pricing a striping job

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    Hi, I am getting back in the striping business, I have been out of it for about 15 yrs…can anyone tell me what a good price is per linear foot? Seems to me everyone is charging about 30 cents per foot..is that about right?


    Hey donsf49
    Pricing is always tricky. Here’s why. Overhead and competition. First things first…
    If you pay $10.00 per gallon and get 350′ per gallon…that alone costs 3 cents per foot.
    Let’s say it’s a “Re-stripe” of an 80 car parking lot = 1500′. You’ll need 5 gallons of paint = $50.00. Now…I’m going to stop right here and dangerously say…most people think that’s your overhead = paint! But…you and I know better…I did not include one cup of gas for the striping machine…3 gallons of gas for your truck…your cell phone bill…yellow pages…business insurance…1 million dollars worth of insurance isn’t that expensive…buy it.
    So…if it’s JUST YOU working and you’re spraying a parking lot that has 80 cars…figure 3 lines per minute. You can stripe the entire job easily in less than 2 hours. 30 minutes for prep and clean up…30 minutes for striping…the rest for travel. By the way…that’s in a perfect world…supposing we’re pretty good at our job. So how much do you want? After all is said and done?…$200.00? $300.00? That means $250.00 – $350.00…plus whatever additional “overhead” you decide. That means it’s 17 – 23 cents per foot. AND…that’s for a Re-stripe…not an “Over seal”…let alone a “Layout”.
    I’ve helped stripers price from all over. Some live in towns where the paint store is 45 miles away. I live in a large, well known metropolis. If 30 cents for a Re-stripe is the going rate for your neck of the woods…so be it. BUT…be careful…it may not mean that you’ll be making more than someone else pricing at 17 – 23 cents…in a different “market”… = a different neck of the woods.
    Check your overhead…look at the job…put a price on it. Your price.
    I remember the first time I “upped” my prices. It was because I was swamped…swamped…swamped. My overhead didn’t change. Did I mentioned swamped? I deduced 2 things…1) my prices may be too low…but more importantly…2) I was in demand. I’d like to think that I was doing a good job.
    Now…I know you can do the work. And I know you’ll do a good job. So…what I would like to encourage you to do is this…price the job as you see it. Grow and build a reputable business. Keep in mind all things…best you can…including your “secondary” overhead = your home life.
    Your friend.


    Damn, that was very, very, detailed and helpful. Is that a book that you have avaialble? As i am just starting out, I did this about 25 years ago..only charged $1.50 per stripe..lol…but was very happy..things didn’t cost as much..$4.00 gallon for gas…so if you buy a striping machine, to begin, what would you buy that’s resonably priced…I don’t think those that use airless cans can be very good??
    Sure do appreciate your help..by the way I live in Albuquerque, NM..big town..kinda..over 1/2 million.
    Thought I would start buy doing small jobs..like under 100…sound good.
    Have a great Day


    Hey Don
    Yes…that’s a book…follow the link…if you’re interested.
    I also offered a comparison between 2 popular striping machines.
    It’s here on this site.
    I’m thinking under $4000.00 out the door for either machine…but check me on that.
    As far as the $100.00 price…that is entirely up to you. But you’ve introduced the “minimum charge” topic.
    Sometimes these are more lucrative than seemingly bigger jobs simply because the paint needs are so minimal. If you offer $100.00 and have 10 lines…you’ll use a half gallon of paint…but you’ve driven to purchase it and driven to the job twice = once to bid and again to work. That may equal $10.00 – $20.00. The rest is yours…after the tax man cometh and taketh away! Calculate some of that. Again…it is entirely up to you…and we agree on the aerosol spray = stay away…use a real striping machine and command higher prices.


    Hi, I’m a newbee so don’t laugh ok? Any way what machine would you purchace to do small parking lots an crossing areas and also whats the best method for handicap spaces?



