What Color Paint Should I Use in My Parking Lot?

If you have recently acquired a commercial property with parking facilities for staff and customers, you might be wondering what the colors are for and whether you need to keep these specific colors when repairing or upgrading your lot. The answer is that the colors found in parking lots are typically used for guidance purposes to ensure those who use the parking lot know where they can and cannot park.

According to the people at Parking Lot Pros, while there are specific guidelines regarding the colors used for parking lot striping in some states, in general, there are four main colors that should be used on your parking lot paving:

  • White – is typically used to mark out individual parking spaces. Other colors can be used but white is the standard because it is easier to see.
  • Red – is the color designated by federal law for marking fire lanes. Red is also used for areas where there is no parking or stopping, such as parallel red lines to create a lane for emergency vehicles.
  • Blue – is also a federally mandated color to mark out spaces for disabled permit holders.
  • Yellow – is the color often used for marking out loading and unloading bays or for safety zones for use by delivery vehicles.

Are Specific Colors Necessary for Parking Lot?

If you are renovating your parking lot and want to do something a bit different, you might be considering a change from the norm to make your business stand out. But can you do this? Do you have to use the above colors?

What you need to remember when contracting a professional company to stripe your parking lot is that you can choose your own colors for certain areas. But you must use red and blue as mandated by federal law for the marking of fire lanes and disabled spaces. For other areas, you are free to choose your own colors if you wish.

What Kind of Paint Should I Use?

Although oil-based paints are considered the most durable type of paint for parking lot striping, they are banned in certain parts of the country. This is because lead-free paints are the preferred option due to being better for the environment.

Professional contractors tend to use a variety of paint types for striping parking lots, with waterborne paints being the most commonly used. These paints are basically fume-free and are easy to use. However, they do not last as well in temperatures that regularly drop below 50 degrees. The more expensive chlorinated rubber paints are preferred in areas with colder climates.

Reflective paint is a superb option in colder climates where snow and ice can be a problem. Reflective paint can be either waterborne or chlorinated rubber which has glass beads added to it.

By far, the most expensive paint choice for car lot striping is thermal plastic. This exceptionally durable paint is typically used on highways because it can withstand much more abrasion and traffic than other paint types.

What Type of Paint is Best for Asphalt?

Because of the number of chemicals used in asphalt, it can be difficult for some paint to stick to it. Certain paints are therefore better for use on an asphalt parking lot than others. These include acrylic paint that is polymer-based and water-soluble. It does not damage the asphalt and is available in a variety of colors.

Coal tar paint is sometimes used to paint large areas of a parking lot, but it can be dangerous and cause irritation. Those who apply this type of paint need to wear full-body suits to prevent rash-like conditions. Asphalt emulsion is a better choice.