‘Purple paint law’ lets you mark your property to help keep trespassers out


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Get Ready to mark your property with purple paint. Soon, state law will change to give new meaning to purple marks in the state.

Starting Sunday July 1, those purple marks seen on trees and fence posts will mean “no trespassing.”

Steve Wethington said sometimes, people come onto his property without his permission. Wethington explained, “We do get people trespassing on the lake. This is private property.” 

Now, he has a state approved solution to help keep them away: purple paint

Wethington said  “As long as people hear about it, it’ll be fine. I had no problem spraying my tree.”

Republican State Representative, David Wolkins, wrote the law, primarily for people in rural areas to be able to clearly mark their large property boundaries on fence posts or trees. We asked Wolkins if the mark could be a circle, star or an “x.”

“The mark has to be a vertical line, straight up and down and at least 8 inches long. It can be longer than that. On fence posts, it has to go to the top of the post. Basically start at the top of the post and come down,” said Wolkins. 

Lloyd Arnold, Director of Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division said “Instead of going down and buying those signs and having to replace them every year. The weather ripping them off of trees, it’ll allow them to get a can of purple spray paint and mark those trees.”

What if you live in a subdivision? Could you mark a tree in your yard with purple paint? “Yes. I believe you could. There were no limitations on it as to where you could use it, what type of community you’re in. I believe you could probably use it inside city limits,” said Wolkins. Lloyd Arnold said  “You could, but I don’t think it’s very often we see “no trespassing” signs in subdivisions. I doubt we’ll see much purple paint.”

State Rep. Wolkins told us there really isn’t an educational period for the new purple paint law, but he said the news and social media will get the word out. 

To read the law for yourself, click here.

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