I haven’t always been the best spray painter, but with each project that I undertake, I’ve become more confident and spray painting is now my #1 favorite way to revamp a piece of furniture or home decor. With the arrival of Spring in only a few short weeks, now is the time to learn some basic tips for a successful spray painting result.
Spray Paint Steps
1. Choose the right location for spray painting. Outdoors is best and really should be the only place to spray paint. Always wear a mask – spray paint is toxic.
2. Product the surface you are working. Spray paint travels (far), especially if it’s windy, so use a large sheet or create a spray painting for for your project.
3. It’s key to start with a good spray painting surface! Don’t just get out your can and go. Take the time to prepare your surface, especially if it’s a piece of furniture. Sand all the surfaces with fine grit sand paper, apply one coat of spray paint, then sand again. This sand-then-spray method will create a beautiful result.
4. Use primer. Just like with painting, primer is important and essential for a successful finished result.
5. Shake it up. Who knows how long the spray paint can has been sitting on the shelves, so give it a good shake before use!
6. Practice. Like anything, it’s always good to practice before you start spray painting the actual piece. And don’t start at the most prominent spot. It’s best to begin at the back or in a hidden place so you become familiar with how to control the spray painting trigger.
7. Avoid drips by applying light, even coats. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT and was always my downfall when it came to spray painting. Position the trigger about 8-10 inches away, then start spraying from one end and continue to the opposite end to allow for one, even stroke.
8. Spray paint is different from paint in that 1 or 2 coats won’t do. 3+ thin coats are better to avoid shiny spots or drips.
9. Not all spray paints are the same. Using quality spray paints like Krylon, Rust-Oleum, or Valspar is so important for a successful spray painting result. The no-name $0.99 spray paint cans are useless (believe me, I’ve tried them) – they are watery and don’t adhere to the surface.
10. Finish with a clear top coat and allow for enough drying time.
- Fast and Easy – If you follow the steps above (light, even coats), spray painting can be much quicker than painting by hand.
- Inexpensive – Spray painting can be a very inexpensive way to update a piece of furniture
- The Finish – The result with spray painting can look amazing. No brush strokes. No drips. Just a clean, monochromatic surface (but you have to use light, even strokes).
- Spray Paint ANYTHING – You can’t paint everything by hand, but you certainly can spray paint everything. Go crazy. Think outside the box. Have fun.
Cons for spray painting
- Cost – Depending on the furniture size, you may need several cans of spray paint, but it’s still more cost effective than buying new.
- Color Selection – Compared to paint, the range of colors available isn’t as extensive, but there is still a large selection.
- Experience – It takes some getting used to, but once you know how to control the trigger, you’ll be spray painting everything!
You can truly spray paint anything! If you’ve never spray painted before, give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen?