Note: these archives were compiled from past Parking Lot Planet Forums. The answers and opinions are those of the posters. Things may have changed since then, so be sure to get up to date information from the current Parking Lot Planet forum


Stenciling Curbs

Number stencils

Handicap Stencil Size

McDonald's Stencils



From: Jefstripealot
Date: 2/12/00 8:38:25 AM
What is the best material from which to cut your own stencils. I have used plywood and 1/8" high density polyethylene. Any others?

In addition, using a "jig saw" to remove paint from wooden stencils dulls the blades in minutes. Any other suggestions?


From: Barknee
Date: 2/12/00 10:07:17 PM
I use coroplast


From: Robert
Date: 2/13/00 6:59:34 PM
I think poly is the best - cleans much easier than anything else I've tried. Sure don't need to use a jig saw!


From: Bob
Date: 3/2/00 7:31:12 AM
Robert is right poly is the best material for cutting your own stencils. You can get the material from most stencil companies in 4'x 8' sheets.


From: sdechene
Date: 2/22/00 6:35:40 PM
Some options for stencils:

1: 1/4 or 1/8 poly - Rub with a good surf wax before first use - Use care cleaning when cold and brittle

2: #20 gauge sheetmetal - 10-15 year durability - Heat and scrape to clean - Cut your own with small pneumatic jigsaw

3: 1/4" plywood - Inexpensive - Cut your own with standard jigsaw - Rub with thinner/motor oil mixture between cleanings - Heat and scrape to clean


From: Bev
Date: 6/8/00 9:20:14 AM
We use 1/4" puckboard which is durable and cleans quite easy with just a chisel.


Fire lane boxes

From: Ol'Dave
Date: 12/21/99 1:12:15 PM

In Amarillo, TX-they require a 2'x4',white fire lane box stenciled in red. They wear quickly since they are in the center of the traffic lane, any suggestions on how to make them wear longer? Happy Holidays!!


From: MI Striper
Date: 12/21/99 2:30:33 PM

You might want to try pre-formed thermoplastic. It's expensive but it will last longer than paint (especially since it won't be hit by snow plows all winter) and comes in a variety of colors. If you can get the property owners convinced and they will cough up the extra dough it might be a good option.


From: CW
Date: 12/22/99 9:26:39 AM

Try a good sealer over 'em. The sealer will wear before the paint. I've seen them last twice as long. Find someone with a good thermoplastic sealer. Don't use the home brands!


From: CW
Date: 12/22/99 12:11:38 PM

This goes back to an area of discussion posted a while back when we were discussing warranting our work. I found that if I can offer a little longer life of lines, legends, hc spaces, and even curbs, I can generate more interest at a little higher price. I get really tired of maintenance on fire lane boxes, stop bars, and cross walks. The sealer just gives it what I like to call " a wear shield" to extend the life. You might also find that it works well on curb applications where people step onto the curbs and also car stops.

This stuff will run you about 15 to 20 bucks a gallon so be sure to adjust your price if needed. Use it sparingly, apply it at about half the rate of your paint.


Low Density Polyethylene

From: Bobbytox
Date: 2/26/00 11:06:37 PM
What kind of store, supply house etc.....are the sheets of this stuff at so I can make some stencils and can you see through it to copy a stencil from pavement? I will order from Pavement tool if I have to but I need it quick.


From: Fonz
Date: 2/27/00 12:15:19 AM
call CadilacPlastic at 1-800-274-1000 They have about 8 warehouses across the US. Good luck...Fonz


From: JT
Date: 2/27/00 6:40:02 PM
I don't think you will be able to lift stencils using LDPE, it's translucent but not clear enough to be able to trace (maybe the 1/6" in. thickness). I've used tracing paper purchased at a art supply store, then transferred to roofing tar paper for stencils that I don't have. Just purchased some 1/8 in. LDPE, price has gone up, $37 per sheet.


From: Bookman
Date: 2/29/00 6:45:03 PM
Please post the current price of Cadillac plastic for each thickness. It shouldn't take more than 3 days to get your order. . .a great company. I've never seen a stencil I couldn't lift through LDP. Be sure to buy a flexible ruler at an office supply place to help you make well-rounded curves. They cost about $6. Knee pads are a good idea too, or something to kneel on. And watch out for traffic while you're bent over. In fact, watch out for EVERYTHING while you're bent over!


Stenciling Curbs

From: Ol Dave
Date: 5/4/00 7:31:12 AM
I just wanted to know how everyone else stencils curbs...I use a light plastic material and I currently cut my own stencils. They become less flexible with the added paint and begin to crack. Any info would be appreciated.


From: jimmy
Date: 5/4/00 8:43:21 AM
Ol Dave. I do my stencils. The same way. And I do not have good luck .

