How To Use Spray Paint

Learning how to use spray paint will make you a professional painter for any odd job around the house. Spray paint has come a long way from the boring blues and blacks of the old days. Today, you can find spray paint that will apply in textures, any variation of color, and even patterns. Learning how to use spray paint is about the easiest do-it-yourself skill you can have.

To use spray paint, you will need:

  • A can of spray paint. You can get different finishes, such as gloss or satin, or different textures, such as a fine grit to a heavier sand finish. Select the right spray paint for your project. If you're painting chairs, you're not going to want to get a gritty finish, so stick to a spray paint with a smooth finish.
  • Painter's tape
  • Sandpaper
  1. For the most professional spray painted finish, start the project off right by preparing the painting surface. If you're painting plastic lawn chairs, scrub them down with a good detergent and water. Get all of the dirt out of the cracks and crevices of the piece. Sandpaper is not needed on plastic items, but, if you're getting ready to spray paint wooden or iron pieces, sand away any roughness, such as splinters or rust. Your surface should be as clean as possible in order for the spray paint to stick well.
  2. Apply painter's tape and tape off any areas where you don't want to be painted. Spray paint is applied in a very fine mist and will get everywhere so make sure that you tape off those areas, such as window panes, where paint should not be. If painting picture frames, you can even create intricate designs with the tape before spray painting. Your finished product will then have a pattern in it.
  3. With the top on the spray paint, shake the can vigorously at least 60 seconds. It is imperative that you mix the paint well before applying to your project. When you shake the can, you will hear a little metal ball popping around inside. This is very normal and expected. The ball is in there to help the product mix thoroughly.
  4. Find the right spot to apply the spray paint. Your best bet is to do your spray painting outdoors, on a windless day. Spray painting must be done in a well ventilated spot so a closed in basement is NOT a good place to spray paint lawn chairs. Outdoor painting is a must.
  5. Take off the top from the can and stand back about 16" from the project. Hold the can within 6-12" from the project and press the nozzle. Apply two thin coats, in large sweeping motions and you'll get a better finish than applying one thicker coat.
  6. When you're done, turn the can upside down and press the nozzle until no more paint comes out. This clears both the nozzle and the hose inside the can of paint which can clog as it dries. By doing this last step, the can will be ready to use the next time you're going to spray paint.
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