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Marking Your Property for Trespassers: The Purple Paint Law

purple paint on trees in forest

We are often consulted by clients regarding boundary disputes, trespassers and their rights as landowners. One little known right to mark boundaries is the “Purple Paint Law” that came into effect in Pennsylvania in 2020. Landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted. 

The Purple Paint Law


In Pennsylvania, the "Purple Paint Law" allows landowners to mark their property boundaries with purple paint as a way to provide notice to others that the area is private property. This can be a useful tool for landowners who want to clearly indicate where their property ends and where trespassing is prohibited.


The use of purple paint to mark property boundaries is considered to be a legally valid way to provide notice of private property rights. The law specifies that the purple paint must be applied in a vertical line of at least 8 inches in length and at least 1 inch in width. The bottom of the mark must be between 3 and 5 feet from the ground. Additionally, the marks must be placed at intervals of at least 25 yards around the property or at every major entry point.

Pennsylvania's Purple Paint Law


Exceptions to the Purple Paint Law


  • This is a lawful posting method in all but Allegheny and Philadelphia counties. 

  • The law also authorizes unarmed persons to go onto private property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.  So leave your hunting rifle behind if you’re going to retrieve Fido.


It is important for landowners to understand their rights under the purple paint law and to ensure that the markings are done in compliance with the legal requirements. Failure to comply with the law may result in the markings not being legally recognized as providing notice to potential trespassers.


If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a landowner under the purple paint law, don't hesitate to consult with one of Fiffk Law Group’s real estate attorneys for guidance.


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