What Steps Should I Take Before Painting Parking Lines?

What Steps Should I Take Before Painting Parking Lines?

Did you know that one in five accidents happen in car parks?

It is important to make sure traffic is directed properly in your business car park. You want customers to park in the correct areas and deliveries to occur in the area designated for them.

Maintaining the paint used in parking lanes can ensure everyone coming to your business knows exactly where to go. This will also avoid accidents from happening by people parking in the wrong spots and congesting your car park.

When parking lines fade, it is time to consider repainting them. Freshly painted lines in your car park will give your business a professional look and continue to maintain the reputation of your business. 

Painting your car parking lines can be accomplished in a few easy steps. If followed correctly, you will have professional, long lasting results.

Thermoplastic Letters and Line Indoor Car Parks

Here are some things to consider when you are ready to paint the parking lines at your business:

Selecting The Right Paint

The type of paint you use on your car park surface can make the difference between it lasting a few months or several years. You will want to choose a quality paint that can withstand the elements of the outdoors, as you don’t want to be repainting again next year.

There are a number of options when it comes to painting the lines in your car park. You could use paints, which could be either oil-based or water-based. Alternatively you may wish to use Thermoplastic Lines.

All of these offer advantage depending on the climate you live in and all are specifically designed to be used on asphalt. Select the one that is right for your application and community.

Water-Based Paint

Opting to go with a water-based paint is a good maintenance option as it is compatible with most existing line markings. Water-based paints tend not to apply well at colder temperatures, however they are better for the environment.

If time is of the essence you can get a fast-drying water-based paint that will dry in as little as five minutes. This allows you to provide access to your business’ car park in a short amount of time after repainting.

Another benefit to water-based paint is that it can be cleaned up easily. It also has less of a chemical smell while drying, which again is better for the environment.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is prohibited in some municipalities, so you should always check before you apply.

If you are able to use oil-based paint, it will provide durable coverage and is easy to apply. It can also be used in cooler climates, as its consistency is designed not to freeze in low temperatures.

Oil-based paints do take longer to dry and will require a solvent for cleaning. However, the result is a long lasting rich colour once you are finished painting.

Thermoplastic Line Marking Tape

The Thermoplastic Line Marking Tape is lead free, reflective and suitable for car parks, and most concrete or tarmac surfaces.

"<yoastmarkIt is ideal for marking out car parking spaces and has a quick curing time, meaning that your car park is out of use for less time. Producing a fast permanent reinstatement of road markings, these can be placed by one person only using a Thermoplastic Gas Torch. This makes it very cost effective, especially as the car park can be used almost immediately.

The line marking tape is available in 7 different colours and various widths. All rolls are 5m in length.

Thermoplastics are much thicker than paint and will often last longer.

Calculating The Amount Of Paint Needed

If you have decided that paint is the way to go and chosen between the oil or the water based, your next job is to  calculate how much paint you will need.

You can use an on-line paint calculator to help you figure out how much you need. However we would recommend checking with our Technical Team to be sure of the best advice. They can let you know which paint would be best suited for your needs, how much you will need and provide a cost. They can also provide expert advice on the application. 

Using The Right Tools

Before you begin you will need to secure the right tools for the job.

If you are working within a relatively small area, you may be able to get away with using a brush or small roller to paint the lines. This will work well if you are touching up a few lines in your car park or just creating a few extra spaces for customers.

To paint by hand, get a stencil kit for numbers, letters and symbols. For the lines, ping a chalk line for a true straight reference point, and then you can use masking tape. You can use brush or roller, but do not apply the paint too heavily. Pull the tape up whilst the paint is still wet but not runny.

Centrecoat Line Marking Machine

If you have a large car park to contend with, you will want to use a line marking machine to get the job done. This will be a faster way to complete the repainting and will help to create a professional look. The rollers are fully adjustable to ensure the correct pressure, the flow rate of paint can also be adjusted. A couple of practice runs is advised.

When using line marking tape you will need a gas torch to melt the tape to the substrate. You must make sure that you have a suitable gas torch as something like a plumbers type gas torch for example will not work sufficiently.

Prepping The Area

Before you use the line marking machine you will need to prep the area for the paint.

You want the paint to apply properly so you need make sure the entire surface of your car park has been thoroughly cleared. This means removing all dirt, leaves, debris and rubbish. It may be easier to use a blower to blow the surface clean, especially if it is quite a large area, rather than trying to sweep the entire area clean. For stubborn contamination, you will need to use a wire brush to remove the small loose gravel.

It is imperative that surface is clear so that the paint will adhere properly. Failing to do this will result in the paint not sticking properly and therefore producing uneven results.

With the thermoplastic line marking tape it is still essential to prepare correctly. Basically the cleaner the car park surface the better.

Fill In The Cracks

Once the area is clean, check for cracks that need to be filled. An ideal product for filling these gaps would be Mapei Planitop Smooth & Repair R2. You want to make sure all cracks are filled otherwise the paint could fall down these thereby distorting the appearance of your lines.

Something else you may want to consider is sealing your parking lot again before you paint. This will provide the best surface for your new paint lines. Not only will it create a fresh new look, it will also protect your asphalt from the elements and increase its overall life.

Filling the cracks in your car park will also work to extend it’s life by preventing these from turning into much bigger problems that could lead to major repairs or resurfacing. Taking care of this now is a good idea.

Begin Painting Parking Lines

With all the preparation completed you are now ready to start painting or laying the lines.

If you are using paint and working by hand, take your time and be as accurate as possible. A good steady hand will help and ensure the results are professional.

When you are using a line marking machine, be sure to familiarise yourself with the equipment before you start. You want to know exactly how it functions before you begin painting.

When using the line marking tape, ensure that you have read the instructions fully. It is important to remember that the gas torch should only be operated by a responsible adult. The torch should be held 10-15cm away from the thermoplastic lines to apply the correct amount of heat, that will leave you a finish that dries within minutes.

All of these line marking processes will produce a new look and finish to your car park with freshly painted parking lines. Always make sure that the paint has fully dried before you allow anyone to drive over the lines.

New Lines Do Not Only Improve Appearance

Repainting your car park can work to improve the outside appearance of your business. In addition by helping customers navigate to the correct place to park, this can also improve the safety of your car park and is an investment in your business for the long term.

For further information on line marking paints and thermoplastic rolls please contact our Technical Team who will be happy to help.