Spray Paint Do’s and Don’ts

Spray paint can be an easy solution for house painting. Using a sprayer can be much easier for painters to cover large areas and accurately paint the right colors where they need to go. For your own paint jobs, using spray paint can be a good way to quickly cover an area or patch up damaged or bare spots.

Using spray paint carries with it another set of do’s and don’ts. Learn about safety, where the best places are to use spray paint, and how to use it most effectively to paint your home below.

DO: Paint in the Right Location

All painting projects, using spray paint or not, need to be done in a well-ventilated area. If you’re painting exterior or outdoor surfaces anyway, simply wait for a sunny, dry day. If you’re painting an interior surface, consider taking that surface (if it’s portable) outside in the sunshine to minimize drying time and avoid any risk of paint fume inhalation. Spray paint, by its nature, can cause inhalation issues faster than other paints, so make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area.

DON’T: Blow Off Prep Work

Just because you’re not drawing paint over a surface with your roller or paint brush doesn’t mean you get to skimp on your preparation. Proper prep is the key to any paint job. Make sure you’ve created an even, clean, dry surface, no matter what material you’re painting, and ensure you’re using the right paint for the job.

DO: Protect Everything

When using spray paint, there will always be overspray. Cover the surrounding area with drop cloths or newspaper to protect surfaces you don’t want to get paint on, just like you would when using other paints and painting implements. If you’re painting something small, sometimes the best protection comes from a cardboard box, which you can set the small object in and spray away. Spray paint can drip, too, just like regular paint, if you spray a small area too much or hold the sprayer on a small section for a little too long, so be prepared to fix small issues as they come up.

You should also protect yourself. Wear goggles and a dust mask or respirator to keep the tiny paint droplets out of your eyes and lungs.

DON’T: Rush

Sprayers can reduce painting times by huge margins when done correctly, but that doesn’t mean you can paint an entire house, or even one wall, in five minutes. One common problem that even professional painters run into using spray paint is getting an even coat over all surfaces. It can be easy when spraying to linger in one spot and rush over another. Do your best to use a consistent, easy, sweeping motion with the sprayer to cover everything in a good coat without patches or drips.

When you’re done spraying your area, don’t be fooled by how fast the paint dries. The paint will need to cure for at least 24 hours before you’ll be able to judge how well the paint covered. Resist the urge to try and go over your mistakes before you see how it will actually look.

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