Painting a Senior Parking Spot
Painting a Senior Parking Spot
Does your high school allow seniors to paint their very own custom parking spot? Our local high school, as well as many others, have started allowing seniors to do this and it's a really great idea! My son recently graduated and we participated inn the painting of his parking spot so I thought I would share some tips as well as some of the lessons we learned along the way.
First, let's talk about the materials needed:
Paint: Most schools require water based latex exterior paint but double check with your school's requirements to make sure. If you are wanting to cover the entire parking spot with a base color, you will need at least a gallon, probably more for good coverage. We ended up buying two gallons for the base. For the accent colors, pint-sized will probably do unless your design is large and uses a LOT of one particular color. Don't forget the paint tray, paint can opener and a stirring stick.
Chalk: Chalk is great for sketching out your design. Print out a picture of your design to look at while sketching.
Stencils: A hula hoop is a great tool to use if you are having any sort of larger circle incorporated into your design. For smaller circles, you can use knitting hoops. For rectangles or squares, use open picture frames. You can also have custom stencils made at Staples but they are pretty expensive.
Paint Brushes and Rollers: Make sure you get a lot of paint brushes and rollers and to have at least one for each color that will be used. A roller with a long handle is a must for the background. Brushes or sponge brushes are good for the design.
Painters Tape: Use the painters tape to outline the spot so you don't paint over the lines or on your neighbors spot. You could also use painters tape to outline your design but keep in mind that it doesn't stick that well to the ground.
Broom or Leaf Blower: It's important to clean off your spot before you even start painting it. A leaf blower works better than a broom.
Cloths or paper towels: Painting is messy so make sure you have something to wipe your hands on like a old cloth or paper towels.
Trash Bags: You'll need them for trash obviously but we also used them to wrap out brushes/rollers in when it was time to take a break so they wouldn't dry out.
Sunscreen: There is no way to avoid the sun at all times and this project will take you longer than you think - so protect your skin!
Towel: It's not too comfy sitting on the ground for long periods of time so bring a towel to sit on. We were painting in the heat of the day so the ground was burning hot and the towel was nice to have. If it's really hot, cooling towels are nice, too.
Canopy: It is HOT! A canopy is a must. If you don't have one, borrow one, or just go buy one. The ground is so hot you won't be able to sit on it to paint without some shade.
Lawn Chairs: For those much needed breaks!
Ice Chest: Bring water, drinks, snacks, etc. You are going to be there awhile! Ours took three days to complete.
Now that you have your materials, let's talk about the steps:
2. Buy/gather your supplies.
3. Clean off your parking spot with a leaf blower or a broom.
4. Paint your parking spot. Make sure you are following all of your school's regulations. If you are using painters tape, outline your spot before you start painting. First paint your base coat using a paint roller. The more paint you have the more solid the background will be. The paint should not take too long to dry, especially in the hot sun. Ours was dry in about 30 minutes. Then begin your design. I would suggest to draw your design in chalk before actually painting it. Make sure you don't let any cars park on your spot for awhile so that it can dry completely. If you have a cone, you can use that to block it off.
5. Take pictures. Don't forget to take lots of pictures along the way to document this once in a lifetime experience! They will make a great spread in your senior yearbook. What's a senior yearbook? Check out my blog post about them Product Spotlight: The Senior Yearbook
I would love to see your completed parking spots! Tag me on instagram @shanaccarter.photography
Don't forget to check out my Pinterest board for design ideas!
Keywords: northeast Texas photographer, paint a parking spot, parking spot painting, senior parking spot, senior pictures, Texarkana Photographer
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