If the parking area next to your place of business is looking a bit shabby, paint new parking lot lines to revitalize this heavily trafficked location. Parking lot lines not only include the bold lines that separate parking spaces from each other but also lines that indicate the direction or flow of traffic, handicapped space signs, and other special instructions such as no parking areas.
It's important to start your project with a clean surface. Pressure wash the parking lot and let it completely dry, or use a gas-powered leaf blower to remove all debris from the area so you can start painting over as clean a surface as possibe. Gather your supplies, which should include traffic marking paint (oil-based or water-based), a paint roller with a 4-inch cover and chalk or masking tape to lay out parking stalls about 10 feet wide and 28 feet long. If you don't want to paint your parking lot lines by hand, you can rent or purchase a machine called a parking lot striper which uses already-filled paint cans which spray the paint onto your designated lines.
It's also important to invest in parking lot stencils. These will enable you to paint directional signage such as arrows for in and out or right and left, handicapped parking, no parking and other directions such as slow or caution. Painting parking lot lines is also an opportune time to fill in any cracks in the lot's surfacing; this way, once the parking lot line painting has been completed, the lot will look as brand new as possible.
Using your chalk or masking tape, mark off the parking stalls and apply your paint, moving as rapidly as possible because traffic marking paint is very fast drying. Within an hour of painting your parking lot lines and other directional markers, you will be able to allow vehicles to use the lot once again. Use white or yellow paint to denote parking stalls. Handicapped spaces are traditionally done using blue paint. Don't forget to allow about 3 to 4 feet of clearance space on either side of the handicapped parking stalls and make them a few feet wider than traditional parking spaces.
In areas of your parking lot where no parking is permitted, use red traffic marking paint. If you are redesigning the configuration of your lot and have previous parking stall stripes, handicapped zones and no parking areas which no longer apply, pick up some blackout traffic marking paint to obliterate these old painted lines.