Best DIY Tips on How to Use Spray Paint

PLAH - Mar 2023 - Blog Cover How To Use Spray Paint at Payless Hardware Rockery and Nursery

Do you have old items collecting dust on your shelf or in the garage? Try upcycling, reviving, or refinishing them with a brand new look simply with spray paint! In this blog, we’ll go over the best DIY tips for using spray paint for your new projects.

Here are a few supplies you’ll need before starting:

- Cans of spray paint
- Primer(separate primer or primer and paint combination can)
- Sanding sponge (fine grit like 220 grit)
- Large dry paintbrush
- Rags
- Drop cloth, old newspapers, or cardboard
- Protective gear: gloves, mask, safety goggles
How many cans of spray paint do I need_ Rust-Oleum Painters touch 2X Ultra Cover Satin Oasis Blue Paint Plus Primer Spray Paint Can Isolated at Payless Hardware Rockery and Nursery

For a point of reference:

For 1 medium chair, we recommend using between 1-2 spray cans:
– Light coverage(1-2 coats) = 1 spray can
– Full coverage (2-3 coats) = 1-2 spray cans

For 4 medium dining chairs (2-3 coats per chair) , we recommend using a total of about 4-5 spray cans.

Step 1: Safety first, grab protective gear

  • Make sure to wear gloves, a mask, and safety goggles.
  • It’s best to spray paint outdoors or in a room with plenty of ventilation.
  • If any paint gets on your skin, wash it off easily using dish soap, olive oil, or see the 15 other ways to remove spray paint from your skin (via Restore Décor and More).

Step 2: Prepare to use spray paint

  • Cover the walls or ground by using drop cloths, tarp, newspaper, or cardboard to protect from overspray.
  • Use spray paint in a well-ventilated area where windows or doors can open. If your project is outside, keep in mind to avoid windy days so that strong wind will not interfere with paint coverage.
  • Considering the temperature is also important. Too cold means longer curing time; too hot means paint can set too quickly.
  • It’s best to avoid heat, fire, or hot areas since the workspace is flammable, and vapors can ignite from spray cans.

Step 3: Prep the workspace or item for paint

  • Using a wet rag, clean the surface of the area to be painted. This will reduce any bumps for the sanding stage.

Step 4: Lightly sand down the surface

  • Use a fine-grit sanding sponge and sand down the surface of your product until its luster is gone.
  • Sanding helps initially provide a textured finish so the paint can stick better.
  • Dusting the sanded surface with a dry brush afterward ensures an even coat of paint.
Before you move on to Step 5:

Payless Tip: Do I need a primer before I paint? And, what kind should I use?

Yes, we highly recommend that you use a primer for best results and full coverage. It can both save you time with fewer coats of spray paint and it creates a smooth and even finish.

Use a separate primer before spray paint for:
- New surfaces or unpainted products
- Surfaces or products that are originally painted in a dark color
*Note: Make sure your primer is completely dry before applying paint.

Use combination (paint + primer) spray paints for:
- Previously painted areas that have a similar or lighter color than your new paint color

Step 5: Shake the spray paint can for at least 60 seconds

  • Shake the spray can up and down, NOT side-to-side motion.
  • The paint in the can must be mixed in well. There is a metal ball inside the can to help mix the paint.

Step 6: Do a test spray first

  • Use old newspaper or cardboard scraps to test the consistency of the paint, what distance from the object is best, and the color of your spray paint.

Step 7: Begin spraying the surface area of your product

  • Avoid spraying directly on the product because it will cause paint drips to fall on your surface. Start by spraying 6-8 inches away, sweeping across the surface, and returning past the product’s edge. Overlap the spray strokes slightly in a back-and-forth sweeping motion.
Payless Tip: You can do this by using horizontal or vertical strokes. But only use one direction for each coat. For example, use horizontal strokes for the first coat. Then for your second coat, alternate and use vertical strokes.
PLAH - Mar 2023 - Blog Cover How To Use Spray Paint at Payless Hardware Rockery and Nursery
  • Don’t pump the spray nozzle in squirts. Instead, press the nozzle before sweeping over the area and keep it pressed when spraying across it. Then, let go of the button lightly each time you are off of the item.
  • Move around the item and try to avoid touching it while you are painting to avoid smearing the paint and causing uneven marks.
  • Clear the nozzle after every 3-4 sweeping passes across the surface to prevent the can from clogging.

Step 8: Finish your first coat of paint in one session

  • Avoid spraying only certain parts and taking breaks when you paint your coats. For example, try to do the first coat all in one block of time or session, and do likewise for additional coats.
  • Light coats are essential for a smooth and even first layer.
  • You will almost surely need at least a second coat to cover splotchy areas and hide the under color/original color.

Step 9: Wait about an hour to let the first coat dry

  • Let the paint dry in between coats before adding another layer. A heavy coat of paint can leave the product or area tacky.

Step 10: Clear the spray nozzle

  • Hold the can upside down and press the nozzle until you don’t see any colored spray and only a clear gas.
  • Then, clean the nozzle with your rag to remove any blockages.

Step 13: Painting more coats

  • Spray additional coats of paint by following steps 9-10 and repeat as many times as needed.
  • Typically, about 2-3 coats of paint should be sufficient.

Step 14: The waiting game

  • Let the surface/product cure for about 48-72 hours (2-3 days) before use.
  • If you are spray painting a fabric product, make sure to hand wash with a mild soap before using.

Check out our YouTube video below for a guided walkthrough of some of the steps we shared:

Spray Paint - Your Stop For DIY Projects Visit Our Store Payless Hardware Rockery and Nursery

Now that you know all the best DIY tips for using spray paint, tag us on Instagram on your finished products and use #PaylessHardwareRockeryandNursery so we can check out your home projects!

Visit our local, family-owned Payless Hardware, Rockery, and Nursery in San Jose to pick up spray paint cans or get more helpful advice from our expert staff.