spray paint cans

Whether you are a spray painting fanatic, or you are just starting out. You need to make sure you do not make these common spray paint mistakes.

What are the most common spray paint mistakes?

How many mistakes can you make when it comes to spray paint? You may be a little surprised, but there are a fair few you can make. It all comes down to trial and error with spray painting and it may not come to you straight away. Many of the spray paint mistakes you make are often easily fixable and can also be prevented. Read on to find out how you can steer away from making any of these mistakes and the best ways to prevent it from happening in the future.


One of the biggest problems people face when it comes to spray paint is poor or lack of ventilation. To get the best out of your spray painting experience, it is paramount to spray your item in a well-ventilated area. One of the best places to spray paint is outside with a gentle wind that will not affect the flow of the paint as it comes out the nozzle. You will want a wind that is gentle but constant, as many spray paints have solvents in them, they can be damaging to the human body if large amounts are inhaled.

You will also want to make sure you are wearing the right safety protection. We always suggest wearing gloves and a protective mask, which you can get from Sitebox Limited.


Lifting often occurs when the paint shrinks, wrinkles or shrivels because you have ignored the drying times on the bottle of the spray paint. It can also happen if you are applying a new coat of spray paint to the item without curing it or sufficiently preparing it.

To repair lifting, you will need to remove the paint from the area and, ensure it has been prepared by sanding; you may also want to apply a primer, this will allow the spray paint to adhere to the surface of the item. You will then want to reapply paint or finish to the desired area.

To prevent this from happening in the future, you will want to ensure you are leaving sufficient drying times between coats. Prepare the surface adequately; preparation can take copious amounts of time and should not be rushed as it will only bring trouble in the long run. You will also want to make sure you use the right kind of paint; we may be more inclined to go for the cheaper option of spray paint; however, you are better off going for a good quality paint such as RAL colour aerosols.

white spray paint

Gloss coats dulling

Gloss coats are a great way of giving your item a more sophisticated and expensive look. Any finish can dull over time, due to the elements and the age if the coating. You can experience premature dulling with spray paint and, this can often be down to moisture. If you are spray painting your item or surface in a humid or damp setting, this can often affect the appearance of the gloss coating. If the item needs buffing such as a metal, if it is done prematurely, this can have an effect on how glossy it stays. If the surface has been poorly cleaned and has dirt or dust particles, this can also have an effect on the way it looks.

To repair the gloss, you will want to let the finish dry thoroughly before you do anything. Polish the item to help restore the gloss, if you would like to know how to fix and polish the spray paint we recommend taking a look at a video by Instructables.

colourful spray paints


Peeling normally occurs when the primer, basecoat or topcoat is applied and has not adhered properly. One or more layers of paint separate from one another and start to peel away.

A common cause of peeling is when the surface has not been appropriately prepared. Many people do not clean the surface sufficiently after sanding or the preparation process, if this is not removed, it can prevent the coating from adhering to the surface as it can not come into contact with the substrate.

We always recommend if this happens to strip an area slightly bigger than the affected area back to the bare substrate, this will also help prevent it from happening in the future.

Orange Peel

As the name suggests, this is when the surface is uneven and often replicates the surface of an orange. The orange peel effect occurs when the paint droplets dry out before they have flown out of the spray can, resulting in an unlevel surface.

Make sure your spray paint cans are in date, and the nozzle is not clogged. You will also want to make sure that you are not trying to spray paint in freezing temperatures as this can have an effect on the way the paint dries and comes out the nozzle.

To repair orange peel, we recommend buffing it out with a buffing tool and cream. It may also be necessary to wet sand the orange peel. After buffing apply a new coat, you may want to look at getting a new spray paint can if this continues to happen. Before you go to reapply any paint make sure you give the spray paint cans a thorough shake to mix the paint.

splash paint

Avoid mistakes

Most mistakes are made because the area has not been sufficiently cleaned or prepared. It is paramount you take time and dedication into the preparation of your item. If you are ever unsure on spray paints we always recommend asking a professional or business who make spray paints, our guys are always on hand to help. We want to ensure you do not make any more of these spray paint mistakes.

If you do like to keep up to date with spray paint hints and tips, we post regularly so watch this space.

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