Whether you already have an existing sealcoating and pavement maintenance business or if you are just planning to start one, including or branching out to line striping is a smart and highly profitable move.
Line striping can be as easy as painting lines to specify parking spots or it can be slightly complicated such as painting curbs, words and symbols. Either way, each drop of paint applied on pavement means profit earned. With new and more advanced technologies and methods available, line striping can become your bread-and-butter.
If you’re still undecided about adding line striping to your business, then let us convince you why you should.
High Profit Margins
With line striping, you can earn as much as 25¢ to 35¢ per foot. Although actual market prices vary, this is about the going rate.
Generally, parking stalls measure 18 x 9 feet. It takes roughly 4 seconds to push a walk-behind striper to paint a 4”x18’ line. You can earn up to $5.00 for each 18’ line you make. In a parking lot with 100 stalls, at $5.00 per 18-foot line, how much do you think you’ll make painting parking stalls only? That’s a whopping $540 – and that doesn’t include curbs, symbols, and other signs yet.
Federal law states that parking lots are required to have at least 1 handicap spot. For a stenciled 39” handicap symbol, you can charge $30 to $40 a piece. Actual pricing can vary depending on complexity (how many colors need to be applied, the size of the box background, etc.), but pavement markings using stencils require minimal labor compared to actually setting marks to lay out parking stalls.
Below is a table showing line striping estimates based on the lines and symbols that you need to paint. Whether the contract requires you to lay out a newly constructed parking lot or to restripe an existing facility, there is always profit to be had in each job.
Here is another table showing how much you can earn from striping and painting a regular-sized parking lot with 50 stalls. Imagine doubling and tripling this rate with larger parking facilities.
Download for free
- Printable price estimate chart
- Typical estimate for 50-stall parking lot
- Links to free online resources for you to learn line striping at your own pace
Advantages of a Line Striping Business
If you’re offering crack filling and sealcoating services, why not include line striping? After all, you are already on site and you can provide a one-stop-shop option for your customer. This offer of added convenience and value will make your customers feel that you really care about them and their properties, and this can result in additional contracts and recommendations.
Short learning curve
As children, we were taught how to draw straight lines. We were trained to stay between the lines and to keep our lines straight. So, why not apply what you’ve learned since kindergarten and make money out of it?
If you don’t have any experience with line striping before, start with re-stripes. The old lines are there to serve as your guide, and makes for a good practice ground. You can also use a Laser Guidance System to help you keep your lines straight and to make sure you’re overlapping the old line. Laser pointers are also great for starts and stops – trust us, we’ve tried them, and now, we won’t do any striping jobs without them!
Certain laws require parking areas to have line striping that complies with regulations. Some property owners and managers might do their own striping, but most prefer to hire professional line striping contractors to do the job and make sure that the lines and markings are done as specified by federal, state, or local laws. Grab this opportunity to generate additional revenue for your business.
Parking lots, garages for rent, businesses and commercial establishments are required by law to provide handicap-accessible parking for customers and visitors. This means that you won’t run out of potential customers, as they would want their handicap-accessible areas done professionally.
We have a resource page on ADA Handicap Parking Requirements and a Cheatsheet that is very useful for general requirements and specifications; however, it is best to check city or local rules and regulations where you have the job to ensure proper compliance.
Parking Lots Are Everywhere!
And they all need to be striped. Whether it is once or twice a year, parking facilities will always need your service. Customers who are impressed by your output will surely rehire you for their next restriping schedule, and might even recommend you to their friends. Not only will you continuously get more jobs, you also get to build trust and loyalty in your customers. This means that you won’t run out of bookings and contracts!
Five to ten years ago, the required markings on parking facilities were relatively simple – properly striped lines to indicate parking spaces, handicap-accessible markings, appropriate entrance and exit signs, stop and yield pavement markings, etc. All of these were painted either in yellow, black or white, or a combination of the three.
However, along with technological awareness and advancement comes changes. In 2010, the Department of Justice formulated the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design which specifies blue and white as the regulatory colors for accessible parking spots. Other colors such as red, green, and yellow are also allowed, however, blue is the most prescribed color for uniformity and easy recognition.
Handicap-accessible stall sizes, shapes and clearances are also strictly specified. Any business establishment that has a parking facility is required to comply with the new regulations, or otherwise face penalties and a lawsuit. This means that you, as a striping professional, gets the job of laying down, marking and repainting old lines to make sure that ADA accessible parking specifications are properly observed.
While electric vehicles are becoming commonplace, the need to specify charging bays also comes up. This means that parking stalls that were previously available for regular parking need to be converted, and will need to be restriped and marked accordingly.