    Hey Steve
    …no laughin’ here.
    Everybody was a rookie.
    I think that there are (2) types of machines that dominate the industry.
    1) The conventional. Tried, true, tested. Maker?…= JCL Equipment Co.
    2) The airless. Probably has a bigger piece of the market. Makers include Graco, Titan.
    There’s always room for discussion here…but these are the (2) types and the big boy mfg’s.
    A starting cost is somewhere around $3200.00. And there’s your answer.
    In other words…no $75.00 stuff. If you’re going to Re-stripe your own parking lot…don’t buy anything…just hire it out.
    But…if you’re looking to make some extra money on the side with hopes of growing…and you will…spend $3200.00-$4000.00 on a machine.
    Next…on this site I gave a “list of sorts” under Striping Equipment. Read that. It’s good. It compares these (2) machines.
    When you do…you’ll see that I may guide you toward the conventional. It’s a great machine. User friendly…especially for the rookie…using oil based paint…on “Re-stripes”.
    So…I think the answer to your question is this…narrow the field to (2) types. Explore these machines.
    Evaluate what your “market” will “probably” be. (More than likely you’ll approach an owner or property manager and ask if you can “Re-stripe” the lot. Just you, after hours, and probably use oil based paint. I’d use the conventional.) And decide.
    Last…I bought a conventional in 1993. I used it for 3rd shift, Re-stripes using oil based paint. Then I switched to latex Paint and sprayed over fresh seal coat on a second shift. When that got too old…I bought my airless; a Titan. I use both almost daily.
    So…let’s do this…you explore a website or 2. Gather info…gather questions…and let’s talk again.


    all great stuff. lots of help here just want to say thanks to all


    @johnnyq wrote:

    all great stuff. lots of help here just want to say thanks to all

    I’ll second that, and I love the Book, BTW 🙂 Great read !!!


    when I am spraying I get overspray about 3/4 of an inch on both sides of my line. What may be the cause of that? I have tried changing tips and cleaning filters and tightening clamps and nothing seems to help. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks


    Hello Perry
    My first questions..
    1) Is it an airless?…or Conventional?
    2) You mentioned “clamps”…?
    Here are a couple statements…
    Filters…if it’s an airless…I have one filter in the Paint Supply Line. That shouldn’t be the problem.
    The “Over spray”…if it’s an Airless…I used a certain paint…ooooh…sticky and lot’s of hype from the maker. (They don’t make it anymore.) I had a fine line 1/4” inside the edges…both of them. It was like I had debris in the tip…at exactly the same spot…on both outside edges of the orifice…! I put up with that for job…after job. Then another striper told me that he had the same trouble. The only thing we could do is…1) Laugh. and 2) Realize…it’s not us…! (Did I mention the MFG doesn’t make that paint anymore…!?)
    That said…another striper from the Northern U.S. had some paint troubles. He couldn’t get the paint to “break”. He tried “Reducing it”…which is different than simply “thinning” it…= a splash of water or thinner…depends on what you’re spraying. It didn’t help. I suggested another paint…problem solved.
    Next…there are two different types of tips for the Airless. One has a “U” cut design…and the other has a “V” cut design. One is for spraying walls…the other is for…Striping…! Titan has a numbering system…1906. Graco’s looks like 319. (Make sure the tip is a Striping tip.)
    So…my first thoughts are…add a splash…maybe switch to a different MFG…just to see how their paint sprays…or hopefully it’s the wrong type tip. If these do not work…keep in touch. (I must admit…”Over spray” on an Airless doesn’t sound common.)
    If it’s a Conventional…
    a) “Reduce” with the proper agent = water or Mineral Spirits or Toluene.
    b) Try SW, PPG or ICI…(ICI is now Glidden). I’ve used each MFG’s Latex, Fast Dry Latex and Alkyd, (I’ll use Glidden’s Alkyd today)…(RAE also makes Alkyd). I have never used Acetone Based. And…I don’t want to.
    Next…try “upping” the air pressure. It’s the Right Hand Tee valve. It’ll introduce more air into the system…in the gun line…and hopefully “break” the paint up into a nicer, more evenly distributed spray. (I generally expect 40 to 55 lbs.) See how that works.
    Then…add a splash of “Reducer”.
    Next…on a Conventional…this is weird…turn the tip around…= spin it. You said you did that. Next…turn it a tiny bit more = slightly off center. If that fixes it…I generally start painting. But…it’s an indication that the paint doesn’t want to break.
    Last…? Try one of those other MFG’s…just to see what they’re like.
    Does that help? I hope this was organized.
    Keep in touch. I’m off to stripe. I’ll check back.


    I will try different mfg like glidden. I have a titan and did try some water and different tips but have not tried glidden. I have a feeling that will work. Thank you for the prompt reply.


    Hey Perry
    Keep in touch.


    it’s really a good business for the road striping there.
    we’re supplier for airless line striper machine.
    anyone interesting in selling our equipments there?
    we can appoint them as our representative there.

    visit our web site for more details of our airless line striper .
    it’s equiped with HONDA gasoline engine.
    and with 4.5L/min paint delivery, with maximum 0.031″ airless tip.

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