Spray Painting Tips
Question: With spray painting season on the way, can you provide me with some helpful spray painting tips?
Answer: Spring is quickly approaching and spray paint can be a quick and easy solution to home and yard spruce-ups. Whether this is your first time or fiftieth time using spray paint, these simple tips will help your project turn out to be a big success!
1. Choose your location. Make sure you work in a well–ventilated area. Spray outdoors whenever possible or when using spray paint indoors, make sure the area is well-ventilated by opening doors, windows or using a fan. Avoid painting in direct sunlight and in hot, humid weather.
2. Protect from overspray. Overspray can occur both indoors and outdoors. To prevent overspray onto other surfaces, use newspapers, painter’s tape or drop cloths to cover surrounding areas. You can also create your own “spray booth” by turning a large cardboard box on its side and place objects inside when spraying.
3. Prepare the surface of your project. Paint only clean, dry surfaces. Ordinary household detergents or mineral spirits are great for most surface cleaning. Glossy or hard surfaces should be sanded to improve adhesion. Use a primer whenever possible as it creates a clean, smooth surface, increases paint adhesion, seals the surface and ensures the true paint color is achieved. For more specific surface prep tips, click here.
4. Read all directions. Before beginning your project, thoroughly read all directions on the can. Pay particular attention to safety tips and recoat times. Always follow label directions and warnings when using any aerosol paint. You can find even more safety tips here.
5. Test your spray paint. Shake the can vigorously before spraying. Test your paint or spraying technique in an inconspicuous area or on a piece of scrap material before beginning your project.
6. Apply multiple thin coats. Once you have completed your paint test and are satisfied, spray your project using several thin, multiple coats instead of one thick coat. Begin and finish your spray pattern off the object, releasing the button at the end of each pass. Use an even side-to-side motion with each pass overlapping your spray pattern by about one-third. For best results, always apply a coat to the entire project as opposed to completing parts of the project in stages.
7. Allow project to dry. Check the directions on the back of the can for a recoat window. A recoat window identifies when additional coats can be applied within a certain timeframe. When you are finished applying all coats, do not handle the project or surface until it is dry.
8. Clean spray valve after use. Before storing your aerosol cans for future use, clean the spray valve by turning the cans upside down and spraying for 5 seconds. This helps prevent the spray tip from clogging.
9. Celebrate your success. Enjoy your newly painted project. Feel good about yourself knowing that with a little work and very little money, you were able to finish your project. For more inspiration, check out some of our other project ideas.