Would like to no a new way.


From: City
Date: 5/4/00 9:03:46 AM
Polyethylene works well and doesn’t crack. when the paint builds up just bend it and they're clean again. Use 1/16" thickness they're easier to cut your own.


From: Robert Liles
Date: 5/4/00 6:40:30 PM
I gave up cutting my own stencils a long time ago. The ready made stencils are so cheap that I can better spend my time painting or with family. A 4" no parking stencil is less than $15 in 1/16" poly and less than $25 in 1/8" poly. They last almost forever. We can make nice looking stenciled lettering even when the stencil does not fit a curved curb. Just use a smaller tip than you do for striping, and practice painting it in one smooth motion.


From: Ol Dave
Date: 5/5/00 3:20:53 AM
You're right, less than $15 to $25 is inexpensive. Fast Signs charged me $40 once when I was in a hurry and it almost lasted the day. My only concern is more wife will want me to fix something and that would put us ahead of my 20 yr. plan for remodeling. Thanks!


From: Barknee
Date: 5/10/00 1:22:22 PM
What’s the hurry on the renovations! We use four inch paper/cardboard stencils made by Geostencil, then use a two inch ink roller. The ink is about thirty bucks but it lasts for ever. Ink roller never dries up and the stencils last for ever. They look great on a painted background and are ok even on bare concrete. The ink lasts!!!!

stencil tip

From: greg kennedy
Date: 5/9/00 4:31:22 PM
Will anyone suggest a tip I should use. I have a 2 gun titan 4000 and use one of the two guns, only for stenciling. Both guns have a TITAN STRIPING TIP #17. Should I stick with this tip, or should I change to another size or style. The titan seems to spray to heavy on the sides. Should I use a regular spray painting tip?

Thank You Greg Kennedy Stripe-it-up Ent.


From: City
Date: 5/9/00 5:46:54 PM
I'm not familiar with titan so I’m not sure how much help I can be but with my Graco I use the same 4" tip I’m using for a particular job. I always lower the pressure and hold the gun a foot or more above the stencil but that may vary depending on the type of stenciling. You may just have to try different tips and methods on your own to see what works best for you.


From: Ken
Date: 5/11/00 11:16:17 AM
Hurraaayyy for another Powrlinr user/lover to joint the board. We Spedflo users are tired of being in the minority here in this Graco pool :-) But, back to the question about stenciling; here's how I do it with a 4000. I seldom have more than 1 gun connected. Just unscrew the guard/tip and screw on another with a regular tip already in place. Change out is faster this way and doesn't damage the tips from tugging on them. Also, here in Texas, we have tons (miles) of firelane than needs to be stenciled with 4" FIRELANE NO PARKING at ~15ft intervals. I set the gun a little lower than the norm for striping and cut back on the pressure a slightly. With a few test passes on tar paper or board, you can regulate a nice pattern that will fit over the letters on the stencil strip and not overspray the edges. Utilizing 5-15 stencils allows me to get my son and some of his buddy's to shuffle stencils from behind me. Having numerous stencils allows them to dry before they are moved to the front. When the paint is applied just right, the paint is dry enough to allow the stencils to be stacked when moving them. On stenciling longer firelanes, I hook up the lazyliner. The helpers sometimes use rollerblades (with due discretion as to the job/location, of course) to keep up with me. Works great and super fast.



From: straight line
Date: 7/21/00 3:31:27 AM
I use an airless for line painting but an old air striper for stencils, works better since you can lower paint volume and still get a good fan. But you should never use latex paint for stencils since it dries so slow, I can get up to 200 shots with out having to clean my stencil this way.


Need help with number stencils.........

From: Bobbytox
Date: 5/26/00 9:26:13 PM
Hi everyone, I've got a job to do where I have to put down the numbers 1-250 some are double, i.e. 125 twice etc....The numbers are six inch and ill be going over the old ones...How do most of you pro's go about doing this efficiently and without too much of a mess.........thanks


Date: 5/26/00 10:37:46 PM
make sure your stencils match the ones that are on the ground 1st, if not small black boxes will need to be used. we chalk a line on the end caps then set the stencils down to the chalk line place a piece of card board with a hole cut out in it, just big enough for the stencils to be covered leaving the # . it goes real quick with no mess no over spray


From: Fonz
Date: 5/26/00 10:52:57 PM
Good need something for over spray, besides cardboard you can use heavy tarpaper or 1/4 inch plywood too


From: lkatz
Date: 5/27/00 2:13:44 PM
You'll also have to deal with the paint buildup on the stencils. An old piece of carpet works well to clean off the paint. Also, keep a scraper handy. If you have two or more sets of numbers, rotate between them. Loosen up your back and thigh muscles, cause you'll be doing a lot of bending and stooping. Have fun!


