How To Paint Car Park Lines

Painting bright & visible car park lines is essential for maintaining traffic flow, preventing accidents or damage and ensuring pedestrian safety. Whether you are a business or local authority, there are a number of options available to you for painting colourful, highly visible and durable parking bay lines in your car park.

What are the regulations for car parks?

By law, every car park must be safe and appropriate for operation, with clear markings. It is the duty of care of every car park owner or responsible parties to ensure that the risk of any damage and injury is not the result of poor design or markings. It is under the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974 and the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, that car parks conform to British Safety Institution (BSI) standards. The following are important factors when line marking a car park:

  • Keeping parked traffic away from moving traffic.
  • Providing a non-slippery surface.
  • Separating pedestrian walkways from traffic routes with clearly marked walkways.
  • Being located as close as possible to destination facilities.

What are the size requirements for parking bays?

  • Cars: 2.4 metres x 4.8 metres
  • Light Vans: 2.4 metres x 5.5 metres
  • Rigid Vehicles: 3.5 metres x 14.0 metres
  • Articulated Vehicles: 3.5 metres x 18.5 metres
  • Coaches (60 seats): 3.5 metres x 14.0 metres

Each space should be clearly outlined and separated by accurate markings.

Although vehicle size can differ drastically, these are the standard dimensions deemed adequate for access and exit. These dimensions refer to standing space only and do not take account of access, manoeuvring space or space required for loading/unloading.

How To Paint Car Park Lines On The Ground

You can line mark a car park yourself by hand or you can contact a professional for concise, accurate, and safe markings. Marking out a car park is not too complicated if you take your time to prepare and plan properly.

Choose Your Method

There are a number of different types of paint and application methods available for line marking a car park. The best method for you depends on the size of the car park, the amount of expected traffic and your budget. Available options include:

Aerosol Line Marking Paint: Aerosol line marking paints provide a quick and easy method of line marking small car parks and car parks where the most professional finish is not as essential. Aerosol line marking paints tend to last anything from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the quality of the paint and application conditions. They can be applied easily using an aerosol line marking machine and offer a great budget option for small businesses, community centres, nurseries & more.

aerosol paint car park line marking

Acrylic Line Marking Paint: Acrylic line marking paints offer a fast-drying and durable line marking solution. As it is water based, it is better for the environment and is easy to clean your tools at the end of the job. These paints can be applied to the concrete, tarmac or asphalt surface using a brush or roller. Some paints, such as Zebra hard surface line marking paint, can be applied using a spray line marking machine, for extra convenience and great results. These paints are suitable for larger businesses and more professional applications, where professional results are required.

zebra hard surface line marking in car park

Oil Based Paints & Chlorinated Rubber Paints: Oil based line marking paints and chlorinated rubber paints offer a more durable line marking solution, more resistant to weather, wear and chemicals. Paints such as Prosolve Chlorinated Rubber Line Marking Paint offer bright colours and resistance to acid & salt. These paints are suited to very busy car parks with heavy traffic, including forklifts & lorries. They can be applied using a roller or brush.

car park line marking

Thermoplastic Line Marking: Thermoplastic line marking tape comes in rolls of pre-formed lines. These lines are designed to be rolled out on to the ground and melted on to the surface using a thermoplastic gas torch. This method offers sharp and accurate lines, minimal mess and fast turnaround time, as the lines are ready to use in minutes.

If you are unsure of the best option for you, simply contact our sales team via live chat or telephone for advice.

Prepare The Ground

Once you have selected the best option for you, you will need to prepare the car park surface for painting.

  • Use a stiff brush to clear debris such as loose stone, dirt and leaves.
  • Use a tape measure to measure out each parking bay in compliance with the minimum recommended dimensions.
  • Use chalk, chalk line or masking tape to mark where the lines will be painted on the ground.

Prepare The Paint

Prepare your line marking paint. Ensure you have suitable paint, colours and the correct applicator.

You will need to stir liquid paint thoroughly before use, using a stirring stick or paddle mixer. If using aerosol paint, shake the aerosol can well before use and test that it is unobstructed and is spraying smoothly.

Paint The Car Park Lines

If you are using a liquid paint and working by hand, take your time and be as accurate as possible. Applying masking tape to the ground before application will help you to achieve straight, accurate and crisp lines. A good steady hand will help and ensure the results are professional.

When you are using a line marking machine, for either aerosol or liquid paint, be sure to familiarise yourself with the equipment before painting. When you are ready to begin, simply pull the trigger on the applicator to initiate the paint spray. Walk slowly and steadily in straight lines, following your guidelines, to ensure straight, concise, and clear line markings. You may find it useful to place a piece of card on the floor at the start and end of the line, to ensure the edges of the line are straight and crisp.

When using thermoplastic line marking tape, ensure that you have read the instructions fully. Before applying the thermoplastic lines, use the torch to heat the ground, to remove any moisture. Then apply apply a primer spray to ensure excellent adhesion. Roll the tape out on the ground and cut a strip off at the end of the line. Hold the torch 10-15cm away from the thermoplastic line to apply the correct amount of heat. The line will melt on to the surface and leave accurate, ready to use car park lines in minutes.

All of these line marking processes will produce clear, bright and accurate car park lines. Always make sure that the paint has fully dried before you allow anyone to drive over the lines.

Finishing Touches

Once you have applied all the car park lines, you can create disabled parking spaces, number parking bays, create traffic lanes and signage.

Disabled parking bays must be designated, identified by disabled bay markings, and be surrounded by a marked access zone. Line marking stencils are available for marking disabled parking signs, arrows, letters, and numbers quickly and easily.

car park stencil marking

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