The headlines have been packed full of news about soaring class sizes in UK schools over the last few years, not to mention rising levels of obesity in young children.

These factors, amongst others, mean that there’s more reasons than ever to squeeze the maximum use out of your outdoor space, and playground markings can help you do just that.

School playground markings are a vibrant, long-lasting addition to an outdoor space that encourage kids to learn, spend time in nature and to be more physically active and social. For that reason, they are a smart choice for any outdoor space that children use.

To help you get an idea of things you need to consider, and look for whilst you plan for this exciting new addition to your outdoor space, checkout this simple and easy buyers guide to playground markings:

Paint VS Thermoplastic

There are two main options for playground markings in the UK which are; painted and thermoplastic.

Painted markings are the cheaper option, which can be tempting if you are on a budget. However, the results can be a little inaccurate due to factors such as; the paint being runny, the markings only lasting around 6-10 months or less depending on the weather, and the paint potentially leaching toxic chemicals into the ground, contributing to the land, river and marine pollution issues that are causing havoc in the environment.

Although more costly upfront, the issues above don’t apply to thermoplastic markings. Thermoplastic markings do not leach chemicals into the ground and they can last a decade or more whilst maintaining an accurate, vibrant appearance without fading.

For the reasons we have mentioned, it is worth noting that you will also usually get a long warranty with thermoplastic markings, much longer than with painted markings.

Removing Playground Markings

You may want old playground markings removed or covered up. You’ll need the markings company you choose to take a look at the old markings so they can let you know what can be done.

In most instances, a full removal of the old markings makes the most sense. However, in some instances you can apply new thermoplastic on top, or new patterns on top of very faded markings that won’t be very noticeable once the new patterns are added.

The Playground Surface

If you have a playground surface that is a little dated, mossy or otherwise worn, you may need to have a new surface laid if you want a complete playground renovation. You will also need a new surface laid if the playground area is completely new.

However, for the majority of marking companies, a primer can be placed on top of most tarmac surfaces before the markings are installed, which helps to promote a better result that lasts longer. In a lot of cases, a primer can be a good idea even if the playground surface is relatively new, because it provides the very best opportunity for excellent results.

Different Types Of Markings

There are a vast range of playground markings to choose from including:

These patterns can all be added with a colour scheme suggestion from the markings company, or with your own colour scheme. The best companies will usually offer a vast selection of colours so you can truly make your playground design unique to your facility.


The installation time of the markings will depend on various individual factors, so the company will be able to let you know what that is once your design and plan is agreed and you receive a formal quote. They will work with you to choose an appropriate time to install the markings for minimal disruption at your facility.