B A C K

The economy – or lack thereof – of aerosol field paints

Today’s field paint market offers a wide range of products to choose from. As users, we typically make our choices based on cost, ease of preparation and ease of use. After that initial purchase, human nature kicks in and our buying decision becomes habit. When the only tool in your possession is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. With field paint, the choice of paint and method of application could vary depending on the size of the job, desired quality and durability of the finished paint job, as well as the cost. Some would argue that consideration should also be given to the amount of waste and environmental impact of our choices.

Many choose to make aerosol paint the only tool in their paint shed. Aerosols are easy to buy, easy to store, simple to handle, and there’s no equipment cleanup required after the job is done. Aerosol lines may not look that crisp and bright, and the paint may not be the best thing for the grass or soil, but the paint seems cheap and seductively easy to apply.

Let’s consider the question of appearance. There are some fields and some days when any line will do, such as on practice fields, or fields marked for a single low-key event. Other occasions or fields may deserve better preparation for the sake of appreciative spectators who take special pride in their home field, if not simply for the sake of your own pride of workmanship.

What about cost? If you’re painting a football field once a week, just the yard lines and boundary markings will take approximately $80 worth of aerosol paint per week, for reasonably decent looking lines. That same paint job could be done for $50 worth of good quality bulk paint. If you’re painting for 5 months of the year, the savings over aerosols grow substantially. The savings over 2 seasons would practically cover the cost of a high quality rechargeable electric field sprayer. If you’re painting more than one field, or painting for the baseball season, there is no question of the economy of a bulk paint solution. And what you get over time is not just affordability, but higher quality results as well.

There’s also the environmental cost of using aerosol field paints. Aerosols can contain more volatile organic compounds. In addition to the propellants being put into the atmosphere, the chemicals in some aerosol paints, harm, discolor and even kill your grass. That means additional cost for turf care due to your paint choice.

Aerosol field paint certainly has a place and purpose in your painting tool kit, including small-scale painting, touch-up or repairing lines, and also as a last resort in adverse weather conditions. While aerosols may seem like the most economical option, the real costs compared to other options deserve a second look – not just the purchase price, but also in terms of potential field damage and environmental costs.

We’re happy to help you investigate the potential benefits of a bulk paint field marking solution. Bulk paints formulated to be friendly to the turf and the environment may be the most affordable and practical option in the long run. Please feel free to contact us for more information.