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How to Paint a Basketball Court

Posted by Jim Randolph on 15 Apr, 19


The difficulty is that the key and especially the 3-point line are large.  Maintaining the proper geometry is difficult even with professional contractor tools. Most of us do not have a laser square. Establishing a square corner for a 19-foot-long key is difficult.  Most basketball court stencils have lots of stencil pieces, and they will not fit together properly unless the corners are all perfectly square.  Our older stencil set design had over 35 pieces.  While it was easy to get them laid out roughly on the court. It took 3 of us another hour and lots of measuring and adjusting get them to fit together properly. Each adjustment required the movement of 20 stencils. The experience made me vow to redesign our basketball court stencils to make it a much faster and easier to do.

New Stencil Design Features

We have redesigned our basketball court stencil to make it is easy to set up and we can now lay out the key in less than 20 minutes. 

Our design features:

  • Larger pieces to reduce how many pieces needed to move.
  • Designed to set corners and critical junctions Makes it easy to get the key square.
  • Have reference marks to make it easy to check alignment.
  • Detailed instructions with pictures.
  • Designed to handle nonstandard court dimensions.
  • Our high quality stencil material will lay flat but also does not stretch. it will make your lines the right length, straight and true. Your lines will also be a very consistent two-inch width.
NEW and Improved Basketball Court

    Why do we make our stencils out of 1/16th Inch LLDPE

    Our 1/16th in thick LLDPE is the perfect material for outdoor stencils and is used by professional line stripers.  Why?

    •  heavy enough to not be affected by the wind or spray equipment. 
    • It is also flexible and will lay perfectly flat.
    • It is durable and will not stretch, tear, or rip.  It can last for many uses. 

    Avoid the paper and card board stencils which are easily torn, easily blown by the wind, and which are not easy to paint. The vinyl plastic comes folded and can be difficult to completely flatten. About half of our customers call after trying  and throwing away the cheaper solutions.

    Please check out our new basketball court stencil, offered in high school, NCAA, and FIBA European court standards.

    Painting a Basketball Court with our Stencils

     General instructions:

    1. Paint the key:

    The key is the Key to getting a good result. Once it is laid out and square paint it and align the 3 point line to it.

    1. Painting lines: 

    Spray painting is recommended.  Our 1/16th inch plastic is tough to paint with a roller, possible but slow. See below for rolling our 1/16th inch stencil material. 

    1. Spray Painting Tips

    We like to choose bright colors and we prefer traffic road marking spray paint. For spray painting use the can as instructed. The key issue with spraying is to use multiple light coats and keep the can at least 6 inches away from the ground. As you are spraying keep the can moving along the line you want to spray.

    1. Use a Spray Box:

    We highly recommend a spray box. This is a cardboard box with both ends open, Out stencils are an eight inch width so an 6 – 8 inch wide box about 18 inches long and about 6 to 12 inches deep is perfect. Fold the panels in so that if forms a rectangle with two ends open.  You might have to tape down the panels.  Set this over the stencils and spray through it.  This box will eliminate overspray, and it will also reduce how much spray paint disperses.  If there is any wind you can lose a lot. Move the box to where you are spraying and go. 

    1. Let the paint dry:

    Wait until the spray is dry to the touch on the ground.  Then go have a well deserved drink. You earned it and wait an additional 15 minutes.  You want to make sure that the paint in the corners of the stencil is dry.  Lift up the stencils carefully Do not slide them, as any still wet paint could streak your line. 

    1. Fill the Breaks:

    You will notice that there are several breaks where the stencil material was crossing the lines. To fill these in move a stencil so that the break is exposed but the line width is protected by the stencil. Use a straight stencil for a straight line and a curved stencil for curved lines. Fill the break with spray paint. Once all the breaks are done. You can move onto the tree point line.

    1. Paint the 3 Point line:

    After the 3 point line is set. Repeat steps 3 – 6. This includes drink number 2. Stay hydrated my friend!

    1. Decorating the basketball court:

    These days many people want a fancy court like the professional teams.  This is no problem and the stencils will help here as well. 

    1. Painting the inside of the key:

    Pick your color. Go to your local paint store and ask them what will work best.

    1. Protect the lines:

    As these are all straight lines you can use painters tape to cover all of the line of the key. Or my preferred method is to use a stencil to mask the edge of the key.  Set the stencil along the line and you can use a little tape or weight to hold it.

    1. Paint the edges:

     Carefully roll along the edge of the stencil or tape with a lightly loaded roller (you do not want paint to be forced under the stencil or tape.) It is dry enough when you press on the edge of the roller and paint does not pool on the roller.

    1. Fill in the Middle:

    Once you have painted the edge of the court take the roller and fill in the middle of the court.

    1. Add a team logo or Text:

    We make plenty of team mascot stencils, or you can order a custom text or logo stencil. We love to help people decorate their court!

    1. Celebrate:

    Now that you have your court lined and decorated, invite the neighbors and have a refreshing beverage to celebrate a project well done. Take a picture and send it to us, we love to see beautiful basketball courts.