What’s it cost to produce this sandblasted sign?

By David Showalter

Posted on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

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Material Costs:
80-lb 1.5-in. HDU: $50
Roller cover, sandblast mask, etc.: $60
Latex paint: $30
Subcontract sandblasting: $60
Total: $200
Labor:
Create design: 30 minutes
Cut panel: 30 minutes
Prime and coat: 15 minutes
Weed: 10 minutes
Transfer mask: 30 minutes
Apply mask: 15 minutes
Remove mask: 10 minutes
Paint: 60 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes

I do quite a few private residence signs—mostly for nearby lakefront communities—and people here do recognize my work. They’re fun projects because most customers just say, “Do it!” If they give me any guidelines, it’s usually something very non-restrictive, such as the colors they like or what their hobby is. Most of these jobs are the result of word-of-mouth sales.

The script on this 24-by-22-in. sign is the Mike Stevens script, and the sailboat artwork came from clip art. The panel is 80-lb. HDU board, and I cut the Anchor #111 sandblast mask on my Gerber high-speed plotter.

David Showalter’s shop, David Design, is in Bryan, Ohio.

This article appeared in the September/October 2011 issue of SignCraft. Material costs have been adjusted for inflation.

1. Create the design on the computer: 30 minutes

2. Cut the panel to shape with a saber saw: 30 minutes

3. Prime and coat both sides using latex block-out primer: 15 minutes

4. Weed stencil: 10 minutes

Transfer rubber sandblast mask using 2-in. 3M masking tape: 30 minutes. I use regular masking tape to transfer sandblast mask because transfer tape just isn’t aggressive enough to pick it up.

6. Apply two sections of sandblast mask to the panel: 15 minutes

7. Remove mask: 10 minutes When it comes back from the sandblaster, it’s ready to finish.

8. Apply two finish coats of flat exterior latex paint: 60 minutes

Here’s the finished sign. The white pickets are cedar finished with white acrylic latex paint.

David Showalter’s shop, David Design, is in Bryan, Ohio.