The latest humor and wisdom from Robert Liles, founder of the Parking Lot Planet.
New line painters often ask me if there is any way they can do good work without snapping chalklines. After all, they say, snapping chalklines is such a pain in the butt. My first reaction is to say that snapping chalklines is easy and quick! But that's not what they want to hear. Snapping lines really is easy if you know what you are doing, but I will get to that in a moment. First, lets look at the alternatives to snapping lines:
For the last 15 years, I have striped mostly newly paved parking lots. There’s several different ways to make the layout marks that guide you to paint straight lines. I have tried string and weights or nails, rotating lasers, and chalklines. I use a Graco Auto Layout machine and have tried painting without lines. I have painted alongside a string, or used upside-down spray cans to “dot” the string and painted to the shadow left by the string. I have measured how long each method takes, and how well (if at all) they work.
It takes a little practice to get good and fast at snapping chalkines, but it’s what works best for me. Plus, chalklines give you the chance to look over the layout and spot mistakes and weird angles and such before painting.