How to Paint a Playground

Playgrounds are used for simple play and for educational play by children. When painting a playground, you can use bright and garish colors that clash with each other along with white paint to mark out lines for games. Lead-free paint must be used, as children are susceptible to lead poisoning. As the playground is outdoors and exposed to the weather, striper's or street paint is suitable, as it is resistant to wear.

Use striper's paint to mark out basketball courts.

Step 1

Allocate different areas of the playground for different activities. For example, a large, flat expanse of grass can be used for baseball games, and a flat area of asphalt can be used to paint a map of the world on to add color and educational interest to a playground.

Step 2

Sweep the playground clean of debris and wash it down the day before painting to ensure a clean finish.

Step 3

Buy striper's paint in home and garden outlets, ensuring the paint is lead-free and suitable for playground use. Choose a variety of colors, such as red, blue, green and yellow to appeal to children and to create multicolored game designs. Buy white striper's paint for marking out the lines and edges.

Step 4

Plan the lines of the game areas using a measuring tape or a piece of string. For straight lines, have two assistants hold the string or tape taut and follow the tape along with chalk to mark out the lines. To mark out a circle, have an assistant stand in the center of the proposed circle, holding one end of the string, and tie chalk to the end of the string. Use the chalk to draw out the circle.

Step 5

Use a paint striping machine to follow the chalked-out lines and lay down the striper's paint. These machines are commonly available at hardware or home outlet stores for rent or purchase.

Step 6

Buy stencils of maps or games from companies such as Peaceful Playgrounds. Lay out these stencils and paint inside the gaps of the stencils. Alternatively, design your own stencils or sketch out the games freehand, using chalk. Reduce labor costs and get the kids out into the fresh air by allowing them to paint the games onto the blacktop themselves.

Step 7

Create a mural with leftover paint if the playground has a suitable wall. Paint a base coat. Sketch out simple shapes such as trees, animals or flowers, using chalk, and allow the children to paint in the mural themselves. Finally, allow the children to sign the mural below their efforts, using a thick magic marker or thin paintbrushes.

Jillian O'Keeffe

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.