COATING THE OUT-OF-BOUNDS

The steps and techniques used to coat the out-of-bounds are very similar to those for the inbounds. You will always use the same (upside down U) pattern of squeegeeing no matter  what coating you are applying or where it is being applied.  The only real difference will be in how squared-off or curved the (upside down U) pattern is.  A squared-off (straight) pattern should be maintained when squeegeeing across large areas, such as an inbounds or an entire court.  A curved pattern is preferred by most professional applicators of tennis court paint when squeegeeing out-of-bounds alleys, and behind baselines (see illustration below).  The larger the length of the pass, the straighter the pattern.  

Masking Paper:  Tape 8" wide masking paper around the perimeter inside of the inbounds area, using the center of the lines as your outside taped edge. If you placed the masking tape correctly for the inbounds coatings you will be able to use that edge for the new tape See illustration below. It is also a good practice to tape the inside edge of the masking paper as well.  If a little wind that gets under the paper you will be replacing a lot of tape, paper, and hard work.


3. Planning The Start and Ending Points And Spotting The Pails Of Coating:  Before placing the pails of coating for the first out-of-bounds coat you will need to determine where to start with the first pour and where you will finish.  These points are dictated by the location of the gate(s), the opening(s) in your fence and access to your materials and mixing area.  Ideally, you would like the ending point to also be the closest accessible point to your mixing area just off the court. 

4.  Starting Point Strategy With Two People Squeegeeing:  If you have two people with squeegees, the starting point will always be at the very opposite point of the gate or opening you plan to end (finish) the coat.  For instance, if you plan to finish at a gate in a corner of the court, each applicator will make a pour at the exact opposite corner and will begin working their way around their half of the court until they meet their partner at the finishing gate.  Any opening or gate will work as your finishing point, but is usually dictated by the best access to the work area where the coatings are prepared.  See Illustrations below.

STARTING POINT / FINISH POINT IS IN A CORNER WITH 2 PEOPLE SQUEEGEEING

 STARTING POINT / FINISH POINT ON THE SIDE  WITH 2 PEOPLE SQUEEGEEING

5.  Starting Point Strategy With One Person Squeegeeing:  A little more thought will be necessary if  only one person will be squeegeeing.  Since there will be a seam where your starting and ending points meet it is best to pick a point that is the least noticeable (i.e. away from the main entrance, at the end of an alley, etc..)  Refer to the illustrations below.  Some access gates are preferable ending points.  An access gate (even the main entrance) at a corner of your fence is an ideal ending point for your coatings.  Notice (in the illustration directly below) how the starting point is at the end of the alley closest to that gate and the ending point is the gate opening.  Notice, in the illustration below/right, how they are running perpendicular to the baseline until you reach the starting point (the curved black lines on the illustration represents the pattern of your squeegee strokes).  As the row of paint is gets close to even with the doubles sideline, begin squeegeeing perpendicular to the coat with your back facing the gate.  Continue this pattern until you swirl the coating to the gate.  At this point, pick up any excess material and place it in a bucket, then swirl the last bit onto a piece of masking paper.  If there is only dirt or grass at the exit point, many professional squeegee a small amount of this coating over the edge of the court and pick it up later after it has partially dried.

STARTING POINT / FINISH POINT IS IN A CORNER WITH 1 PERSON SQUEEGEEING

This set of illustrations below shows the starting / ending points when the access is on the side of the court.  Notice how the starting point is at the edge of where you would finish (perpendicular to the sideline), and how you turn at the end (as we discussed above), with your back facing the exit point as you swirl off the court.  Many professionals tape a piece of masking paper from the fence to the sideline to create a nice sharp seam where they finish.  This paper is applied after the coating, at the starting point, has dried.  The coating at the starting point is usually dry by the time you have squeegeed halfway around the out-of-bounds.  This task is best performed by a helper if you have one.

STARTING POINT / FINISH POINT ON THE SIDE  WITH 1 PERSON SQUEEGEEING

When you are ready to begin coating, mix enough paint to complete the entire out-of-bounds.  A standard tennis court measuring 60' X 120' will typically use 8 to 9 full pails of mix.  It's always a good idea to make an extra pail or two on the first coat.  There is no downside to preparing too much mix, but running out before you finish the coat can can cause the paint to dry on the court where you stop, creating a permanent large splotch.  This splotch is not a big problem on a first coat, as it will be covered by a succeeding one, but may leave an unsightly mark on a final coat.

Before spotting the pails on the court, scrape and blow off the entire out-of-bounds, removing all bumps, and debris.  This should always be done before applying every coat.  After the court has been thoroughly scraped and cleaned, spot the pails in a manner similar to the illustration below.  Make sure to leave the lids on loosely to prevent a dry skin from forming at the top of the paint.  If it has been more than an hour since you made the mixes, it is a good practice to give each pail a quick stir will your drill paddle before spotting  them on the court.


A Few Final Tips: As with squeegeeing all tennis court coatings, this is a continuous process from the moment you make the first pour until you squeegee to the finish point. Always keep a wet row of paint on the court as you squeegee.  Never allow the row to run out.  As you add more paint always pour from the pail directly on to the row of paint on the court.  This will minimize, what we in the industry call, pour marks (a subtle stain where the fresh paint makes contact with the court surface).  If you don't have a helper to shuttle water to you while you squeegee, it's a good idea to spot a couple of bottles of drinking water along with the pails of mix.  This work can make you very thirsty and stopping to run for water, or for any reason, can cause problems.

Good luck and happy squeegeeing.