Spring = Spraypainting

One of my favorite things about Spring is that I can finally bust out the spray paint again!  Since it is not highly recommended to spray paint indoors (unless you happen to have a special vent hood, then I want to be your best friend), most spray painting projects are set aside until it is warm enough to paint outdoors.

Spray paint is typically used on items where a super smooth finish is desired.  I like to use it on metal folding chairs, lamp bases, hardware and picture frames, for example.

This week, I sprayed picture frames, hooks for hanging our jackets on (finally!), and some clear glass vases.  Completely finished projects will come in future posts, but here’s what we have right now:





If you haven’t done a lot of spray painting, the application method is pretty simple, but here are a few tips to keep in mind for the best finish:

  1. Use a high-quality spray paint and make sure it is approved for the type of material you are spraying.  Some are specially formulated for plastics, while others work on metal, wood or glass.  Stay far away from the cheap generic brands of spray paint.  You will likely end up spending more to fix peeling paint or random drips from a leaking nozzle.  My favorite is Rustoleum brand, but sometimes the color does the choosing for me!
  2. Prepare your surface.  Using a primer is especially important if you are spraying laminate or unpainted wood, but I have recently started to prime almost everything.  Every brand typically carries a primer that will help paint adhere better.  If you have stains, I recommend priming with Kilz primer-sealer-stainblocker for the best looking finished results.  After priming, sand your item lightly with 220 grit (very fine) sandpaper.  This will get rid of any rough or gritty spots caused by the primer.  Wipe clean with a soft cloth after sanding.
  3. Spray several light, quick coats of paint rather than one or two heavy coats.  Your paint will dry with a harder finish and you will have less risk of drips and uneven coats.  Keep the spray and your arm moving back and forth the whole time.  Follow the directions on the can for drying times between coats.
  4. If you do happen to drip or notice a grainy build up on your project, stop and let it dry completely.  Then, sand smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and wipe with a tacky cloth before adding a few more coats of spray paint.
  5. After your piece has dried, you can leave it clean and pristine (my favorite), or you can distress it by sanding the edges where you would normally see wear and tear.  An antiquing glaze can be used over spray paint to ‘age’ the piece and tone down the brightness of the paint.
  6. Let your piece dry completely (usually 24 hours) in a well ventilated space before subjecting it to heavy use.  If it is going to be used outdoors or handled extensively, spray or brush on a polycrylic protective finish.  A water-based no-VOC finish will also help ‘seal in’ any fumes and toxins, making it safer to bring indoors.

It’s time to get out there and freshen up your flower pots or patio furniture with a bit of spray paint.  The hardest part for me is choosing a color, or five.  I don’t know about you, but I am loving the metallic copper on those vases a whole lot!

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