In short, so long as federal rules and regulations evolve and adapt to changes in the society, you’ll never go out of business.
Be Your Own Boss
If you’re tired of your 9 to 5 job, or if you are approaching retirement, starting a line striping business is a good fallback option. If you already have a pavement maintenance business, an additional profitable solution will only make your business stronger and more secure.
On top of all the advantages we have mentioned so far, starting a line striping business gets you to become your own boss, so you can manage your time and have a more balanced life between work and family. Who wouldn’t want that?
How to Price a Linestriping Job Profitably
- What tools & equipment you should start with
- How to determine difficulty level of the job
- How to estimate prep work
- The best traffic paint to use
Learn More: Enroll In Our Free Course
Free Line Striping Email Course
Discover how easy it is to save money by striping your parking areas yourself.
Things to Remember When Starting a Line Striping Business
1. Invest in a durable and reliable line striping machine
Don’t waste your time with paint buckets, trays, brushes and rollers. Line striping doesn’t have to be a backbreaking job. A proper line striping machine ensures that your output is professionally done.
You can start with one machine, such as the single-gun walk-behind PowrLiner 850. This is ideal for small residential complexes and parking lots with less than 50 stalls. However, if you have the budget and want to scale your business, you can immediately go for the PowrLiner PL3500, the two-gun PowrLiner 2850, or even the Graco LineLazer V 3900 AutoLayout. There is a wide range of line stripers that can work perfectly for contracts of varying sizes and requirements. Choose a machine that pays for itself in the long run.
2. Buy traffic paint in bulk
Traffic paints are available in different colors (yellow, blue, red, white, and black) and types (waterborne or oil-based). When you are starting a line striping business or adding it to your existing pavement maintenance services, you will need to buy paint in bulk. This is to ensure that you don’t run out in the middle of a job. In addition, buying in bulk costs less in a larger perspective compared to buying pails, gallons, or spray cans individually.
3. Use glass beads to amplify reflectivity
Glass beads are essential to increase the paint’s reflectivity, specifically in areas with high traffic at night. It also helps to add traction when the pavement surface gets slippery from rain or snow. Some line striping machines are equipped with bead dispensers, while others (especially older models) do not. Other models do not have a built-in glass hopper, but you can purchase one separately and mount it behind the paint gun. It is best to ask your sales rep if the line striper you are buying is already equipped with a glass bead hopper or not.
4. Use free online technology to help you determine the area of each job site
Just like with crack filling or sealcoating, you also have to determine the amount of paint you’ll need. Traditionally, you will need to drive over to the job site armed with measuring tapes and yardsticks. If it rains when you arrive on-site, chances are, you will need to postpone taking measurements and reschedule at a later date. However, with technology available at your fingertips, you won’t have to delay project schedules nor spend time and fuel needlessly.
Our innovative online mapping tool is a great way to measure the area of a job site without having to spend time and fuel to go there and take measurements. Since this app is based online and uses Google Earth technology, you can still take measurements even when it’s raining or snowing – right in the comfort of your office or mobile command center. Our paint calculator is free to use and can greatly help determine how much paint you’ll need to purchase based on the area of the job site you just measured using the mapping tool.
5. Have a flexible schedule
Weather is a major factor that can affect any pavement-related business. Forecasts of rain and snow can delay scheduled jobs, which is why you need to be flexible. Always have an alternate option available and inform your customer right away in case you need to rearrange your schedules.
Just like sealcoating, line striping can also be done at night. The advantage of this is that, typically, parking lots are empty at night, so you can work unhindered. The flipside is that paint takes slightly longer to dry at night, especially when there is fog and precipitation. Take these factors into consideration when scheduling night striping contracts.
6. Attend the National Pavement Expo (NPE), pavement maintenance seminars, and similar gatherings
The NPE is a gathering that brings together pavement maintenance vendors and contractors to share and exchange information, introduce new products and technologies, best practices, and other helpful nuggets while providing workshops and leadership camps to asphalt pavement business owners and professionals.
Always attend pavement maintenance conventions and conferences to expand your horizons and learn something new about your business. Being present in these summits means that you gain new experiences, knowledge and connections that will give you an edge over your competitors.
Free Expert Advice
Being a line striper is honest work that can help you increase profits exponentially, while expanding your client base, your knowledge base, and your entire business. If you have any questions or if you’re not sure how and where to begin, we have experts on standby at 1-866-399-5562 to provide a guiding hand and help you skyrocket your line striping career off the ground.