You probably weren’t expecting this job to come up. In fact, you might not even be sure what it is. But if there’s one thing you should have learned from my list of jobs, it’s to expect the unexpected.
First off, what is a commercial line painter?
Simply put, you know when you park your car between two yellow lines in a parking lot? Someone has to lay out and paint those lines. A commercial line painter is the person that does that.
I stumbled into this job through my brother about 5 years ago.
My brother runs an asphalt division for a local excavating and paving company. As a part of his duties he also coordinates the street sweeping, line painting and parking curb install for commercial parking lots. Before he was running the division, he would go out and do the work himself. He asked if I would like to also do that on the side – as much of the work is at night – and here we are.
As I mentioned in my article What I learned that time I was a … Golf Course Maintenance Worker, I have a weird love of seeing fresh straight lines. Whether they be on grass, a parking lot, or other areas which I’ll get to in future articles. So working painting lines gives me a very profound sense of satisfaction. There’s nothing better than having a freshly paved lot with straight, crisp lines painted on it.
I was told there would be no math
The most surprising part of working as a line painter is the amount of math involved. There’s a shocking amount of math involved.
My brother and I actually used the Pythagorean theorem for the first time since high school math.
That being said, that’s not usual, and is only necessary when laying out a parking lot for the first time. Even then, for the most part you’re just measuring the total distance and then dividing by the legal requirement for a parking stall.
Didn’t think this would be so complicated, did you?
But like I said, that’s only for brand new layouts. If you’re just re-tracing old lines, you can throw on some music and paint away. And since most of the work has to be done at night – when parking lots are empty – there’s a real calmness to doing the work.
How to become a line painter
Becoming a line painter is real simple, and obviously seasonal. Outdoor paint is finicky and can’t be applied in cold or wet conditions. Strong winds can also cause for some sloppy looking lines. All you have to do to become a line painter is apply to any company that does it - there are no prerequisites (unless they ask for them). As I mentioned, line painting is seasonal, so it is likely the job will be either part-time or will be one part of another job.
The other option is to buy a line painter and attempt to start your own business line painting. While this would offer some great flexibility, the current market is extremely competitive in Calgary and work is hard to come by.
For more information, leave a question in the comments!
If you’re business is looking to spruce up your parking lot, feel free to send me a message! Or check out, City Wide Excavating & Paving.