As a sports painter, not all paint is the same and it differs from surface to surface. What you use to paint a tennis court is not what you will use to paint field lines or a playground. The surface dictates the paint used.
Sports Paint Options
Inverted Spray Paint for Sports– Spray paint is used for marking lines on asphalt or concrete as well as grass fields. One of the advantages to using spray paint, or rattle cans, is it’s quick to grab a can and go and they offer a number of different color choices when painting. For instance, there are custom spray paint manufacturers that will make you any color to include the popular Burnt Orange for U of Texas, Tennessee or some of the other burnt orange schools. One of the disadvantages is you don’t get a great deal of coverage on large projects.
Traffic Paint for Sports– Similar to spray paint, traffic paint is used for marking lines on asphalt or concrete as well as field lines. This is mainly applied either through a walk-behind line striping machine or putting paint in a 1-gallon squeeze bottle and squeezing it out. The 1-gallon squeeze technique will require a taping machine and can only be used on a hard court. You don’t have as many color options with traffic paint as with spray cans but you can get paint stores to make you some custom colors.
Acrylic Paint for Sports– Acrylic paint is used for to paint tennis and pickle ball courts. It is a water-based paint that is specifically designed to be used outdoors and hold a great deal of sand both for traction and to fill in voids and imperfections. This is also a good choice for painting playground games, puzzles and maps.
Gym Floor Sports Paint– Gym floors have two different kids of paints. You have paint for the lines and logos and a cover coat which is a polyurethane to seal in the paint and the wood. Both the lines and the finish come in either a latex or oil-based finish. You tend to have more choices when it comes to painting gym sports floors. Unlike the above-mentioned paints, I don’t get involved with floor refinishing as I think it’s a little too specialized and requires too much equipment. I mention this because, in my opinion, it’s out of reach for a DIY project.
Epoxy Paint for Sports– Epoxy paint is a heavy duty paint that, in my opinion, should only be used in a sports environment when you’re painting game lines on a hard to adhere surface such as plastic. For instance, I paint a lot of game lines on preexisting Versa and Sports Court tile systems. I do not recommend epoxy paint for painting larger areas like a basketball court or even the key. It will likely be to slippery.
If you have any paint questions, feel free to reach out to me.