Spray paint can be successfully applied to more surfaces than perhaps you would first suspect. Over recent years spray paint has enjoyed substantial rises in its popularity, compared with traditional application methods, such as physically brushing. The reasons for this increase in popularity are numerous and include:
- Time: The application of spray paint to a surface takes substantially less time than other traditional methods, this is especially true of brush painting.
- Surface Finish: Due to the spray based application method of spray painting, the distribution of paint is constant. This means that it is far easier to achieve a consistent surface finish with spray painting, than it is with other methods which usually requires the applicator to control the distribution of paint themselves.
- Durability: The majority of modern spray paint actually bonds to the surface which it is applied to, as opposed to merely forming a coating which sits on top. This means that the occurrence of cracking on a spray coating or peeling are much less reduced than the rates which occur with other application methods. The increased levels of durability provided by the coating spray paint achieves enhances its longevity, even on external applications.
What Surfaces Can Be Spray Painted?
The surfaces which are suitable for spraying are numerous, they include wood, tin, ceramic, terracotta, canvas, plastic, Styrofoam, plaster, glass and ceramics.
Preparing the surface prior to painting is imperative to ensuring that the subsequent finish is smooth and professional in appearance, failure to do often produces inferior aesthetics and quality.
Therefore, to ensure the surface is correctly prepared it is important to follow these five steps:
- Clean the surface: to do this will require a cloth, some contained water and either household detergent. When doing this ensure the cloth is damp but not too wet, use the cloth in a circular motion ensuring that all dirt is removed. Once complete, the surface should be allowed to dry before continuing.
- Remove Loose Paint: this can be done with any one of the following tools, a wire brush, sandpaper or steel wool. When using these tools it is important to apply enough pressure to remove any loose paint or rust, but not to apply too much so that the underlying surface is damaged.
- Sand Glossy Surfaces: to complete this step will require sandpaper. Take the sandpaper and run it horizontally across the material, this is especially important if the surface is wooden. Once sanded, go back over the surface with a tack cloth, this will clean any debris which remains as a result of the sanding process.
- Metal Only Remove Dust And Grease: When preparing metal it is important to remove dust or oil which has become trapped on the surface of the metal. In order to do this you will require either denatured alcohol or degreaser. Use sparingly for the best results.
- Priming: This stage is not essential, however if you want the best results, in terms of durability, it should not be overlooked. There are numerous primer types and application methods available, for the purposes of ease and efficiency we advise a spray based primer. Please note that if you use primer on a glass surface it will cease to be transparent.
Once the surface has been correctly prepped it should be either dull or matt in its appearance.
Spray Paint Application Tips:
- Ensure the area is well ventilated: If possible you should perform the spraying outside. However, make sure that you choose a time when it isn’t windy, as this will prevent dust and particles from being blown into the coating. Also try to work away from direct exposure to sunlight. If working indoors open all windows and doors within the interior to ensure a steady air current.
- Cover all exposed surfaces: Prior to beginning spraying ensure that any and all exposed surfaces you do not want to paint are covered. This is best achieved through applying newspaper and masking tape to all surfaces. This step should not be overlooked! You would be surprised how far spray paint particles can travel and unless correctly covered you will find a light coating of paint on all surrounding surfaces.
- Wear a facemask and gloves: Spray paint is pretty toxic and is simply not good for your respiratory system, therefore it is important to wear a facemask. Also if you do not want to get paint on your hands it is advisable to wear gloves.
- Shake can well before use: It sounds basic, but you would be surprised at the number of people who overlook this step and it shows in the results. For the best effects ensure that all cans are well shaken before application.
- Don’t spray too close to the surface and don’t spray too much: Prior to use, test the spray can nozzle on a piece of cloth or an inconspicuous area of the surface. This is because sometimes nozzles require a spray or two before providing optimum performance. In terms of application, ensure that you are between 6 and 8 inches from the surface when spraying. Apply the coating through a serious of short, sharp bursts applied in a side to side sweeping motion.
- Apply several coatings: A common misconception of spray painting is that one thick coating will provide the best results. This simply is not the case, due to the amount of dripping which occurs with these process. A surface should be coated through a series of several thin coatings for the best aesthetic effects.
- Let the coating dry thoroughly: Always allow the coating to dry properly, guidelines on the advised time this will take can be found on the side of the can. This applies also in cases where a further coating is required. In either case, usually a coating should be left for 24 hours in order to dry throroughly.