A Guide to Car Park Painting

blue painted parking spaces
Blue painted parking spaces with white demarcation. Photo by Flowcrete.

Whether its simple line marking or full car park floor painting, we have a guide to car park painting to help you. It will be equally useful to facilities managers, specifiers and contractors alike. There are so many car park paint products available on the market nowadays. The number of contractors is mind boggling too. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you make the right choices and cut through the jargon.

refurbished new mult-storey car park
Refurbished new multi-storey car park complete. Photo by Flowcrete.

Car Park Surface Type

Okay it might sound pretty obvious but it is important to know what surface type you will be dealing with. Not all surface types can be coated. Well not with conventional paint anyway. Concrete, asphalt, composite slabs and steel should be coated with heavy duty high solid aliphatic polyurethane coatings. There alternatives such as polyaspartic, which work well for line marking. We believe, however, polyurethane to be the most durable solution throughout.

painted signage wall floor car park deck
Painted blue and white wall and floor signage in intermediate car park deck. Photo by Flowcrete.

Temporary car park marking solutions

For grass surfaces pitch-marking paint is most suitable. Any areas treated will obviously not be permanent. Demarcation can be brush applied by hand however we recommend using a line marking applicator wheel for speed and accuracy. For loose surfaces such as gravel and stone fragments or sand, paint isn’t a good solution. Traffic cones, fence tape or something similar would be better and more permanent.

white demarcation lines grey painted top deck mscp
White demarcation lines and grey painted top deck MSCP. Photo by Flowcrete.

Car Park Paint Products

If choosing the painting products is your responsibility there are a few things to consider. You want to check the warranty and lifespan of the product first. Do some background research on the manufacturer. Buying cheaper paint isn’t going to save you money in the long run. You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive products either.

Other things to check when choosing car park floor paint are application specifications. A manufacturers warranty will often be void if the paint system hasn’t been applied by an approved applicator. If you are planning on carrying out the painting work yourself you need to check with the manufacturer. They may be happy for you to do so and grant the full warrantee if you are prepared to undergo training. This may also require your work to be checked by a surveyor.

green walkways car park exposed deck
Green painted pedestrian walkways and yellow demarcated disabled car parking zones on top level exposed deck. Photo by Flowcrete.

Things to know and check;

  • Check the warranty
  • Application requirements
  • Manufactures reputation
  • Colours required for demarcation

If you are unsure, have any doubts or decide you simply don’t have the time to do this yourself, contact a contractor like ourselves. Flowcrete UK is our main supplier for car park and floor coatings. Their globally available waterproof car park deck coating systems are world class.

red grey yellow deckshield car park paint
Deckshield by Flowcrete provides solutions for basement, intermediate, rooftop and multi-storey car park facilities. Photo by Flowcrete.

Colours and where to use them

Aesthetics should always be a consideration. You will need industry standard regulation colours to differentiate areas. Disabled access and pedestrian walkways are included in these regulations in most territories around the world.  Check the regulations in place for the region the car park is located.

upmarket car park painted
Upmarket professionally painted car park. Photo by Flowcrete.

Commonly accepted use of colour in the UK, EU, USA and most regions are as follows;

  • WHITE – directional arrows, boundaries, keep clear areas
  • BLUE – information, parking space
  • GREEN – first aid, emergency exit, cycleway (USA)
  • RED – stop, danger, no parking, stopping or waiting, cycleway
  • YELLOW – caution, walkway, pedestrians, no parking or stopping

yellow blue green white demarcation lines
Yellow and white demarcation lines separating blue and gree zones. Photo by Flowcrete.

Line Marking Dimensions

Typical car parking spaces should measure 2.8m wide by 5.0m long. Demarcation line dimensions are flexible but should not be less than 10cm in width. There are templates available for directional arrows and lettering.

Types of Car Parks

There are essentially two types of car park. Single level and multi-storey. “Wait, what about parking on the road?” I hear you ask. You can include street parking in the single level category. The reason categorisation is important will be made clear below.

Car parks should be welcoming to their users, easy to navigate and safe for drivers and pedestrians. Upmarket car parks achieve this status by being bright, well maintained, clean, being in a good location and having professionally painted traffic markings. This are some of the factors that allow facility’s owners to demand higher fees.

exposed deck top-level car park grey coating
Exposed deck top-level car park with new grey coating. Photo by Flowcrete.

Single Level Car Parks and Street Car Parking Bays

Being most likely to be exposed to weather and UV attack, street-level and top-deck parking areas require the Deckshield ED (exposed deck) range or similar. Exposed deck coatings are methyl methacrylate (MMA) based.

Exposed deck coatings are fast curing and have excellent crack bridging, waterproofing and UV resistance. The elastomeric rubber-like properties enable the coating to regain its original shape when a load is removed.

Multi-storey Car Parks

Fun fact; the first multi-storey car park was built in London in 1901. A multi-storey car park (or MSCP) has stacked multiple levels. Access is provided by interconnecting ramps for vehicles and stairwells or elevators for foot traffic. Most commonly constructed with steel reinforced concrete they require protection from the elements and wear and tear just like any other structure.

MSCP’s are too often disregarded as uncomplicated boring buildings. Little consideration is given to the stresses endured by constant traffic and exposure to the elements. There are many important factors to consider when managing an MSCP.

intermediate level car park painting warning chevrons concrete pillars
Intermediate level car park with painted warning chevrons on the concrete pillars. Photo by Flowcrete.

You must protect its users from accident by slipping or collision due to confusing demarcation and signage. You must also protect the structure from corrosion and damage. If water gets into cracked concrete it will corrode the encased steel reinforcement. Having to deal with any of these issues can be hugely expensive.

External Exposed/Top Level Decks

Exposed decks and street-level areas require the same weather resistant coating systems. Concrete constructed decks or asphalt topped parking areas will suffer from water ingress and attack from ultra-violet light. Traffic wear and tear is also a factor. Left unchecked issues will build up and require bigger repair projects. We use the Flowcrete Deckshield Rapide ED range to treat and coat exposed parking areas.

Intermediate Decks

Intermediate or mid-decks usually have to cope with higher traffic levels compared to exposed top decks. However they are less likely to be exposed to moisture but more likely to have to deal with motor vehicle fluids. To deal with such stresses we use the Deckshield ID range, again by Flowcrete.

deckshield id infographic

Basement Decks

Finally for basement, below ground level decks we use the Deckshield Rapide ID coating. Its a fast curing Polyurethane modified methyl methacrylate coating which provides up to 3mm thickness. Its fast curing performance makes it ideal for contained areas where harmful fumes can be an issue in poorly ventilated spaces. It provides good resistance to standard moisture levels in concrete. In the absence of a DPM its recommended pressure relief by tanking and/or drainage is installed. This will deal with hydrostatic water pressure more effectively.

deckshield rapide id infographic


Taking on a car park painting project of any size is a major task. However, now that you’re equipped with the basic knowledge needed you’ll be better placed to make effective decisions. Whether you decide to take on the project yourself or hire a contractor, we hope our guide to car park painting will help you to make it a success.

Further Reading


Please Share this Article on :