In certain situations you will be called upon to lay out a new parking lot that has no lines. Doing this requires pre-planning and knowledge of regulatory restrictions. In other words there are some lines and symbols that are required by law. Some lots will be part of a new construction project where plans are involved and others will be lots that for some reason just do not have stripes. Some may have had stripes at one time but they are worn completely. We will cover both types of lots.
For almost all new construction projects there will be a set of plans that will tell you exactly where to put all lines. If you are in a situation like this all you need to do is mark where the lines will go and spray. To mark the lines you will take an inverted spray can in a holder and mark dots where the lines begin and end. This way you can go over the job BEFORE you spray and make sure everything is perfect. You will need to find a benchmark which is something on the plans that you can locate and measure from. This is often a curb. Using a benchmark will assure that your lines are in the proper place. Also, measuring from two or three spots is a good idea. Measure out using the plans and begin marking where the lines start. Then measure again and mark the other end of the lines. For centerline on nose to nose parking you should be able to make two marks and pull a cord between them to make a straight line and then mark dots down the line. For arrows you can just make a litte arrow with your spray wand to denote where the arrow will go and which direction it will point. For angled spaces you would measure out all your center lines if it is nose to nose parking then mark where the parking line is going to cross. Then you can take an angle tool and pull your parking lines. If each space is 20 feet you would make a cord that was 40 feet long with a mark in the middle. Pull it tight over the centerline, verify the angle, and mark dots down the line. You can go into as much detail as you wish with the spray wand. When you are done you can drive through the lot and try to park and pull out and turn, etc.. Make sure everything makes sense. Go over it with the contractor if necessary and then when you are sure everything is correct begin spraying.
For unmarked lots with no plans you would do the same thing but you would have to do a sketch beforehand and get the owner to sign off on it. You need to make sure there is sufficient room for cars to come in and park and back out and turn. Don’t create a maze. Also, on angled spaces make sure they are wide enough. When you angle a space the top and bottom widths have to be increased. Otherwise you can easily create a lot full of motorcycle spaces. As with the previous method, make sure to mark everything with paint dots and try to park yourself before striping. Make sure the owner looks at how things will be laid out. Once you are satisfied that everything is ok just set up your machine and spray.
Here are a couple of tips. If you are using a water based paint then use a water based inverted spray so that the two are compatible. For pulling long lines you can take an extension hose reel and put rope on it. Pull out what you need, weight it down and fasten the other end. You can click here to see our article on ADA and handicap marking requirement.
Author – Steven Cole (Economics, MBA – University of West Florida, Graduate Certificate – Stanford University)
30 years of experience in the Parking Lot Striping Business. Software developer for pricing striping jobs. Hands on experience with the Trusco Trueline Paint Striper.