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Field Lining

  • Why do it?   The watering, sunshine and use wear down the lines on the soccer fields, but it's mostly the grass growing and the mowers cutting off the painted tips of the blades of grass that makes the lines disappear. In two weeks' time the lines will be almost gone: that's why the fields need to be repainted every week of the season. 
  • Most locations take about 45 minutes to one hour for one repainter. If even one week is skipped, the lines may almost have disappeared by the second week, and laying out a field anew will take a team of six at least an hour, probably longer.
  • Every week (30 minutes to an hour, depending on size and experience). 
  • Shake spray cans vigorously for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Walk at a slow but steady pace.
  • Just push the machine forward. Trying to make little course corrections will result in a wiggly line.
  • Wear clothes & shoes that don't matter. Paint may not come off.
Paint Use 
  • Most fields use between 4 - 6 cans, depending on size.
When to Paint
  • Check the field you are painting for the mowing schedule.  Most Grass Valley schools mow between Tuesday and Thursday.  Ideally, paint after the field has been mowed but before Saturday,
  • Painting lines Saturday morning is not a good idea.  Paint may get on the uniforms, and the lines may smudge as the paint is spread when the players step on it. However, Saturday morning repainting is better than no repainting at all! 
  • Check on your field's lines early in the week. If they're already faint you could ask the league for cones to mark the field, or you could mark spots with field paint to guide the later repainting. Repaint again by the end of the week, and remember to walk slower, use more paint next time.
  • Halfway through the season we can lower the amount of paint used. The ongoing painting will have discouraged the growth of the grass. 
  • Rain :  It doesn't make sense to paint when there is an expectation of rain.  You can successfully paint a wet field if no rain is expected for the next hours. If there is no other way, you can even paint during a drizzle or mild rain, if it doesn't last too long. 
  • On dry grass the paint will dry more quickly, but painting lines on a wet field sometimes has to be done.
  • Check the weather forecast often. If rain is expected for Friday, try to paint on Thursday
  • If you painted just before or during rain, go back later to check on the lines to make sure you can find them.
Tips
  • Shake paint spray can vigorously for about a minute. You can hold one in each hand. Take off cap and put spray can in machine; the latest nozzle slides into the correct position almost by itself. Sometimes the nozzle comes off when you remove the cap, just put it back on. 
  • Almost every time, the nozzle slides into the slot correctly by itself, but with the hundreds of cans we use, occasionally the nozzle hits the slot reptacle exactly perpendicularly, and ends up on top of it. This will give you a narrow line of paint, not the nice wide line we are seeking.
  • Walk the machine slow but steady, with the spray can nozzle right on top of the old line, pull lever to apply  a good layer of paint that will penetrate to the roots of the grass. Your walking speed determines how thick the paint is laid on. A can of paint should last about 100 yards. You'll also notice the sound change and clouds of white vapor when your can is almost empty. Replace cap and put empty cans upside-down in box.
  • Resist the temptation to "oversteer" the machine when going in a straight line. The 4 wheels do a very good job of keeping you going straight if you've started out heading in the right direction. Just pull the lever and push the machine forward. If you try to "micro manage" the steering (making little course corrections), you will invariably end up with a squiggly line.
  • You may try shaking a can in one hand while pushing the machine with the other hand. Some repainters do and tell me their lines are straight. The instructions indeed say "just push the machine forward," - but it's not for everyone.
  • Slightly lifting the machine off of the rear wheels makes it much easier to paint the tight curves in the corner arcs and for following the center circle and penalty arcs lines.
  • Having the sun at your back will give you a clearer view of the old lines.
  • Most of the small fields (Scotten, Gilmore) are laid out parallel to each other. It is most efficient to repaint the short lines here in one straight walk (with interruptions of paint spraying), that should take less time than making the many turns of repainting each of these fields separately.

  • Be conservative with the paint, the paint will build up from week to week.  
  • Don't spend extra paint on dirt! It will scatter with the sand when the kids run over it.
  • If you do make an error in painting that you want to correct, the bottom of your shoe makes a wonderful eraser while the paint is still fresh!
  • Do not forget to repaint:
    • corner arcs,
    • mid-goal line
    • mid-point on center line
    • and penalty spot 
  • Halfway through the season we can lower the amount of paint used. The ongoing painting will have discouraged the growth of the grass. 
Supplies
  • Let the Fields Coordinator know at least two weeks in advance when you need more paint. 
Dimensions