When investing in road line marking equipment, you need to choose the right type of paint as well as the right type of machinery. The wrong paint can easily peel, chip, or otherwise get damaged and especially under high traffic conditions or very severe weather. As with house paint or interior paint, not all mixtures are alike, so you need to ensure you know at least a little something about the materials that go into the paint itself. Note a few simple tips for making the right choice.
The first thing to consider is that some areas do not allow oil-based paints on exterior surfaces, as the oil may eventually run off into the soil or groundwater as the paint breaks down. However, if it is legal in your area to use it, some contractors prefer it for very cold climates as oil-based paint does not freeze. This will keep it from chipping or otherwise getting damaged during long winters. It also repels water, making it more visible and durable in tropical climates or any area that is exposed to potential flooding.
Note that oil-based paints need a special solvent to clean, so you may face some challenges when you want to clean up your parking lot and make the paint of your line markings seem fresh and new; you would need to invest in mineral spirits or toluene rather than plain water. This can be more expensive than paints that are cleaned with plain water.
These types of paints contain a bit of plastic in them which dries to a more durable finish than most other types of paint. Thermoplastic paint is good for very heavy traffic areas or where the traffic itself may include trucks and heavy-duty equipment that would otherwise tear up standard paints.
The downside to thermoplastic paints is the expense. It is usually the most expensive of all the paints you can purchase, but note that it may also last the longest without needing to be reapplied. This can make it a more cost-effective choice, depending on the lot or road line marking to be painted. Thermoplastic paint can be applied either hot or cold; a hot application actually melts the paint slightly so that it can more readily seep into the material being painted, and allow for a stronger bond. This too adds to its overall durability and longevity, despite its cost.