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THE JOURNAL

For the Love of Spray Paint : A “How-to” on Spray Painting

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For the Love of Spray Paint : A “How-to” on Spray Painting

I enjoy spray painting more than the average gal, I have come to find.  What is so exciting about it to me?  Well, it is a super quick and cost-effective way to transform an average object into something more interesting and exciting!  Here are a few helpful tips when considering tackling a spray painting “project.”

Before you paint:

What steps do you need to take before actually enjoying the glorious act of spray painting?

While the actual act of spray painting is super easy by just pressing the nozzle down, it’s important to make sure that the item to be painted is thoroughly clean.  Rubbing alcohol and paint thinner can be great cleaning substances depending on the material of the object.  Wood should be sanded and wiped clean, and you may need to prime it.  You can also sand glass or ceramic items to help the paint adhere better.  If the item has rust, you can sand what you can and then prime the areas that are difficult to clean.

Choose the correct spray paint type that you desire for the item. 

There are several types of spray paints created for different materials and for different “special effects.”The manufacture’s label should guide you to know what kind of paint works on different materials.  Enamel spray paint is often used for metal surfaces that provide a hard finish, and frosted is commonly used on glass and mirrors, and often paired with using stencils for creating additional effects. 

Chalkboard paint has become a trend, which is helpful when you want to write on out-of-the-ordinary objects.  Designer paints offer finishes that can transform the object’s texture, such as a glossy or matte, and more interesting textures such as an antique/worn look, metallic, granite, and stone.  A newer texture that I have yet to personally see (but I have heard about) is the ripple effect paint.  There are also less commonly used “specialty” spray paints such as glow-in-the-dark and fluorescent colors to help jazz up your event.

Make sure you are spray painting in a well-lit area.

So you can see that the paint is coating the object evenly.  Most importantly, create an environment that is safe to both yourself and to your surroundings while painting.  It’s important to work in an area that is well-ventilated.  If possible, I suggest trying to find an area outdoors to paint, that way the fumes are easily avoidable.  Just a note: if you are working outdoors on a humid day it will slow down the drying process.

I typically try to spray inside a cardboard box to eliminate any possibility of dirt blowing onto the wet paint and sticking.  And if a standing box isn’t logical, you can lay down pieces of cardboard or newspapers to protect the surface from over-spray or paint dripping.  I also ALWAYS wear a pair of disposable gloves for this reason; I always have residual paint on my fingers, without fail.  A garage is also a good option, just be sure to leave the door open for ventilation!

While you paint:

To properly mix the paint you should shake the can for at least 60 seconds.  And to avoid over-spray and paint dripping, it’s best to do shorter sprays versus long ones.  It’s also best to do several lighter coats versus one heavy coat to avoid paint dripping and running.  Let the paint dry enough in-between coats for best results. The instructions on the can should advise you on how long you should wait.

If you have a larger surface area to paint, I suggest spraying the area in smaller sections. Some cans are even made with fan-shaped nozzles instead of a circular shape, which also helps distribute the paint better.

After you paint:

A trick of the trade that I sometimes forget: when you are done with your project, turn the spray paint can upside down and spray for about 5 seconds to blow the residual paint out of the nozzle so it doesn’t clog.Next step… you can admire and enjoy! *Check out more spray-painting tips from HomeDepot.com and Networx.comHave Fun!!!XOXO, Lindsay

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