demeanor fool you. The two Brians who make up Terrapin Painting — Brian Newell, founder and owner of the company, and Brian Mietz, his employee and painting accomplice — are total pros. Their passion? Making homes look gorgeous, and doing it in a way that’s easy and enjoyable for their customers.
Based in Haddon Heights, NJ, Terrapin Painting has been sprucing up homes in South Jersey, Philadelphia, and the Main Line since 2017. The company specializes in both interior and exterior painting, but Newell admits a preference for interior work because he loves how a good paint job can completely transform a room.
Prior to establishing Terrapin, Newell had worked for a few years with his friend, a professional painter who taught him the ropes. He then moved on, taking a job at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
But during this time, Newell continued to do small paint jobs for friends. Eventually, these infrequent projects started turning into something that looked more and more like an actual business. “After a year I had enough business going that I was able to go full time with painting,” he explains. Terrapin Painting was officially born.
Where once Newell was the student, he quickly became the teacher, training his assistant and friend Brian Mietz. “Brian is a great teacher as well as painter,” says Mietz. “He’s the most patient person I’ve ever worked for and also the most chill. I don’t think I ever want to work for anyone else, honestly.”
What sets Terrapin Painting apart from other painting companies is the friendly, easy customer experience they strive to create. “We bring top-quality painting to the work we do,” says Newell. “We understand the product, we understand the application. But we really like working with customers and we make it friendly.” The pair is clearly doing something right; 99% of their business comes from word of mouth referrals from happy customers.
As for the design process, Newell encounters customers at both ends of the spectrum. “Some people know exactly what they want, and some have a tougher time and like to talk it through.” For those on the fence about which direction to take, he’s happy to hash out ideas with them and give his professional input. He also receives his share of “idea boards” from customers and is always willing to work with them to create the perfect look.
When asked where he sees his business in five years, Newell responds that he has actually been thinking a lot about that lately. “I kind of like where I am,” he admits. “The more workers our company has, the less painting I’ll be able to do. And I want to be able to keep doing jobs myself.”
Newell certainly hasn’t reached a plateau in his business journey; he pushes himself to learn new techniques and also invests in new products and tools. Take their new dustless sanding machine. “It’s a plus that people love,” he beams. “It gets the job done quickly and makes it so much cleaner and easier.”
About the unique company name, Deadheads will recognize it as a nod to the album “Terrapin Station” by The Grateful Dead. “I was actually at a Dead and Company show in Camden, thinking about putting the business together, and thought Terrapin Painting would be a great company name,” remembers Newell. “It had such a good ring to it.”
This tribute to the Dead can also be spotted in a company logo created collaboratively by the two Brians. The company’s official logo had been established from the start, but the Brians made quite a stir with their newer, “unofficial” logo.
Mietz, a talented artist, designed the logo after the two had chatted about combining the Grateful Dead logo with the Sherwin Williams logo. The resulting artwork has graced social media and has been made into both stickers and tee shirts. “People want more,” laughs Newell. “I have to get more tee shirts made!”
Terrapin Painting delivers superior results, all while providing the best experience for their customers. And who knows? You may even get a highly coveted sticker with your service!
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