From: sdechene
Date: 5/27/00 3:36:40 PM
Not necessarily disagreeing with needing to black-out the old #'s, but if the new #'s are the same size, and similar in font, you may be able to just paint the new ones right on top of the old ones without worrying about legibility. It just kinda depends on how faded the old ones are and how closely they match. If your not sure, spray in one to test, and judge from about 10 feet away. As far as getting the job done, it depends on how many helpers you have to rotate the stencils. I start by running out all the stencils, and then telling my helper it's his responsibility to keep the secondary digits rotating. If your helper just drops the # as close as possible to where it needs to be placed, and makes sure that when the primary digit changes (like when going from 19 to 20) BOTH the 2 and the 0 are there, I’ve found it fastest to carry the primary digit to the next stall and line them up yourself. Obviously, if you have an extra helper, they can take over one of the duties such as carrying the primaries and setting up each number as you go. Then all you'll need to do is paint and move the machine. Chalk in new back-lines.


From: Robert Liles
Date: 5/27/00 5:36:10 PM
I had a lot to number from 0-1450 and I bought 7 sets of 0-9 and a set of the hundreds (1-14). Jpanz had a better idea, he bought 0-100. That way the stencils rotated out more evenly. Just be careful that your helpers don't place the wrong numbers. Make it a point to check each stencil for accuracy before you paint. It's easy to slip up when you have a lot of numbers to paint


From: jpanz
Date: 5/28/00 10:49:59 PM
As Robert said, I bought a set of 0-100, and 2 sets of 0-9. If you had to do over 100, you would use the number 11 and a set of single numbers to complete 111-119 only moving the number 11. Then you would use the 12 for 120-129 and so on. If you had 0-100 and 10 sets of 0-9 you could do 0-1000 with ease. Just make sure you stop to double check the guy who lays out the numbers for you. It sucks to get to 200 and find out you were off at number 75.

We scrape the wet stencils on a piece of cardboard and let it sit in the sun for 5 minutes to set up the paint. Don’t forget to scrape the backs also, or you will get little drops of paint next to the numbers.



From: Fonz
Date: 5/28/00 11:09:50 PM
Jim, Where did you get the 0 to 100 and how much? 1/16 or 1/8? Myself the 1/16 works fine for 12 inch stencils.


From: jpanz
Date: 5/29/00 9:17:59 PM
I ordered them through Robert Liles, e-mail him for the prices. All my stencils are 1/8 poly.


Number stencils

From: ohio joe
Date: 8/15/00 9:24:10 AM
Does anyone know of a stencil set that runs 0 thru 99? I have used single digit stencils in the past but am curious about double digit stencils. I have three school parking lots to stripe, and each will be numbered to the 600's and thought a double digit stencil would help. I know I can buy 11 single sets and tape them together, but want to know if other possibilities exist.


From: jpanz
Date: 8/15/00 12:23:11 PM
I purchased a set from Robert Liles. E-mail him for a price. They do make numbering much faster. I bought 0-100 and 5 sets of 0-9. It costs a lot but you should make it back fast.



From: bob
Date: 8/15/00 8:50:16 PM
I have the same problem with one of my parking lot areas. What I did was order 5 sets of double numbers from 00 thru 99 from a company called Flags and Signs. These additional sets of stencils allowed me to increase the number of sets that could be done at one time. Bob


From: Fonz
Date: 8/15/00 9:10:24 PM
Bob... 5 sets?? much did that set you back??


From: Bob
Date: 8/17/00 11:23:08 AM
To the question of how much the five sets along with five other sets of stencils ran me about 1,500. The cost was money well spent. I have the only stencils set large enough to do this job in the area, Plus now I don't have the cost layout in the future.


From: ATS
Date: 8/18/00 5:55:24 PM
The best way to do parking lot numbers is to use a set of stencils, 100 to 199. That way you can have 0 to 999 without much difficulty. A 12 inch set costs about 1450.00.

Let me know if you need one.

American signshop2000.



From: greg kennedy
Date: 3/27/00 6:29:59 AM
would anyone suggest a company that parking lot stencils.

Thank You Greg


From: MI Striper
Date: 3/27/00 7:39:04 PM
I have a stencil font on my print artist program which I print out on transparencies then use an overhead projector to enlarge them to any size I need/want. I've found it cheap and easy.


From: Fonz
Date: 3/27/00 8:47:15 PM
WOW!!!......been looking for that!!! Got a name of that software MI???????


