Using the right parking lot stenciling for best results

Parking lot stenciling is done to properly mark parking areas and other traffic information. This is achieved by parking lot stencils that come in a plethora of wordings and signs that are needed to mark parking spaces and other information pertaining to traffic regulation. The things that need to be kept in mind while buying parking lot stencils are the edge distance of the stencil, thickness of the stencil and the material of the stencil.

Material suitable for parking lot stencils

The most suitable material for parking lot stencils which is preferred by companies is Low Density Polyethylene Plastic as opposed to High Density Polyethylene Plastic. The stencils made up of LDPE are more flexible than HDPE which enables them to adjust with the surface easily.

Stencil Thickness

The stencils must not be so thin that they are unable to stay at the exact position that is required. The edge of the stencil must not lift up when the paint is sprayed on the stencil. If it does, it means that the stencil is not heavy enough to lie on the pavement without any disturbance. The parking lot stencils must be heavier than cardboard. Professional parking lot markers use large stencils while small stencils are suitable if not used often. 1/8 inch thickness parking lot stencils are used for professional work.


The surface of the parking lot stencils must be smooth. A stencil with a rough surface becomes engorged with paint after a few uses and is very difficult to clean. The stencils, in such case, have uneven edges. It is important to use parking lot stencils which have a smooth surface.

Types of Parking lot stencils

  • Handicapped sign stencils: These parking lot stencils with a sign of a person in a wheelchair are used to mark reserved parking spaces to deter others from parking in such spaces.
  • Interlocking numbers and letters: There are parking stencil kits available in the market which contains interlocking numbers and letters. One can create their own parking lot sign by aligning and connecting the letters to make signs, messages, instructions etc. These are reusable stencils.

There are many other types of parking lot stencils with different signs such as visitor parking, stop sign, arrow signals and other messages. One can also make their own parking lot stencil at home.

Making parking lot stencils

Parking lot stencils can be made with the help of professionals or can be created at home. The material required to create a parking lot stencil includes pencil, ruler, plastic sheets which should be large and rigid and a utility knife. A printout of the symbols’ image that the stencil will carry is also needed along with the print of the font in stencil lettering that is desired.

The next step is the drawing of the outline of the stencil on a large plastic or cardboard sheet which must be heavy but should be easily cut with a utility knife. The ruler is very useful in this process. The area around the cutout should be large enough to use spray paint without spilling it outside the stencil. The stencil should be cut out carefully with the utility knife along the lines that were drawn earlier. The surface should be smooth. The stencil should be used on other surfaces prior to using it on a parking lot.

Proper storage of parking lot stencils

The parking lot stencils are required to be flexible in order to fix perfectly with the pavement. The parking lot stencils being flexible, require some kind of support when stored in an upright condition. Using Plywood to support the stencil is a good idea to prevent bending and flexing.

The stencils must not be piled together in a heap. When a single stencil is pulled out from a pile, the cut out portion may get entangled with the other stencil. This causes wear and tear and even significant damage to the stencils. Sheets of cardboard can be kept in between the stencils to prevent this from happening.

Stencil-Cutting Machines

Stencil-cutting machine has a handwheel which is used to position an indicator that indicates the letter, number, mark etc. that needs to be cut. It also has a cutting handle that needs to be pressed. The rotating handwheel has a punch which is placed under the cutter handle. The punch is aligned with a die in the lower part of the machine by positioning the indicator. The punch is pushed into the die by pressing the cutting handle in order to cut the letter into the stencil board.

Stenciling spray gun

The spray gun used for stenciling is smaller than the one used for painting. Spray guns are suitable for stenciling. If more than one stencil paint colour is required, more than one cup is used in the spray gun. Different colours can be sprayed by using extra cups in the sprayer. The parts of a spray gun include a trigger, nozzle, hook and cup.

Stencil brushes and rollers

Stencil brushes and rollers can be used instead of spray gun wherever it is impossible to use spray guns. The stencil brush is made up of hog bristles. It has a long handle made up of wood. The flag ends are cut. The Artist’s stencil brush is round with a long handle made up of cedar. The bristles are black. A metal ferrule holds the bristles in place. The fountain stencil brush consists of a reservoir handle that holds stencil ink. The shutoff between the brush and the reservoir controls the flow of stencil ink and can also terminate the flow. Stencil roller is rolled over a small amount of paint on a metal or glass sheet. The roller, which is now coated with paint, is rolled over the stencil.

Pressurized spray can is used for stenciling small signs. They are available in various colours and easy to use.

There are a lot of stencils available for parking lot stenciling in various online outlets. Customizable stencils can also be found in many outlets.


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