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Asphalt paint is a necessary item for painting lines and arrows on parking lots and other paved areas. Asphalts are simply a special kind of concrete aggregate that is made of several minerals that are bound together by a petroleum-based binder. Now, since it is petroleum-based, many paints, such as latex and acrylic will not adhere to the surface. Painting on petroleum requires pavement paint. That being said, there are still many choices when it comes to painting pavement, curbs and other areas of a parking lot or roadway. Here’s a look at your choices.
Water-based paints are the environmentally friendly choice because they contain no harmful VOCs or other chemicals. They are also the least expensive choice and work well in most settings. Do keep in mind that many areas have put into law that the only asphalt paint types that are acceptable are the water-based ones. If your state is one of them, you need not fret about choosing between water or oil based; the decision has been made for you.
Cleaning up water-based paints is far easier. The use of solvents is not necessary to clean up a spill or a paint sprayer after use. Water is all it takes. Not only is it easier to clean up any mistakes or accidents, it is also far easier for you to get yourself clean as well!
Water-based paints can be used in sprayers without fear of clogging. The solvent-based paints you will learn about in a moment can be used in sprayers but clogs are more likely to form. There are ways to protect against clogs of course, if you decide to go that route.
There are regular and fast-dry water-based paints. Even the regular dries faster than the other types, but the fast-dry dries to "no-track" in as little as 2 minutes.
Some sources refer to all of these paints as “alkyd-based”. Alkyd is actually a synthetic resin that is used as a binder. It is present to some extent in all of the solvent-based paints. “Solvent-based” is a more accurate term.
Some of the disadvantages of solvent-based paint were mentioned above: more difficult to clean up, more likely to cause clogs and it takes longer to dry. They are also more expensive than water-based paints.
The main advantage (and probably the only reason this type is still on the market) is that solvent-based paints may be more durable. There are two main types of solvent-based asphalt paint: regular and high performance.
High performance is used in high traffic areas. For example, the maintenance staff of the NASCAR race track in Daytona uses the high performance type.
The regular type is also referred to as Type I and is used by pretty much anyone in the business of painting pavement, except by those who choose water-based for its advantages.
Do not be discouraged from using asphalt paint types that are water-based for fear that they will not last as long. The thing to remember is that proper asphalt maintenance demands regular sealcoating. With high-traffic parking lots, that will be at least every three years, and more likely every two. Sealant is black, and will erase your parking lot lines, and so you will need to repaint every time you seal the asphalt. Even if the lines were still clearly visible before, they won’t be after sealing!
Remember when you are shopping to look for asphalt paint, or traffic paint, on the label. No matter which type you choose, solvent or water, asphalt paints have been formulated specifically to adhere to your pavement. All-purpose paints will not do the job. All your effort will bubble, peel, and wash away in short order when you use any old paint instead of asphalt paint.
We know that as you read, and learn, there are always more questions. At AsphaltKingdom.com we have the information you are looking for. Here are some related reading articles to asphalt paint types we think will help:
If you aren't sure of how many feet you'll be striping, or if you'd like help deciding between oil-based or water-based paint, contact our friendly asphalt line striping experts. They'll be happy to help! You can reach them via phone, toll-free at 1-866-399-5562, or by email.