Sign Post Paint Evaluation

Report No: 77-R51

Published in 1977

About the report:

After reviewing R. N. Robertson's report on "An Investigation of Streaking of Highway Traffic Signs," the Traffic Research Advisory Committee recommended that an evaluation of the Department's sign post paints be conducted. In the evaluation that was subsequently undertaken, special attention was focused on the residues formed due to chalking by the sign post paints on the sign panels, which decreases sign legibility, along with the durability and general appearance of the paints. The objective of the evaluation was to compare the Department's number 10 oil and number 11 latex paints with four latex paints provided by an independent paint company through retroreflective measurements and visual observations. After 36 months, there have been changes in the retroreflective readings on the sign panels. Retroreflective readings and visual observations indicate that the Department's number 10 oil paint has chalked and deteriorated more rapidly than the other paints. The Department's decision to discontinue use of the number 10 oil paint is reconfirmed by the results of the evaluation. The Department's number 11 latex is performing satisfactorily; it exhibits a minimal amount of chalking while providing average appearance and durability.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Steve R. Blackwell

Last updated: January 28, 2024

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