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REAL PAINT Pinstripe pricing quotes?

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by Tater, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Tater

    Tater New Member

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    Jul 21, 2020
    Clayton, Ont. Canada
    Hey folks... I am an aspiring traditional striper (motorhead first n foremost) art is how I express my love of this amazing world.... I am FINALLY going for it and in fact have begun to do work beyond my own make work/practice projects....
    I had a local mentor, self proclaimed Letterhead who has since literally ghosted me after promising to mentor me along.... alas, this frustration of self teach is one thing, but my huge scare at present, is Quotes and Pricing jobs...
    Understandably, we all live in diff. Geographical/financially/demographics so applying a Universal Price may not apply so quickly and easily.... or does it?
    Is there any formula per se for building quotes? I am frustratingly slow as just now the emphasis is on accuracy, not speed (a true challenge for a Recovering Perfectionist)
    So, the time aspect can not be truly considered (in fairness to client)
    this creates the first hurdle... kindly asking for some guidance folks... thanks in advance for any feedback.
     
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Are we talking pinstripes, flourishes in paint only or gold leaf or some other medium ??

    First, you must be brutally honest about your workmanship/execution. Regardless if it took 2 minutes or 8 minutes to lay down a stripe..... it how does it look when it's finished ?? I'[ve seen pinstripers moving so fast, it boggles my mond, but some of them have thinned the paint down so far, it won't last. So, don't ever strive for speed. Perfect accuracy and speed will come over time. In the beginning, if you have nothing to base your prices on, pick a number for what you think a job is worth and stick to it. Again, whether you get the job done in 30 minutes or 4 hours, it's only worth what the end-user is willing to pay for whatever quality tou give them. My first job pinstriping a car was pitiful. The guy was kind and a friend of my brother. I got $250, but had only asked for $100. The guy liked it, but looking back, it was horrible. It wasn't even worth fifty bucks. Live and learn. Unlike you, we do 'em all in vinyl nowadays. Faster and more cost effective, plus, there's nothing in the paint anymore to give it any 'oomph'. I think I've handstriped (paint) maybe 2 or 3 on the last 10 years.
     
  3. Tater

    Tater New Member

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    Jul 21, 2020
    Clayton, Ont. Canada
    Gino....
    Thank you so much for your careful reply.
    Indeed, I am devoted ONLY to paint no vinyl for this kid - I am a screaming luddite with ZERO interest in computers and the like, so yes, slow paint it shall be...
    While I hope to accept any/all challenges such as sign work, too - it is absolutely undeniable that the modern approach can not be beat in terms of cost/efficiency.
    I am really not interested in that work as my passion is truly traditional workmanship applied (for the MOST part) in traditional, hot rodder style applications.
    That said, I discussed with another canvass artist who charges by the square inch - do-able in the case of measurable square inches, but how about a pinstripe or 2? So, I end up back at square one in SOME cases... this is the main reason for my inquiry to this panel of pros...
    My thanks again.
    Tater
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    So, we know your passion and heart is there..... how about the talent ?? Are you any good ?? Post up 2 or 3 of your latest jobs and let's see what ya can do. Doesn't matter if you charge by the inch, by the job or do it for free...... like I said, it's the end results that matter.
     
  5. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    Oct 5, 2015
    Leonardsville, NY
    I'm not a pinstriper and don't know jack...but I know in our area (upstate NY) real pinstripers/letterheads are a dying breed. But the market is still there for it, certainly a specialty market, but it exists. And so if a talented pinstriper/letterhead advertised in our region they would probably mop up. Because there's not a lot of people doing it, AND the fact that anybody who wants genuine painted striping will probably pay just about anything for it, then I would say you've actually got a decent business model. Those interested in what you offer are likely already aware of it's value and rarity and thus you can probably charge anything you want within reason. But also you're going to have to market wisely and target custom auto shops and wealthier areas that would have a need for the work you offer. Worst thing is that likely it's a pretty dry market in any given region and you're probably going to have to travel to the work. But I'd say go for it, get good at it and keep the tradition alive!!!
     
  6. Tater

    Tater New Member

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    Jul 21, 2020
    Clayton, Ont. Canada
    Gino, et al.....
    Ok, so here's my act of bravery for the day (year!) Loading up pics for you pros to view - phew! (For the Brene Brown fans)

    Pic 1 is only part of our wood splitter I striped last week as a practice project.. sadly, the main image fails to load - will keep trying...

