Purple Paint = No Trespassing
How many times have you driven through the Texas Hill Country, or any rural area in Texas for that matter, and seen purple paint on fence posts, gates, trees, signs and so on? This isn’t just bad taste in paint colors, the purple paint markings, found primarily around property lines, means “No Trespassing”. A Texas law dating back to 1997 allows Texas land owners to use purple paint markings in lieu of posting “No Trespassing” signs. A purple paint marking at a property line and a “No Trespassing” sign both have the same legal consequences if not obeyed. For large ranches purple markings are much less expensive than posting signs especially when considering there could be miles of fencing. Also, purple paint markings are less likely to be vandalized or become targets to shoot at.
The Texas Penal Code 30.05 Criminal Trespass provides for the use of purple paint to mark property boundaries. Purple markings are required to be vertical lines, 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The bottom of the markings must be between 3 – 5 feet above the ground. Purple markings can be spaced no more than 100 feet apart in wooded areas and no more than 1000 feet apart in open areas. Markings must be placed in areas visible to anyone approaching the property. Posted signs are still recommended at all access points and gates.
Purple markings should be taken just as seriously as posted signs and you should not trespass on anyone’s land. Always contact the landowner if there’s a reason you need to enter their property. Trespassing is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas and if the trespasser is carrying a firearm, that becomes a Class A misdemeanor. Both are punishable by fines and imprisonment.