There's nothing more frustrating than putting time and effort into line striping, only to find those lines fading and peeling within weeks. To save you from repainting costs and more work, you will need the right parking lot striping paint for the project. But, with so many options, how do you find the right one for the job?  

Read the product label

Paint products have labels. Use it to determine whether or not it is appropriate for pavement applications. You should look for the words "traffic paint." It is commonly placed on either the front or the back of the packaging.

If you use a different paint, you will be wasting a lot money. Regular paint has a different formula or mix that isn't suitable for asphalt. Over time, the lines will fade, peel, and wear out. So, you want to use a parking lot paint with long-lasting results.

What kind of traffic pavement marking paint to consider? 

Shopping for a parking lot paint doesn’t stop with the labels. You should keep in mind that traffic paints are not all the same. Each one has a unique formula deemed for a specific application.

  • Canned Aerosol Line Striping Paint

    The easiest and simplest traffic paint products that you can use are canned aerosol striping paints. They are the perfect solution for touch-ups because it is readily available in all hardware stores. Plus, it's easy to use. You just point and squeeze the nozzle. You can also buy inexpensive dedicated machines for spraying straight lines with ease.

    Make sure to get all the colours you’ll need: for parking lines, you can use either white or yellow. For handicap stalls, don't forget to select blue. You can also consider buying line marking stencils for cleaner and more professional-looking results.
  • Water-based paint

    The most popular professional choice for traffic marking is water-based paint. It is cheap and eco-friendly since its base ingredient is water. It’s easy to clean up as well. Use it for streets, highways, and local roads. Water-based paint quickly dries, especially during warm weather conditions. There are fast-dry options for colder temperatures. It usually has additional chemicals to assist with drying. But, heat and humidity can still affect drying time. Water-based paint can be applied with a roller or using an airless spray machine.
  • Solvent-based paint

    Many contractors use solvent-based paints because they are suitable for areas with colder temperatures. You can use it in the spring and fall in temperatures nearing freezing: you can even heat it to apply it if necessary. It consists of chemicals that prolong the life and color of parking lot lines. It’s also incredibly versatile since you can use it on any surface even with existing paint. But this formula makes it harmful for the environment. Some cities even ban using solvent-based paint. So, make sure to double-check with your local authorities first. Oil-based paints can be applied by hand with a roller or brush, but it is much faster and more efficient to use an airless spray system.

How to have long-lasting parking lines

But what if you already have the right parking lot striping paint and you still get mediocre results? You may want to evaluate surface preparation. Did you clean the surface properly? Was the pavement dry? Did you allow the paint to dry without driving on it?

Answering these questions can help you diagnose problems. Here are the simple rules for proper surface preparation for long-lasting parking lot lines.

  • Remove debris and clean the surface. The pavement may look clean, but there are loose debris and dirt that can prevent paint from adequately sticking to the asphalt. So, make it a habit to remove any foreign material on the surface. You should also scrub or power-wash to make sure.
  • Dry the surface. Paint will not stick to a wet surface. So, after power scrubbing and cleaning, let the pavement dry. Some may use an industrial grade blower to speed up the process. But you can always rely on the sun to help you out. Refer to the weather forecast. 
  • Apply paint when it's warm outside. As much as possible, you should apply traffic paint when the temperature is warm enough. Many products have recommended temperature applications, so double-check the product label first.
  • Let the paint dry. If your client is in a hurry, you can always opt for fast-dry parking lot paint. Its drying time is significantly faster than regular traffic paints. Again, make sure to check the forecast. You don't want to waste your hard work and time if it rains.

Parking lot paint that doesn't deteriorate is essential, not only to contractors. Visible parking lot lines and marks can help maintain proper parking traffic. The absence or the lack of it can lead to chaos, and no business owner wants that. For the next striping project, make sure to have use the best parking lot striping paint.