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Sports Field Marking Paint Impact on Natural Grass

Posted by TruMark / Tuesday, July 5, 2011 / Posted Under: Services, Trends, Turf _Tips
At the part of the educational session of the affects of field marking paint on natural grass sports fields. He included some on-line documentation that should be useful to sports field managers and volunteers striping sports pitches.

The test plot results indicate that colored paints, in this particular case, red, had a direct and noticeable impact on the health of natural grass. From my analysis it would appear that sports turf managers should minimize the weekly use of colored paint, or at least increase the dilution ratio of the color paints thus helping improve the overall turf health. When the facility doesn't have to support back to back home games then this minimal application policy should be included in weekly activities.

On a side note, when visiting the Texas A&M football facilities as part of the 2011 annual STMA conference on wheels, the turf managers indicated that turf paint ingredients need to be scrutinized. They indicated that some of the turf paints they have used had a significant amount of metals and salts that impacted the grass on logo areas of their fields.

Dr. Miller also included in the Southeastern Conference educational material was a comparison chart from an August 2010 Field Day presentation (end of educational slides referenced above). In the paint usage chart he compared the coverage rates and costs associated with aerosol and bulk latex field marking paints. A ready to use bulk latex formulation was part of the study. Given the information on bulk latex cost and application rates it appears that the turf marking paint was diluted approximately 5 gallons of water to 1 gallon of paint (to achieve 1900 liner feet per gallon (assumed to be undiluted)). From our experience we achieve about 300 linear feet per diluted gallon of bulk latex paint. Thus when evaluating field marking paint it is important to consider the recommended dilution rate, or range of dilution rates, to properly compare costs of the different bulk latex paints between each other as well as with aerosol paints.

RatioDilutedLinear Ft$/Diluted Gallon


New for 2011, Tru Mark is also offering a ready to use paint formulation, SwitchBack CheapSeats Ready to Use (RTU) that performs very will even with 12 volt diaphragm pump technologies. As easy as opening the lit, stir and pour or use directly from the pail.

Tip of the Day: Always reseal a paint pail lid when leaving diluted as well as non-diluted paint in a 5-gallon pail. You will minimize the amount of settling of paint solids when the pail lid is securely fastened.

Tru Mark recently completed a settling test with the SwitchBack Ground Boss field marking paint formulation. Ground Boss can be diluted up to 4 parts of water to 1 part paint with good coverage. Two dilution ratios were setup, one at a one to one (1:1) ratio and the second at a two to one (2:1) ratio (water to paint). The paint was diluted and stirred then the paint pail lid was resealed. The dilute paint was then check later at three months and again at one year to discover whether there had been any significant paint settling. Both the 3 month and 12 month duration periods showed there was no "sludge" collection at the bottom of the pail and even at 12 months there was only an 1/4 inch of a thicker paint solution that was easily stirred into even dilution.
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