What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Asphalt?

Asphalt is one of the most commonly used materials for paving roads, driveways, and parking lots. It’s durable, affordable, and withstands heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions.

However, asphalt surfaces can start to fade, crack, and wear out over time. That’s why applying the right type of paint and primer is important to protect and enhance the surface.

Acrylic paints are the best choice for painting asphalt. Since it is polymer-based, it prevents lines from lifting or cracking, and the glossy finish helps to protect the asphalt from rain and UV damage. A primer specifically made for asphalt should also be used before painting to ensure the paint adheres properly. 

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 5 factors to consider when choosing paint for asphalt
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for asphalt

The 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Asphalt

1. Type of traffic

The traffic entering and exiting your asphalt-covered area determines the type of paint you should choose.

If the area receives a lot of vehicular traffic, you must choose a more durable paint with high abrasion resistance. Choosing the wrong type of paint can lead to repainting the area frequently and affect your bottom line.

2. Temperature

The climate in your area can determine the lifespan of your paint. If you live in a hot environment, the paint on your asphalt can fade and peel quickly.

Selecting an asphalt paint that can withstand high temperatures will ensure the longevity of your paint. Take time to understand the weather patterns in your area before choosing the paint.

3. Color and Texture

The color and texture of the paint you choose will also depend on your personal preferences and the purpose of the surface. For example, if you’re painting a parking lot, you might choose a bright color that stands out and provides clear markings for drivers.

If you’re painting a driveway, you might want to choose a color and texture that complements the overall look of your property.

4. Durability

Asphalt surfaces are exposed to harsh weather conditions such as extreme heat, cold, and rain. That’s why it’s important to choose durable paint that can withstand these conditions.

The paint should also resist fading, cracking, and peeling. When choosing paint for your asphalt surface, read the label carefully and choose a paint specifically designed for asphalt surfaces.

5. Cost

The cost of paint will depend on several factors, such as the type of paint, the size of the area to be painted, and the project’s complexity.

While it’s important to stay within your budget, it’s also essential to choose a paint that is of good quality and will last longer. Cheap paint may save you money in the short term, but it will eventually lead to recurring costs for repainting.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion.


  • Can be used straight from the tube or thinned with water to achieve different effects
  • Environmental friendly
  • Easy cleanup
  • Available in a wide range of colors and finishes


  • Will not withstand heavy traffic as well as oil-based paint
  • Extreme hot or cold temperatures might affect the longevity of acrylic paint on outdoor surfaces
  • Thinner coverage than oil-based paint
  • Quick drying time of acrylic paint can make blending or working on detailed projects more challenging

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil.


  • Can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions
  • Produces a smooth, glossy finish
  • Excellent adhesion properties and are less likely to peel or chip
  • Cover surfaces more thoroughly in one coat, which can save time


  • Takes longer to dry
  • Will need solvents like turpentine or mineral spirits for cleanup
  • Contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm the environment
  • Will likely fade over time

What Paint Finish Is Best?

Choosing the right paint finish can significantly affect the final result when painting asphalt. The ideal finish is a gloss or semi-gloss finish. These highly durable finishes offer superior adhesion, ensuring that the paint stays put even in extreme weather conditions.

Additionally, gloss and semi-gloss finishes are easy to clean and maintain. They provide a smooth surface resistant to dirt and debris, making them ideal for outdoor applications where durability is crucial.

When choosing a paint for asphalt surfaces, it is essential to choose a product specifically formulated for outdoor use that can withstand UV rays, rain, and extreme temperatures. This will ensure the paint remains vibrant and does not fade or peel over time.

The Best Paint and Primer for Asphalt

Best Paint

Insl-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating is the ideal paint for painting asphalt. This specially formulated paint offers a durable, skid-resistant finish that is perfect for high-traffic.

One of its key benefits is its excellent color retention. This means that the color of your paint will remain vibrant and bold for longer periods, even in harsh outdoor conditions.

This anti-slip paint offers abrasion resistance, which means it will withstand wear and tear from foot traffic and other environmental factors.

Another great feature is its resistance to ponding water. This means that even if your asphalt is exposed to water regularly, the paint will resist water damage and maintain its anti-slip properties.

If you’re looking for a fast-drying paint that is easy to apply, Insl-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating is the perfect choice.

This paint fills and seals cracks, creating a smooth, uniform, durable, and slip-resistant surface. With coverage of 80-120 square feet per gallon (2-3m² per liter), you’ll get plenty of use out of each can.

Best Primer

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Primer is a go-to for painting on asphalt surfaces. It is a versatile solution that sticks firmly to all surfaces without sanding, making it perfect for any project.

Whether you’re painting a driveway, parking lot, or other surface, this primer is the best choice to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Apart from its remarkable adhesion properties, this primer performs exceptionally well in sealing stains. It also provides a mold and mildew-resistant barrier, ideal for outdoor projects where exposure to moisture is likely.

It dries quickly in just one hour and can be applied in temperatures as low as 35°F (2°C), making it suitable for use even during the colder months.

The flexible acrylic formula gives it an advantage over other primers, allowing for greater flow and leveling with low odor. This makes the application process easier and reduces the need for multiple coats.

Overall, Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Base Primer is ideal for anyone looking to achieve a flawless finish on their asphalt surfaces.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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