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With a can of spray paint and a little elbow grease, you can alter nearly any old object to like-new status in no time...providing it's done right, of course.

But when spray painting goes wrong...let's just say the results are less than appealing. I've been left wishing the rust was back on my metal furnishings more times than I care to admit. Some of the most common spray-painting gaffes include bubbling, runs, poor adhesion, and an irregular or rough surface.

All of these mistakes can be avoided with the right preparation and technique.

Before You Begin
• Choose the right conditions. Paint in decent weather, in a well-ventilated area -- not in direct sunlight and never when it's hot or humid.
• Read the directions. Familiarize yourself with safety precautions and manufacturer recommendations.
• Clean the surface. Dirt can get caught in the paint and make the surface uneven. Be sure the surface is also dry before beginning to paint.
• Test paint on an inconspicuous surface. This is to be sure you've properly mixed the can's contents. (Are you using the the right color? D'oh!).

While You're Painting
• Shake the can. First, shake it for two minutes, and then for 10 seconds after each minute of use.
• Keep the right distance. Stay 10 to 12 inches away from the project for consistent, even coverage.
• Spray in a sweeping motion. Spray in one direction only (not back and forth) while applying constant pressure, releasing the nozzle after each pass.
• Apply several thin coats as opposed to one thick coat. This is to avoid runs and drips. Follow the manufacturer's recommended "recoat window," which is the amount of time you'll need to allow an object to dry before giving it another pass. Only reapply once you've waited long enough.
• Overlap each pass by 1/3 to be sure you haven't missed a spot.

When You're Done
Turn the can over and hold down the spray nozzle for about five seconds, or until paint fails to come out. This prevents the spray valve from clogging, making it possible to reuse the spray paint on another project.

  • Brink

    And for all the "HUFFER'S" stop spraying that crap in the paper bag!

  • Tony

    If it was not for Huffers these paint companies would be out of business.

  • Brink

    And the most important rule, Attn. "Huffer's" DO NOT SPRAY into a paper bag...

  • Tess

    I always undertake a big painting job then go "oh no! What have I gotten myself into!"

  • HDP

    No Tony, if not for Huffers, GOLD paint companies would go out of business.

  • lizntxus

    Use a PRIMER before you spray paint on wicker. Without it, you need two cans of paint.

  • harho

    store the unused/leftover cans upside down. then when you want to use them it is easier to get them shaken and the paint won't gum up the tube

  • jrg

    Invest in a snap-on handle with trigger. This will give you more control and is less tiring on your hand/fingers.

  • shadopilot

    Buy an airbrush with compressor and never need a spray can again!

  • BodyShop

    I paint cars in a collision repair shop, If you have runs, bubbles ect..Apply masking tape on the troubled mishaps and it lifts them out.

  • Laurence Stabler

    When you are painting a project that will use more than one can of paint, use the nozzle from the first can on the subsequent can and save the unused nozzle for in the future when you might have a clogged or a dried up nozzle on an otherwise good can of paint. Careful twisting the nozzles off or on ! Try removing or replacing with a cloth to protect youself from an occasional accidental squirt.

  • rebecca

    I wanted to spray paint my wicker rocker from white to antique blue I should have known better with my asthma while spraying I sneezed not only did I turn blue so did my cat ..... next time I will have someone else do it

  • NancyB

    I sprayed clear polyurethane, several coats, on the woodwork of a new bay window after it had been installed. Should have done it while the window was still sitting outside but it would have held up the installers. There was a residue on practically everything in the room. It wiped off, but was a lot of extra work. The new window is beautiful.

  • LEA

    Wouldn't you know......this info comes out after I just spray painted my golf cart!! It turned out fairly well though, but I wish I had known the tip about removing bubbles with masking tape!!
    Now how do keep the paint from chipping off??

  • 14 Comments / 1 Pages

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