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.