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How to Paint Parking Lot Lines According to Regulations

How to Paint Parking Lot Lines According to Regulations

Exterior renovationsHow to Paint Parking Lot Lines According to Regulations

Are you the proud owner or manager of a condo tower, institution, or business, and are mandated to create a safe parking space? Your priorities are thus to maximize the available space while still complying with the established regulations as well as the peculiar needs of users. Whether you intend on marking the area yourself or hiring a specialist in the matter, it’s still important to follow some specific guidelines!

Parking Lot Line Marking Regulations

parking lot lines

Source: Canva

Unless you’re simply applying a fresh coat of paint to existing parking markings or have very few to make, and that, without much constraint, we suggest hiring a professional. In fact, there are rules, dimensions, and symbols established by the Construction Code, the National Building Code of Canada, and the Highway Safety Code

Since we’re referring to parking lots that are accessible to the general public, unlike residential parking, it’s important to inquire about and ensure the work is well done. All the more important if your parking area has some of the following peculiarities: 

  • Obstacles (walls, cinder blocks, speed bumps, trees, etc.);

  • Slopes or irregular angles;

  • Logos or symbols (company names, cross-hatched areas, designated smoking areas, disabled or electrical vehicle reserved parking spots, crosswalks, restricted parking, garbage bin zones, numbers, loading zones, etc.);

  • The need to remove current markings with a pressure washer, by overlapping or scraping the obsolete area.

Note that it’s strictly forbidden to tamper with a roadside or sidewalk to access your parking space. Solely an authorized city official can do so!

To have a better understanding of a commercial parking lot, click on the link to see a plan from the City of Lévis. (French only)

Parking Lot Lines: Quebec By-Laws

painting parking lot lines

Source: Canva


For a standard parallel parking spot, one must plan for a minimum of 8.5 ft X 18 ft (2.6 m X 5.5 m). For a designated parking space for persons with disabilities, increase the width of the lane to at least 12.8 feet (3.9 m). As for the line itself, it should be about 4 inches wide.


The colours most used to mark parking lines are white and yellow. Nonetheless, it’s still advised to use yellow since that colour is more visible in the event of snowfall or build-up. Naturally, this decision isn’t as important when it comes to indoor parking spaces. 

Blue and green are also used, mainly to indicate specific areas (disabled and electric parking spaces).

    Parking Lines: Types of Paint

    choosing the right paint for parking lot markings

    Source: Canva

    To bring your project to fruition, you’ll need to use asphalt and concrete paint or specially designed roadway marking paint. The various paints available are resistant to adverse weather conditions and our northern climate, as well as have the ability to dry fast and withstand regular traffic. Typically, these products are acrylic latex-, water-, or epoxy resin-based. 

    There’s also alkyd paint. However, the latter should only be used if no other product can be used due to the temperature. Given its environmental impact, alkyd paint can only be applied between October 15 and May 1, and only as a last resort.

    You can also add reflective and recycled glass beads. These will make the lines shine in natural or artificial light, thus rendering them more visible. Most brands of such beads can be blended right into the paint gallon or can be dusted on freshly painted lines.

    Parking Lines: Applying Markings

    marking parking lots

    Source: Canva

    A few factors will affect the service life and adherence level of your line markings. The most important conditions to abide by are the state of the surface, the method of application, and the weather. 

    To start off, if the ground in question is dirty, cracked, eroding, or stained, you’ll need to fix that first. Sweep, clean, and remove/fill in any damaged areas, then remove any grease stains with an asphalt or concrete degreaser. When it comes to a severely degraded surface area, consider the entire paving prior to making your lines; without which, everything will need to be redone shortly thereafter. 

    Next, in terms of applying the paint, you can use a paintbrush, a roller, or a striping paint machine. If you’re personally carrying out such work and don’t have the budget to get a hold of a specially designed machine, go for a roller rather than a paintbrush. You can affix an extension pole to the roller and apply the colour standing up, thus minimizing your movements and keeping a watchful eye on the line as a whole instead of being bent over it. Note that if the coat of paint is uneven or too thin, the quality of the job will be affected. 

    Lastly, apply your markings on a day during which the weather is rather dry since humidity can slow down the drying process. On the other hand, the paint can’t be applied to boiling hot, sun-drenched asphalt or concrete. The paint will bake and won’t hold. It’s best to paint in the mornings or in the evenings. Don’t proceed if temperatures dip below 10° Celsius to avoid affecting the properties, resistance, and durability of the product used. 

    Disabled Persons Parking Spaces

    by-laws surrounding parking spaces for persons with reduced mobility

    Source: Canva

    Most municipalities and businesses try to adapt and innovate according to the needs of their users. Albeit, reserved parking spaces for families, pregnant women, the elderly, delivery people, and EV charging stations aren’t as common.  

    The zones that must be more regulated and uniform remain those for individuals with physical disabilities. In this province, depending on the concerned sector, jurisdiction over these locations often resides with the municipality and is governed by the Highway Safety Code, the Construction Code, the Act respecting land use planning and development, and the Municipal Powers Act.

    These factors clearly highlight why it's important to use a contractor to mark out your parking lines, or at least to provide you with accurate plans based on an analysis of the sector and the customer base.

    Here’s a rundown of the regulations & by-laws

    As above-mentioned, the minimum dimensions for such parking spaces are 12.8 feet wide by 18 feet long (3.9 metres by almost 6 metres long). 

    The mandatory amount of spaces depends on the available layout. Typically, 1% of a parking lot with 25 spots should be dedicated to persons with impaired mobility and the lot should contain at least 1 reserved space. 

    Said spot should be positioned accordingly to avoid obstacles and minimize the distance travelled between the zone and the building’s front door. 

    On top of that, you can't be fancy about the pictogram painted on the asphalt, as it needs to be universal. However, you can choose the manner in which the symbol is displayed:

    1. Just the yellow image placed in the middle of the space;

    2. A white wheelchair stencil in a blue, 48 inches by 48 inches (1.2m), square;

    3. A blue-painted space with the white logo in the middle.

    Get 3 renovation quotes for your parking line marking project can help you get quotes from a general contractor. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

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    Last modified 2023-11-07

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