How To Paint Different Types Of Road Markings

There are different types of road marking lines, each calling for a specific spraying method

Discover the best way to paint skip lines, dual colour lines, wide lines on roads, parking lots and more..

Not every road marking line is the same. A line to delineate traffic lanes is different from the lines used for pedestrian crossings or the lines that are common on airport runways.

Different country, different lines

It becomes even more difficult if you know that countries categorize and specify road surface marking in different ways. Yet in every country the uniformity of the markings is important to provide clear guidance to drivers and pedestrians and minimize confusion about their meaning. That is why a good road line striper can cover all possible line types.



Standard/solid lines

Every country has its own rules and habits, so there is no such thing as a ‘standard line’. In road marking we can define a ‘standard line’ as one solid, monocolour line of 100 to 150 mm wide. A solid line is often used as longitudinal markings along the direction to indicate the driver’s proper position on the roadway. The predominant colours used are white and yellow. In private applications they are often used to mark individual parking space limits on a parking lot. Any general line striper with a single spray gun is capable of producing standard road lines.

Wide lines

In road marking wide lines are lines of 40 to 50 cm wide. This type of lines are used for different purposes such as stop lines and pedestrian crossings. The spray width of a single spray gun is not sufficient for creating wide lines. Wide lines up to 60 cm can be drawn by a line striper that combines two spray guns. The two guns should be placed next to eachother at a distance that enables a partial overlap between the two separate sprays in order to produce one homogenous wide line. A good positioning of the guns is critical for the line quality. On airport runways you often see lines of 90 cm wide. For applications like this you need to combine three spray guns.

Skip lines

Skip lines are formed by single broken line segments. The length, width, colour and distance between broken line segments can vary from country to country and from purpose to purpose. On intersections and highways skip liner are used for various applications:

  • Traffic lane lines: separates traffic flow and helps drivers to go straight. In most countries white is the predominant colour.
  • Centre line of road: separates opposite streams of traffic. Crossing is allowed if the traffic situation permits it.
  • Cycle lanes: delineate the boundary of an advisory cycle lane.

A road marking machine with automatic guns makes it easy to create skip lines with pinpoint accuracy. These machines can draw automatic skip lines with the push of a button. The guns start and stop automatically, dependent from the programmable settings for the line segment length and the interspace between two line segments. A semi-automatic mode is convenient for restriping: the line segment is drawn automatically but you determine the starting point of each line segment.

Double lines

Double lines are often used in road marking applications. They are placed in the centre of the road, separating traffic flow. Dependant from their type (see below), they indicate wether crossing from one or both sides is allowed or not. Sometimes a solid double line is used as stopping line.

Double lines exist in different types:

  • Two solid lines
  • One solid line combined with one skip line
  • One solid lines transitioning to a skip line combined with one skip line transitioning to a solid line
  • A zipper line (used on airports)

Drawing double lines with just one gun is possible by covering the same area twice, but it is inefficient. A smarter and faster way is to use a line striper with two guns. And if you really want to do the job fast, acurrate and comfourtable you better choose a machine with two automatic guns. That way you can draw any type of double line you want with a single push on the button.

Dual colour lines

You do not see it a lot on European motorways, but in specific situations a dual colour line is used. In some countries preliminary traffic lanes (in case of roadworks) are marked with yellow lines. In situations where the preliminary traffic lines transition to white permanent markings two colours are needed. Dual colour lines are also used on airports where the contrast of white lines on a light grey conrete surface is not excplicit enough. By spraying black paint adjacent to the white lines you can create a distinct contrast.

You could draw dual colour lines by use a marking machine with just one gun. If you do not want to loose time while waiting for the paint to dry, a machine with two guns is a better option. Each gun will be used to spray a different colour line.

Diagonal lines

Non-driving zones are often crossed out with parallel diagonal lines. They can be regarded as straight solid lines applied in a certain pattern. These types of markings are regularly done manually. Usually a lot of time is spent on calculating and applying physical guiding lines. By using a road marking machine with spray tips that can be adjusted to spray under a certain angle, you can make this job a lot easier. Some advanced machines feature an auto-layout functionality that easily cuts layout time for making horizontal lines in half.


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