PAINTING THE TRACK SURFACE
Some builders paint the racing surface first and do the retaining walls last. It really doesn’t matter…whatever you’re most comfortable doing. I prefer to use gloss enamel on the retaining walls. Enamel paint requires 24 hours to completely dry and you’ll undoubtedly need at least one primer coat and one or two finish coats. I like enamel on the retaining walls because it makes for a more durable, shiny finish. Using paint rollers - especially on the racing surface - paint with whatever coating you prefer, giving you the finished results you want. We’ve been asked many times as to the color to use on the racing surface itself. It really doesn't matter.
For many years I used black or gray, similar in color to asphalt. I chose black because it didn’t show dirt and tire residue. I’ve seen track surfaces painted everything from white, tan, blue, or yellow...whatever lights your fire. A lot of owners paint their track surfaces with a light gray so cars with darker bodies show up better. No matter what color you choose, roll the paint in the direction of travel on the track and be sure to paint the braid recesses as well. Check your work closely as you proceed. Make one final, light pass with the roller so there is no buildup of paint, streaks or runs on the racing surface areas. Make certain paint does not clog up the slots.
If paint gets down into the slot(s), remove it quickly with a clean rag on the end of a screwdriver or putty knife. Should you find any dried paint down in a slot after your finished, carefully remove it with a knife, but avoid cutting into the sides of the slot. It’s preferable to put at least two coats of paint on the surface since the first will soak into the fiberboard. Don’t be worried that you might "slop" a bit of surface paint onto the inside of the retaining walls. You can always repaint those areas with a small brush using the same color. We’ve known some track owners who paint the inside of the retaining walls the same color as the racing surface.
After the second coat of paint on the surface is thoroughly dry, apply the color-coded striping to each lane. Again, if this is your first attempt, and you want to be consistent with the majority of color-coding used around the country, the inside lane needs to be Black. I’d start with the inside lane and work outward. The next seven colors, working outward from Black will be Purple, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green, White, and the outside "gutter" lane will be Red.