Having talked about the technical characteristics of the waymarks, let’s now look at the materials that we propose.
In the beginning, at Paths of Greece we used aluminum signs which were colored with the silkscreen printing technique. They had dimensions of 6.5 x 13cm and a thickness of 2 mm. We placed them with stainless steel screws on rocks and trees. In the process, we realized that this practice was not optimal for the following reasons:
- The labels have a fixed size, and this does not allow them to fit well on all surfaces
- Screwing on rocks is a permanent intervention in the natural landscape
- Silkscreen printing is not very durable over time, especially if the colors are light.
For the above reasons, and after a thorough research on good practices abroad, we came to the conclusion that using color for directional marking is the most flexible waymarking method.
Waymarking with paint:
- Can be applied on all surfaces
- Can be adjusted to any size
- Is not a permanent intervention as after a while it will fade and go away
- It is easily applicable as often as needed (especially when dense signage is required)
The material we use is A quality glossy car paint. It is a 3-component paint (with hardener and solvent). It is thick and dense, and this makes it easy to implement as only two layers are needed to make it visible. This color is very visible whether placed on rock, wood or metal or any other material. We paint it with the use of a brush, and small jars (30ml) in which we mix the paint with the other two ingredients. We use small jars because otherwise the paint dries out quickly… The car paint is hydrophobic, so if it is placed on a dry surface and it rains right afterwards, it does not present any problem. On the contrary, it can not be placed properly on wet surfaces.
In some cases, especially if we want to make the signage very visible, or if the mark needs to be put on a house wall (which gets painted), we still use metal signs, which have the following characteristics:
They measure 6.5 x 13cm
They are two-tone, in the colors of the rest of the markings and have an arrow
They are made of aluminum with 12-year-long-lasting vinyl sticker
They are placed on rocks or trees with the use of silicone glue, with very high strength and elasticity
The above comes from the experience of Paths of Greece in marking thousands of kilometers of trails, and from many international trips we have made to many corners of our globe in search of the best practices. It should be mentioned here that color marking (paint) is used in all major networks in Europe such as France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, etc …