How to Layout a Parking Lot for Striping
Parking lot striping keeps vehicles where they’re supposed to be, keeps your lot looking neat, and makes for a better experience for both visitors and tenants of the lot. If you want a great parking lot – you need proper pavement striping.
Many lot owners prefer to stripe their lot themselves, but you can’t guess when it comes to pavement striping. Let’s learn why you should use a professional for new striping, tips if you want to stripe your lot yourself, and how to prep for a re-stripe.
If you’re striping a lot for the first time, it’s recommended you hire a professional striping company. Though you can likely lay lines and paint pretty spots, designing a parking lot is a blend of engineering, difficult decisions, and a lot of math.
An amateur new stripe layout can cause traffic jams, poor lot layout, and at the worst can cause fenders benders that will get blamed on the lot owner. A professional will lay out your lot for optimal flow and to maximize space.
If you have a small lot with low traffic and want to stripe it yourself, use the following tips:
Decide on Your Layout
You’ll need to make many choices on your layout, even for a small lot. Think about your space and traffic to help decide what type of parking stalls you want including 90-degree spots, 45-60-degree diagonal spots (best used for one ways) or parallel spots.
Decide on Stall Size
- Typical stall size is 9’ x 18,’
- Typical compact spot is 7.5-8.5’ x 15-16.’
- Stripes and lines should be 4” wide and 15 mm thick.
- ADA Parking Spots Must be at least 8’ across with 5’ of clearance.
Follow ADA Guidelines
ADA Guidelines differ by jurisdiction and state. Call your local jurisdiction to know exactly what you need to for ADA compliance for accessible parking.
Choose Your Paint
Pavement striping paint can be water based or oil / solvent based. Oil and solvent-based paints tend to last longer, work better in colder environments, and are more durable than water based striping paint. On the other side, oil-based based paints are more expensive, harder to clean if you’re ready for a re-stripe, and are not environmentally friendly.
Water based paint is more affordable, more environmentally friendly, and dries faster than oil-based paint but won’t last as long and can freeze in chip in extreme cold.
You need to balance your needs and budget to help decide which type of paint is right for you.
- Prep Your Surface – All asphalt or concrete will need to be perfectly clean for paint adhesion. Use a commercial pavement cleaner to be sure your paint sticks and wait until it’s completely dry before striping.
- Choose the Right Day – Only stripe your lot when temperatures are above freezing for 24 hours and there is no precipitation in the forecast. If temperatures are in the 30-50-degree range, an oil-based paint must be used to for proper adhesion. When temperatures exceed 50-degrees, a water-based paint will work.
- Get Striping – Only use professional striping guides, equipment, and templates for a professional-looking lot. You can find templates and other supplies at your local hardware store. Take your time and slowly apply two coats of stripes.
- Re-Striping – Re-striping is easier than new striping – you just need to color within the lines. During re-striping you do need to take certain preparation steps including cleaning the surface of dust and debris. It’s recommended to use a professional lot cleaner so your paint will properly stick.
Striping Your Lot
Striping provides safety and organization for your lot but can be difficult to perform by yourself. Use professionals for lot design, use the tips above if you’re striping your own lot, and take proper preparation tips when re-striping. Bright, properly laid out stripes makes for happy drivers.