How To Use Traffic Stencils

Bus Stop Road Stencils

Traffic stencils are an affordable and easy way to mark roadways and parking lots for pedestrians and roadway users alike. Traffic stencils are usually made from Thermalized aluminum sheets or polymer plastic sheets and can be cut into different shapes and designs as desired. Learning how to use traffic stencils on concrete or asphalt will help you to save time and money by doing it yourself. Capitol barricade can help you get started in this process. By helping you understand how to prep asphalt and concrete for paint, what types of paint you can use for maximum longevity and visual effectiveness, how to use stencils on asphalt and concrete, and how to protect the paint during drying time. Find out how you can use Capitol Barricade’s traffic stencils on roadways or parking lots for any project.

Prepping Your Canvas

Just like a painter must prepare their canvas before beginning their masterpiece, the same care needs to be taken before you begin laying your traffic stencils down.  First determine what material your “canvas” is. Will you be painting on concrete or asphalt? Concrete requires some more preparation than asphalt does for better results. If you are painting your traffic stencils on asphalt, you simply need to sweep, wash, and wait for the area to dry before applying your paint.

Preparing Concrete

First you will want to prep your concrete by cleaning the porous surface of concrete.

  • You can remove the dirt and grime from concrete with trisodium phosphate or for a more earth friendly product you can buy Krud Kutters prepaint cleaner, which runs about $10 for 32 ounces.
  • Use a pressure washer to get rid of any extra dirt or grime.
  • Seal interior concrete to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing mold.
  • Prime the concrete with block primer that fills pores and evens out the surface.
  • You’re ready to paint!

Types Of Paint To Use With Traffic Stencils

Just as both concrete and asphalt require differing prepping techniques, they also require different paint to create stencils that are meant to last and are visually effective.

Paint For Asphalt

Most asphalt paints you will find will be latex based paints. Paint that is latex based and waterproof helps to reduce the risk of runoff and is less toxic. You can also use 100% Acrylic paint. This water based paint will not cause any damage to the asphalt and is most commonly used for parking lot stripes. Reflective paint is also a good alternative and can be used for both safety stencils and government regulations.

Paint For Concrete

Masonry paint or elastomeric paint is the best type of paint to use for concrete projects because it expands and contracts with the concrete. Regular paint will chip and crack and is not a good option for long term results.

Painting With Traffic StencilsTraffic Stencils

Traffic stencils are great for all types of projects and help the user to create the perfect marking the first time. Applying the traffic stencil requires precision, but it can be relatively simple as long as you follow these steps:

  • Use a stencil with rolled over edges. Capitol Barricade creates all of our stencils with rolled over edges to prevent paint over spray, which makes your job that much easier.
  • Make sure that the stencil is exactly where you want it the first time, by using chalk to outline the stencil or corners.
  • Use a sprayer or roller for best results. If using a paint brush make sure it is an approved paintbrush

Letting The Paint Dry

Keeping your “masterpiece” protected is another crucial part of using traffic stencils. Be sure when you are finished painting that you:

  • Have not painted yourself in – Paint on concrete or asphalt needs a lot of time to dry, so don’t box yourself in.
  • Checked the weather – Depending on your project, you may need to apply two to three more coats of paint. Since you need to wait for each coat to dry, it is helpful to check the weather for this process.

Whether you need traffic stencils to direct the flow of traffic, line up a parking lot, or block of a “work zone” Capitol Barricade can design a stencil perfect for you. All of our stencils are easy to use and our staff offers “old fashioned customer service” to show you how to use traffic stencils for your next project.

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