Spray paint has become an incredibly popular means of achieving an exceptional quality paint finish, which delivers both high levels of durability and longevity, on home refurbishment and DIY projects. The reasons for this shift are simple, spray paint provides an exceptional finish quality, can be quickly applied and can be obtained in a wide palate of colours and tones.
However, in order to get the best results when using spray paint for your home improvement project, we have provided our top ten spraying tips, these will help to ensure that you achieve a professional finish on your home spraying project.
Our Top Ten Spraying Tips:
- Read the instructions on the can: It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many people overlook this when using spray paint and produce an inferior finish. Therefore, before you begin make sure you take the time to read the instructions on the side of the can. This is because this information will tell you the optimum distance to hold the can whilst spraying, the duration of shaking required before spraying, the optimum application conditions and how long it will take for the coating to correctly cure.
- When applying the paint, sweep- do not point: A common mistake made by those new to spray paint is to treat it like a camera, and therefore merely point the can at the surface. This approach does not produce an even coating and can often be disastrous. Instead, apply the coating in a sweeping motion, either horizontally or vertically, as you pass the object. To demonstrate, If you are applying in a horizontal motion, begin to the left of the object, directly to the object and then beyond the object to the right. This will result in an even coating.
- Make sure to utilise a large “dropcloth”: A dropcloth is either a plastic sheet or a cloth that provides a backdrop for the overspray resulting from moving the spray paint past the object. All too often people assemble a mismatch of newspaper with tape in order to provide a backdrop, this has advantages in certain small isolated areas, however on a larger scale the newspaper can fall apart as the paint is applied. Instead, utilise large dropcloth that offers plenty of dackdrop.
- Elevate The Object: If you are spraying an individual object that can be moved, place it in an elevated position before spraying. Elevation can be provided by a sawhorse, a workbench or any other platform. Often people spray objects on the floor. This has a number of disadvantages, primarily because it means that you will be hunched for the duration of the application. However spraying objects on the floor does not offer you with access to the object that is both easy and consistent and therefore the quality of the resultant finish may, therefore, suffer.
- Equip your can with a handle: In order to ensure the optimum application process is achieved, purchase a handle for your spray paint cans. Utilising a handle provides significantly better results than just holding the can with your bare hands.
- Rotate when spraying smaller objects: When spraying smaller objects you should always, where possible, place the object on a platform. This can be as simple as a scrap piece of wood or even a scruff of cardboard. This not only protects the surrounding area from overspray, it also enables you to rotate the item that you are spraying without having to touch it and therefore compromise the resultant finish. If the project involves spraying numerous small and intricate pieces it is well worthwhile placing them on a rotating device, such as a Lazy Susan. This means that the item can be sprayed, then rotated to be sprayed at another angle.
- Prior to spraying do a pattern test: This should be done for two reasons, the first is due to the fact that spray paint cans contain mixed paint, this means that as a result the subsequent finish can differ from your expectations. It is worth testing the colour to avoid disappointment later. The second reason for doing a pattern test is to observe the spray pattern that is produced by the specific can. Spray patterns can vary widely therefore it is worth testing it on a piece of scrap wood or cardboard, in order to test your application method and adjust, e.g. holding the can further away from the object, accordingly.
- For best results try a wet coating: It should be noted that this is a more advanced application method and if you do not feel comfortable with spray paint should be avoided. However a wet coating, when done properly, produces a superior coating that is both flawless and smooth. Equally important is that a wet coating technique does not work with all paint types, so before committing, test the process on a dedicated test piece. When it comes to the wet coating itself, apply a light coating to the entirety of the object’s surface. Before this light coating has a chance to dry completely, go back over the object and apply more paint so the object is completely wet with paint.
- Begin and end the same way- smooth: Due to the fact that a sprayed finish is smooth it reflects light, therefore any surface flaws in the underlying object will not only be obvious, they will be highlighted. Therefore, good preparation is essential. Before you commence spraying object, go over its surface with sandpaper to sand it smooth, following this go over the surface with a primer. To obtain the best results may require the application of a number of primer coatings, following each of these a light sanding should be performed before either spraying or applying the next primer coating.
- Always ensure personal safety: When spraying it is important to stay safe, this is because spray paint is an aerosol and during the application process harmful chemicals are released. Therefore, make sure that you wear a suitable respirator, a simple dust mask is not enough. Also ensure the area in which you are spraying is appropriately ventilated.