Line Marking: How to paint different types of road markings

Line Marking: How to paint different types of road markings

Not every road marking lines are the same. A line to delineate traffic lanes differs from the lines used for pedestrian crossings or the standard lines on airport runways. Across Europe and the UK, it becomes even more challenging to categorize and specify road surface marking differently. Yet, in every country, the consistency of the markings is essential to provide clear guidance to drivers and pedestrians and minimize confusion about their meaning. A good road line marking machine can cover all possible line types. Here are some of the different line markings you will see across the UK and Ireland that can be achieved using a road line painter.

Solid Line Markings

In road marking, we can define a 'standard line' as one solid, mono-colour line 100 to 150 mm wide. A solid line is often used as longitudinal markings along the direction to show the driver's proper position on the roadway. The principal colours used are white and yellow across our highway network. You would mainly see these lines at the edge of a road on the left-hand side. Sometimes these lines can be ribbed to alert the driver that they're straying off the road. These are known as raised profile edge lines. In private applications, they are often used to mark individual parking space limits on a parking lot. Any general line marking machine with a single spray gun can produce standard road lines, with specialist equipment required for raised profile lines.

Solid Line marking

Wide Line Markings

Wide line markings are lines 40 to 50 cm wide. These line markings are used for different purposes, such as stop lines and pedestrian crossings. A single spray gun's spray width is inadequate for creating wide lines. Wide lines up to 60 cm which can be drawn by a line striper that combines two spray guns. The two guns should be placed next to each other at a distance that enables a partial overlap between the two different sprays to produce one homogenous wide line. By having good positioning of the guns is critical for the line quality of this application. On airport runways, you often see lines 90 cm wide. For applications like this, you need to combine three to four spray guns and sometimes spray different colours too.

wide line marking

Skip Line Markings

Single broken line segments form Skip lines. The length, width, colour and distance between broken line segments are something you mainly see across our motorways which segregates the lanes from each other. The other option you can have in these skip lines is called hazard warning lines. These are similar in appearance to centre lines with one key difference. The painted sections are longer in length. They only appear when a hazard isn't directly evident, like approaching junctions or a central refuge. Here is where you would find skips lines across UK roads.

  • Centre line of the road: This separates opposite streams of traffic. The crossing is allowed if the traffic situation permits it.
  • Traffic lane lines: separate traffic flow and helps drivers to go straight. White is the predominant colour for this.
  • Cycle lanes: delineate the boundary of an advisory cycle lane.

Road Skip Lines

The way to apply these types of lines with the Graco LineLazers is with the automatic gun system, making it easy to create skip lines with pinpoint accuracy. The Graco machines can draw automated skip lines with the push of a button. The guns start and stop automatically, dependent on the programmable settings for the line segment length and the interspace between two line segments. A semi-automatic mode is convenient for restriping the line segment, which then is drawn automatically, but you would need to determine the starting point of each line segment.

Double Line Marking

Double lines are often used in road marking applications across most roads and streets. They are either placed in the centre of the road, separating traffic flow or on the side of roads to indicate no waiting at any time. Also, they can suggest whether crossing from one or both sides is allowed or not. Sometimes a solid double line is used as a stopping line too. Here are so some examples of double lines. These are also found in the two primary colours, which are white and yellow.

  • Two solid Lines
  • One solid line combined with one skip line
  • One solid line transitioning to a skipped line combined with one slip line transitioning to a solid line

Double Yellow Lines

It is possible to spray double lines with just one gun by covering the same area twice, but it is unproductive. A smarter and faster way is to use a Graco LineLazer with two guns, and if you want to do the job fast and more accurate, then choosing a machine with two automatic spray guns is the best solution. We have a range of Graco LineLazers that all do this job. That way, you can draw any double line you want with a single button push.

Diagonal Line Markings

A diagonal line or diagonal stripes are used to separate lanes or protect traffic turning right. These types of lines are normally done manually.  These chevron areas are areas where cars shouldn't travel.  There is an option to upgrade your Graco LineLazer to have the auto-layout functionality, which will easily cut layout time for making horizontal lines in half. Contact us to talk about the machines that have this option.

diagonal line markings

If you are looking to cut time down on the way you apply road markings and want a quick and simple way of doing it, or if you want to know more about the different functions our Graco Linelazers can do for you, then get in contact with us today at 02392 200 606 or email us at and one of our team will be in touch.