From: MI Striper
Date: 3/28/00 9:26:11 AM
Fonz, the software is called Print Artist 4.0 It's made by Sierra. It came with my computer. I also checked Microsoft Word and it has a stencil font and a "stencilsans" font. If you have another word processor or graphics arts program, you might want to check them out for stencil fonts. Mike


From: MI Striper
Date: 3/28/00 9:32:34 AM
Hey Fonz, I bought my overhead projector at a State of Michigan surplus auction. I paid $10.00 for it. I lost you e-mail address or I'd e-mail you the info about the auctions. You can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through my website at


From: robert
Date: 3/28/00 7:55:45 PM
Back when I had more time than money, I used to cut my own stencils out of plywood, but the time involved along with the cleaning problems convinced me that poly stencils are the only way to go. When you can clean a poly stencil by shaking off the dried paint, they seem like a bargain. They last a lot longer than any wood stencils too, unless you make them out of 3/4" marine plywood. And who wants to carry a 40 lb. stencil around a parking lot?


From: MI Striper
Date: 3/28/00 8:55:59 PM
Robert, I use poly stencils as well. I just happened to have a friend who works for a plastic company and I just give him the stencil pattern and he cuts them for me. I totally agree, poly is the way to go.


From: R & R LINE
Date: 4/14/00 12:19:40 AM
I found a 1/16" poly plastic while shopping at Menards. It's approx. $10.00 for a 4 by 8 sheet and worked very well for me. It is plenty flexible yet does not tear, and paint removal is easy too.


From: R & R LINE
Date: 4/24/00 4:56:42 PM
I got the material at MENARDS. It is a home improvement store. The material is actually used for bathtub/shower surrounds. Make sure to get the poly plastic and not the fiberglass. It comes in 4 by 8 sheets. I just bought more of it last week and converted the rest of my stencils. Works very very good for me.


From: Robert Liles
Date: 3/27/00 10:39:01 PM
If you get a Pavement Tools catalog, e-mail me with your order. I'll take 15% off the Contractors Price for fax or e-mail orders. Just e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Visa/MasterCard accepted.


From: pohsuwed
Date: 1/6/01 2:55:29 AM
I have never posted on this board as far as I can remember because I generally don't have anything great to say as I run a very small operation. However, on the topic of stencils, I would like to share with you all that I simply use the corrugated plastic that many temporary signs are made of. I purchase it at the sign shop for less than $10.00 for a 4x8 sheet, and use my Exacto knife to cut out whatever I want. It is very easy to use and hassle free.



Handicap Stencil Size

From: Bob
Date: 6/26/00 11:02:17 AM
Was just wanting some feed back in regards to the size of Handicap Stencils that others have found to be needed. The size I use is a 48", however I have been running across this stencil that is 7' wide and about 8.5' high. I keep seeing it on the blueprints for new job and at most of the state sites around here. Was just wondering if this oversized stencil is showing up else were. Bob


From: Don
Date: 6/26/00 12:59:23 PM
The biggest stencil I've seen is about 5 1/4 ft. x 6 ft. tall. Just a note to remind everyone there is no spec. in the ADA (which is a Federal law) for pavement markings. Pavement marking specs are usually owner preferences, local, or state requirements


From: Robert Liles
Date: 6/26/00 5:14:22 PM
Over the years I have seen handicap stencils on plans as large as nine feet high. After a couple of years creating odd ball stencils, I started telling them that the local inspectors like a 39" symbol on a 48" blue square, and now everyone's happy.


From: straight line
Date: 7/27/00 11:56:46 PM
state farm insurance has the big ones in Texas, and some fools paint the whole stall, would be like ice skating in the rain.


McDonald's Stencils

From: JT
Date: 10/7/00 4:45:51 PM
I'm bidding a group of McDonald's that have stencils that I can't locate. They are THANK YOU & DRIVE THRU. The letters are 35" H X 13" W with a 5 1/2" stroke. The letters are slightly tilted to the right "/". In looking at the font styles in my word program it seems to match Futura XBlkCnIt BT (whatever that is). Has anyone run across these stencils anywhere - hopefully that don't have to be custom cut? Thanks, JT


From: Robert Liles
Date: 10/7/00 6:40:20 PM
That's called Drive Thru Branding. McDonald's designed their own stencils for their parking lots. They are available from Robert Liles Parking Lot E-Quip. You need DRIVE THRU, THANK YOU, and the arrow. The red stripe doesn't require a stencil. Send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I'll let you know how much. Include shipping address so I can figure shipping cost.



From: Jim
Date: 10/7/00 8:03:37 PM
I painted a chain of McDonald's last year. The store owner had a complete set of stencils. You might want to check and determine if another store owner has a set you could possibly borrow or rent for low cost.

click here to see the McDonald's stencils