How much paint do I need?
March 28, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

paint filter: How much paint/spray paint will I need to stencil 60 2'x2.5' signs?

I need to make 60 2'x2.5' stenciled signs for my organization and want to know if it will be cheaper to just buy a lot of spray paint or buy paint and the right nozzle for an air compressor (we do own an air compressor so that will not be an expense). For whichever solution is cheapest, how much paint will we need? These stencils are text only and not a lot of text at that. Thanks, yall.
posted by defmute to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
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posted by cortex (staff) at 5:58 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know if there's a great answer to that because it depends on the surface you're spray painting, how dense you need the coverage, and in my limited experience, even the temperature and humidity while you're spraying.

To a certain extent, you end up spraying the majority of the sign, right? Because it's a stencil, a lot of the paint ends up on the stencil and not the sign.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:59 PM on March 28, 2012

Response by poster: I'm going to be spraying on posterboards (most likely not glossy). i'm going to be doing this in chicago where tomorrow's high is slated to be 52 degrees with 60% humidity. i don't need to cover the signs very densely either.
posted by defmute at 6:32 PM on March 28, 2012

If this is a one-off, spray cans will be cheaper and involve less preparation/clean-up. If you're gong to be doing this again, buying a cheap spray gun might be worthwhile. Have you thought about using a foam roller instead? Probably just as quick, with many orders of magnitude less mess.
posted by dg at 6:46 PM on March 28, 2012

Response by poster: thanks, dg. i did think about rollers but didn't want to put in the money to buy rollers since there will mostly likely be 10+ people working on these signs.
posted by defmute at 6:49 PM on March 28, 2012

spray paint cans of the usual size (about 10 to 12oz) will give you full coverage of somewhere around 8 to 10 square feet. you may get more or less depending on the particular brand and conditions, but if you're just using it to estimate how many cans to get, that's a pretty safe bet. buy them from someplace you can return the ones you don't use.
posted by jimw at 6:52 PM on March 28, 2012

Unless I'm missing something, 10+ people to stencil 60 small signs seems like a bit of an overkill. No matter what method you choose, you will need 10+ of everything if that's the case. One person should be able to do this in an hour or so.
posted by dg at 6:54 PM on March 28, 2012

prob at the very least, 10 signs per can, so 6 cans total...they sell them in cases of 6 cans at home depot and prob any other hardware store, but i don't think they do discounts on that small a quantity...spray paint runs around 5 bucks a can sooo...about 30 def dont need more than 2 people (one to spray, one to hang the wet one and lay out the next) if you bring in more people they will only be stepping on wet signs that you no longer have anywhere to put b/c there's ten people standing around with nothing to do ;)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2012

(for comparison a spray can for a compressor runs around $50-70 paint etc etc) bring some paper towels to blot the stencil occasionally or it will become a hot mess)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:10 PM on March 28, 2012

Response by poster: thanks for the help, everyone. yeah, i definitely felt like 10 people was too much myself but that's what our leader suggested. we decided to just pick up 10 cans which we can return if necessary.
posted by defmute at 9:35 PM on March 28, 2012

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