    20200914_114110.jpg FB_IMG_1488470185531.jpg

    Did this mailbox several years ago. Sickeningly, some one ripped it right off its post 3 days after I gave this to the owner.
    20200805_173154.jpg
    The above sign was a commission for an RV park. The (uneven) board was later mounted to a post.
    20200914_114118.jpg
    So, yet unable to upload the full pic, here is the hydraulic oil reservoir on our splitter. I treated the entire project as a "Speed" challenge. I also took the opportunity to test drive Rustoleum (in a pot) to see the longevity of a cheaper than One Shot option for outdoor equipment applications...
    *Esso Oil drop done in 1Shot 20200914_114033.jpg
    Alas! Meet Pounder, our powerhouse wood splitter.... again, this was a speed challenge... I shot a phase red into black across the whole splitter and taped off critical hardware to keep the metallic effect of the controls...
    So, it has taken me over an HOUR to create this simple reply....why? We are so rural, our connectivity is lame and staggered on a "good day." Picture someone trying to learn, off a phone from internet vids that stall and spin....
    Thanks to ALL who have taken time for this inquiry.
    Kindly
    Tater
     
  7. Tater

    Tater New Member

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    Jul 21, 2020
    Clayton, Ont. Canada
    Signman 315....

    This is an encouraging reply, so thank YOU for your time and advice.
    I have googled local stripers, and while I am certain there are great stripers in the area, they clearly have no need to heavily advertise.... so, yes, there IS a market locally...
    I am basically hunkered down trying to learn the Literal ABC's of lettering and other exacting applications of striping. This has been my greatest resource to date (largely due to connectivity frustrations) ...
    20200918_074241.jpg
    Thank YOU to the creators of this inspirational collection of sign painters! 20200918_074231.jpg

    And last but NOT least - My ULTIMATE Bible..... BLESS... 20200918_074625.jpg
    Many Thanks
    Kindly;
    Tater
     
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  8. MBurrell

    MBurrell New Member

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    Aug 6, 2020
    Kentucky
    Pinstriping and vehicle graphic by John Hannukaine put out by Signcraft technical series is pretty good they will have other book also, if they still have them. You need a few alphabets to get down well. I don't think you are reducing your paint correctly. You can buy some acrylic lettering brushes and practice on paper to wotk out your flow and brush handling.. You also need to use a bridge either you own wrist or arm or a mahl stick. His book will show you how to trim your sword brushes. I hope you can fine good brushes still. From what you have shown us you need more practice.There are good Youtube videos out there that will help you. Remember to not hold your breath and look down the road a bit like driving.. Things like where you grab your brush will shorten and lengthen your stroke. Working with your fingers or adding in your wrist forearm to your whole body sets up the many body mechanics which will allow you to make different sizes and types of line. Try to fine someone close to teach you some in the end you will figure it out. Good luck.
     
  9. Tater

    Tater New Member

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    Jul 21, 2020
    Clayton, Ont. Canada
    MBurrell...
    Thank you as well for your time and reply. As per your advice, I have just ordered that striping book to add to my wee collection.
    - re alphabets Alas, my local mentor "ghosted" me just as she was planning on teaching me the art of lettering. You are bang-on, I do need TONNES of practice, not to mention coaching/direction re brush control and to be sure, reducing paint properly.... argh! As a "Recovering Perfectionist" I indeed DO STRUGGLE to loosen up and relax.... but totally get your driving reference (having been a pro driver most of my working life...) so that is also helpful to be sure... this is why I throw "mini-challenges" like free-hand, speed or accuracy into my practice projects... hard without a bit of structure, but I am my own instructor, so I try to push myself past my comfort zones (which are currently RARE) in this art.... I am still at that stage where I feel an odd unease/exhilaration leading up to and throughout each new piece... maybe that will always be with me?
    As for the mahl stick, yes, I used my newly acquired one for the first time when I did the Clayton Lake sign... it's a whole new world working with it!
    In the meantime, I bash on in the dark here... BUT I did set up a practice station in early summer with cheap acrylics and MY lettering brushes to attempt to re-create the learning thru repetition of single strokes typically used in trad.lettering...(as I would imagine it to be at a proper sign painter school) of course, USING the station regularly is the challenge lately - all excuses aside, I just gotta "doodley-do-it" ....
    So many thanks again to you for your encouragement and feedback. Post more if you take the notion....
    Cheers
     
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