Do You Know What Purple Paint On A Fence Post Means in Maine?
Maine is one of several states in which purple paint on a fence post (or a stone or a tree) has a specific meaning. If you see it, turn around. Here's why.
In Maine, purple paint means "no trespassing." Maine is one of 16 states to have the "purple paint law." The other states include Texas, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, Idaho, Arkansas, Montana, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Indiana.
While states like Texas have had the law on the books for many years, Maine's was signed into law in 2011.
Essentially, the law allows landowners to mark the boundary of their land with purple paint rather than post "No Trespassing" signs. They even sell special paint for this specific purpose.
The idea behind the law was to give landowners options for posting their land. "Posted" signs are prone to damage from vandals who will tear the signs down, damage them, or steal them. In addition, trespass signs are primarily made of materials that will eventually succumb to the elements.
Here's the language of Maine's law.
Conspicuous purple paint marks may be placed on trees, posts or stones on the restricted property as long as the marks are vertical lines at least one inch in width and at least 8 inches in length placed so that the bottoms of the marks are not less than 3 feet from the ground or more than 5 feet from the ground at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than 100 feet apart.
Additionally, Maine allows landowners to post their property with paint silver, or aluminum in color. While purple marks are designated by one vertical line, those who choose to mark their land with a silver color must mark a tree, rock, or post with two vertical lines. The law reads: "Each line must be a minimum of 2 inches high and at least as long as the width of the object, but need not be more than 8 inches long if the line is silver or aluminum in color."
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Jeff Tuttle contributed to this report.