Putting the Pow! in Your Paint Job

My responsibility to the asphalt and pavement industry was to put the pow! in the parking lot. This was not the easiest job to do. I had never looked at a parking lot and thought the goal was to make it look beautiful. The more you layout parking lots and paint the lines, stencils, symbols, arrows, and everything else, though, the more beautiful it better look. One key ingredient is to get the right paint for the job.

White or yellow—those are your color choices. Not a lot of variety but a lot of differences. When I started out in 1969, latex paint was the only option, which was very hard to find in striping paint.

The seal coaters showed up first to seal the lot. Then the property owner called wanting their lot painted soon, which meant now. I’d make the hard color choice between white or yellow and get to work. I had no idea that the paint would turn a yuck shade of brown within ten minutes! I had to call long distance to find out why this was happening and then wait for the new paint to arrive, delaying the project even more.

My first experience was with a company called Jennite. They had the paint I needed but at a very high price. Then I found a company in Denver called the Colorado Paint Company. They manufactured all the paint used for the Colorado State Highway. Not only were they the nicest people to work with in the state, but they solved all my paint problems. When in doubt, consult your paint company. They’re there to help you out.

Nowadays, you have a lot of options when it comes to paint. There’s a paint for any surface and lots of advice to help with applications. Painting problem solved. I repeat, when in doubt, talk to your paint company. They’re the experts.

What am I getting at here? You have to make the job look good no matter what. You have to give it that pow! so the work you do will lead to the next job and then to another and another…

Use the best paint that you can afford. Put the best paint in your bids. Most importantly, practice. Practice on straight lines. Once you start painting lines, you’ll be looking at every parking lot from now on, and you’ll notice a crooked line half a mile away. If you’re following a string or chalk line, look down that line as far as you can because, I guarantee, you will paint a straighter line. Make yourself and equipment visible at night. For daytime work, wear good sunglasses.

Anybody can paint a line. Make yours the straightest.

Big Foot Layout Tools is celebrating its 20-Year Anniversary and is dedicated to bringing layout tools that save both time and money. Owner Bill Feldman’s tools have been sold all over the United States, Canada, and various parts of the world. For more information, visit http://www.bigfootlayouttools.com/ or call (970) 482-0049.

Story by Bill Feldman