Tips for Using Spray Paint


From sprucing up old furniture to giving picture frames a cohesive look, spray paint is ideal for projects that are smaller in scale. Items with multiple and uneven surfaces can prove tricky to cover thoroughly with paint when using a normal paint brush or roller. Brushes also have a tendency to leave stroke marks on smooth surfaces. Spray paint comes in an array of colors and some types can be used to paint plastics.

It takes a little time and practice to become proficient at spray painting, and you may want to try out your first spray painting job on an item that you aren’t too fond of. These following tips will help you use your spray paint in an efficient manner to get you great results.

Painting Preparations

Before you take your first spray at the item to be painted, wipe it down to remove any dust and dirt. Using a primer will help to ensure the surface is clean and smooth, and that the paint will adhere properly to the item surface. Work in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. For best results, do not use spray paint if the weather is excessively humid, or very windy.

Make sure the work area is protected by newspapers or a drop cloth. To further ensure the paint does not stain other surfaces, try using a standing folded cardboard box as a shield behind your item. Shake the can thoroughly to get the paint well-mixed.

Using the Spray Can

Hold the spray can about 10 inches away from the item and press the nozzle consistently, sweeping your hand in a fairly fast motion from side to side. Keep your hand moving to prevent the paint from streaking or dripping. Don’t let the paint accumulate in one spot, and avoid spraying a heavy layer of paint. This could cause the paint to run and produce an uneven finish.

Instead, apply a thin coat of paint, let it dry completely, and spray a second thin layer. If you feel your item needs more coverage, let the second layer dry and apply another thin layer. In the event that the paint runs or drips, you can sand down the surface after it is dry and reapply another thin coat.

After Painting

When you are satisfied with the paint coverage, allow the paint to fully dry before handling the item. To keep your paint nozzle clear for future use, turn the can upside down and spray until the nozzle clears of paint, for about 5 seconds. Never store a spray can near a heat source, and be sure that a can is empty before disposing of it in the trash.

Other Methods of Spray Painting

Besides using a spray paint can, there are spray painting tools that may be purchased from hardware or home improvement stores. Some require a host of equipment and all are relatively expensive compared to purchasing a regular aerosol spray can. An electric airless sprayer, for instance, allows you to spray large volumes of paint at very high pressure, accomplishing the job at fast speed.

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