For many paint-fill jobs, using a mask provides for quicker fill and easier clean-up. When pricing projects including a paint-fill mask, consider the following:
- The cost of the mask
- Extra laser time if lasering it
- Time to apply the mask
- Time to completely wrap the product to avoid getting paint where you don't want it (especially if using spray paint)
- Time to remove the mask
- And what might be the most labor-intensive activity, weeding the mask off (if it can’t be soaked in water). The greater the amount and smaller the text and graphics, the longer the weeding time takes.
Pay particular attention to the complexity or details in the graphics. The amount of time to weed a complex graphic can greatly exceed the time you can charge for the process. I have some graphics I use over and over for clients that require paint-fill and weeding. When possible, I simplify these graphics to eliminate the smallest of text and objects. This morning I had six plaques with a lot of text and graphics and I spent 1-1/2 hours removing the wrapping and weeding the masking. The painting time was only a minute or two, and the plaques required very little cleaning; the paint edges were sharp and clean.
The graphic at the top of the image was paint-filled with spray paint and requires weeding. I simplified the graphic by removing small and thin lines and objects, which reduced the weeding time by half.
—Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark