Avoid These Common Mistakes When Marking a Lot or Other Pavement

If you own, manage, or are in any way responsible for an apartment complex, commercial facility or other such area, you will need to ensure the surfaces of the parking lot and roadways around the complex are always properly marked. Failure to keep these surfaces marked properly can result in overcrowding of the lot, cars being blocked in because of haphazard parking, collisions and the lack of adequate handicapped spaces or fire lanes.

Not only are these situations dangerous for drivers, but they could result in your company facing fines from the city or another municipality. When you are ready to mark a lot or other pavement, either to touch up those lines or add new ones, note a few common mistakes you'll want to avoid.


Using individual letter stencils can pose a challenge for those who are poor spellers by nature; you can also easily transpose letters without realizing it if you're in a rush or aren't paying close attention to how you set those letters before painting. Take your time to check and recheck any lettering and spelling before applying paint. It can also be good to simply invest in stencils that have full words and phrases, such as "fire lane" or "keep clear," rather than relying on yourself or workers to set those letters down properly.

For reserved spaces or areas of a lot, have someone print out clearly any personal names, business names or other specific designations, rather than assuming you know how these are spelled. For example, the name Smith can also be spelled Smyth, or you might assume Evans is spelled Evens, and your paint job is then ruined by these incorrect spellings.

Aligning old markings

If you're freshening up an lot that already has markings, you need to be very careful about aligning the new markings with the old, or covering over those old lines if necessary. Having several different lines that mark off parking spaces, even if the older lines are faded, can be confusing to drivers, and they may wind up parking over two spots or crowding other cars.

If new lane markings tend to "drift" away from the old markings, this can also confuse drivers who may not know which markings actually designate their lane boundaries; in turn, this can increase the risk of collisions. Either cover over those old markings or plot out the direction of your new markings carefully so that drivers will have one set of bright, bold, easy-to-follow markings in the lot.