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Spray Painting Tips & Tricks
Spray painting can be tricky! For years, I struggled with spray paint. I kept reading that it was the easiest way to get great results on small items. It gets into all of the nooks and crannies. Not to mention, spray paint is so versatile! It can be used for inside or outside projects. You can use it on plastic and metal. The possibilities for transformation are basically endless! There was just one problem.
Every time I tried to use spray paint, it looked like the can exploded all over my stuff. My results were rarely good enough to keep. I would try to create something awesome. It would look terrible. I would get rid of it, and hide away in shame. Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad. But still! It was definitely discouraging! After a while, I quit trying and I just hand painted everything.
Spray Painting Tips & Tricks
One day, I decided to give it another chance. There was a project that I L-O-V-E-D and had the perfect use for. So I bought myself some spray paint, vowing that it would work no matter what. I told Chris what I had planned and he agreed that the project would be very useful. Then I headed outside on a nice spring day to get started, and Chris went outside to work in the yard. That is the day everything changed!
He noticed my extremely poor technique(in about five seconds flat) and showed me what I was doing wrong. My hero. It’s kind of embarrassing how simple it all is when I think about it. Without further ado, here are my life-changing tips and tricks!
Prop your item up off of the ground in order to give you better access and make covering the whole thing easier. The less you have to touch your item in general, the better.
Swoop when you spray. You need to keep that can moving consistently and smoothly. Start off to the side and move across your item at a steady pace. Do not stop spraying until your paint is off of the object on the other side.
Cover your surfaces! I normally use a canvas drop cloth, but it was in the washer, so a sheet on grass did the trick for this project. Make sure it covers a larger area than what you are painting(and keep in mind that the paint may very well leak through a sheet!). If you aren’t worried about ruining your floor, or deck, or patio, you will do a much better job of continuously spraying all the way off of your object and end up with better results.
Make sure to keep your can pulled back enough to avoid creating defined lines! Your paint edges should look more like a powder settling than a line like you would get with a brush.
If you are painting a longer object, swoop across it at a steady pace. If you are painting something small or intricate, try using quick bursts with the sweeping motion. Notice how your hand moves away at the end of each move-that is the key to keeping things even!
This is a tip Chris would give over and over but has never worked well for me. He uses his thumb to hold the trigger down! I can only do this when painting larger objects. I will admit that the coverage is better, but my thumb isn’t that strong so it gets tired more quickly. Maybe it will work for you!
Don’t spray paint when it’s windy! It all blows away, you try to compensate, and all of a sudden you’ve made big ole ugly splotches.
When you get closer to the end of the can, do not spray paint anything visible. Your paint will start sputtering and looking a bit chunky. It still works, but it will not give you the gorgeous results you are looking for.
Make sure your paint isn’t old. Old paint is harder to spray, and it starts to get chunks in it. On the other hand, if you are looking for some texture, go for it! Of course, always make sure to spray paint in a well-ventilated area.
Be sure that the temperature of your space isn’t too cold for your paint to set(we have that problem around here). The directions on the back of the can will let you know what will and won’t work! Sadly, that makes spray painting a warm-seasons-only activity for me.
Always spray paint in a well-ventilated area. I usually go outside and the fumes are still strong. Be aware of this!
If you plan on doing a lot of spray painting, get a spray can gun. I recently ordered this one and I love it! It definitely takes a lot of the trouble out of spray painting.
Spray Painting Tips
That pretty much sums up my evolution from a frustrated sprayer to one with an obsession. I am so glad that I decided to give spray painting another shot! It is definitely a great option for many of my projects. I hope my learning experiences will help you skip the trouble and get the results you are looking for!
What do you think? Do you have any more great tips? Do you love spray paint? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!