No asphalt maintenance effort would be truly complete without a fresh layer of paint over your lines and symbols. Skip this step, and you’ll miss an opportunity to add valuable curb appeal to the property, organize the layout of your lot or driveway, and comply with regulations. It's unwise to simply grab a can of paint and brush and begin line striping without a plan, however.
As with any task, conducting due diligence and the proper preparation beforehand is critical to achieving the best results. For line striping, this involves four important steps:
1: Consider whether it’s time to perform other aspects of asphalt maintenance, too.
This includes repairing cracks and potholes, or sealcoating. All asphalt surfaces will need repair eventually. Waiting until after you’ve put down a coat of paint to reseal or repair surface damage will risk covering up portions of those attractive, fresh lines.
To save yourself this frustration, take a look at the rest of your blacktop and see if it’s also time to make some repairs—before breaking out the paint.
If the asphalt is well maintained or you're certain you don't want to perform other maintenance tasks before line striping, that’s fine. Just be sure to take care of any specific cracks or potholes intersecting the lines.
2: Check the weather.
This is perhaps the easiest step, but no less important. Has it rained in the past day? Is it likely to rain within the next 24 hours? If the answer to either or these is yes, it would be best to wait until a drier day. This might be a bit inconvenient, but it’s better than your paint failing to adhere to the wet surface, or washing away in the rain. It's also important to check the manufacturer’s restrictions for the warmest or coldest temperature at which you can apply the paint.
Not sure how much paint you'll need for your line striping project? Our Paint Calculator can help.
3: Remove any debris.
Start by clearing and brushing off any existing lines so they are free of chipping paint. Next, you’ll want to clear off the rest of the asphalt surface. This can be done using a broom, but will be quicker with a gas-powered blower.
4: Measure the layout of the parking lot or driveway for striping.
This is a critical step, as failing to measure carefully will result in crooked lines, inconsistent parking spaces, and sloppy symbols.
The exact dimensions of your parking spaces and required traffic markings will depend on local regulations, so be sure to do your research! The average parking space positioned at a right angle to the curb is about 18-feet long by 9-feet wide. Measurements for those at different angles will vary. Regardless of size, it’s important to take the time to plot the lines with a straight edge, and clearly mark them with chalk.
Once the asphalt is repaired where necessary, the surface is cleared of debris, and the layout of the lot is established, it's time to ensure you have the right equipment.