Image of wet paint

Every year the Department of Transportation conducts road painting operations starting in mid April and continues operations into the fall, sometimes as late as the end of November.

Motorists are advised to heed the warnings and follow the instructions on the Department’s road painting vehicles. Motorists are also urged to watch out for safety cones and other markers indicating fresh or wet paint and are warned specifically to stay off any wet yellow or white painted road lines that might be encountered.

When possible, motorists should take alternative routes to avoid painting operations and are encouraged to visit the Department of Transportation's website at www.511maine.gov where additional information may be found regarding the location of road painting operations.

The Department of Transportation generally uses environmentally friendly waterborne paint. The Department recommends that you take prompt action if you accidentally get road paint on your vehicle. The following instructions for removing road paint are suggested.

PROCEDURES FOR REMOVING ROAD PAINT FROM CARS

  • As soon as possible after getting road stripe paint on any vehicle wash the vehicle at a pressure car wash. Doing this should loosen and remove most of the paint unless it has dried for more than a day.
  • If the pressure car wash does not remove the road stripe paint, allow the water to dry and then spray the residue with WD-40 and allow the WD-40 to stay on the area for 1-2 hours and then rewash the vehicle. The WD-40 usually softens the road striping paint without hurting the vehicle finish. If there is a heavy concentration of paint the procedure can be repeated.
  • For paint that has dried for several days or very heavy accumulations, apply a generous coating of petroleum jelly (vaseline) to the dried road striping paint. Allow it to stay on for 8 to 12 hours to soften the paint and then take the vehicle to a pressure car wash and wash it. This should remove most of the road striping paint. If necessary, repeat the procedure.

DO NOT SCRUB THE FINISH WITH A SOLVENT OR SCOURING CLEANSER!!!! THIS WILL DAMAGE THE FINISH.

  • After cleaning the road striping paint away apply a good coat of car wax to the vehicle’s finish. The wax should remove any lasting signs of the road striping paint.
  • Paint removal from wheel wells can be very difficult because they are normally a flat finish. Apply a liberal coating of vaseline to the area and leave it on for several days and then pressure wash.
  • Applying an alcohol like rubbing alcohol to the area in the wheel well may also help soften and remove any residue left after the vaseline procedure is completed. Again DO NOT SCRUB! Just apply with a very wetted rag or sponge. Remember that alcohol is flammable so please be careful.

The Department of Transportation provides this information as a courtesy only and does not accept any responsibility for its use.

Please understand that the Department of Transportation does not accept responsibility for any damage that results from driving on wet paint.

The Department of Transportation thanks you in advance for your patience and understanding and apologizes for any inconvenience road painting work may cause. Please remember to drive safely.