There are some really simple things you can do to step up your spray painting game. Here's 10!
1) Find a location
Pick a spot that's well-ventilated and has plenty of room. The best choice would be outdoors or in an open garage, but if this isn't an option you should use a fan and open as many windows as possible. Pro Tip: When painting, make sure to wear a respirator and not just a dust mask.
2) Know Your Enemy: Overspray
Overspray is the bane of every spray painter's existence. Put smaller projects in a deep cardboard box and make sure to use a drop cloth when working on a bigger project. We carry both plastic and canvas drop cloths, up to 12' x 15'.
3) Surface Prep
For best results, most materials must be cleaned, sanded, and dried before spray painting. Applying a primer will give you a smoother surface, truer color, and longer-lasting finish. If you're a fan of saving time and money (I assume you are), you could also use Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, which is a paint and primer in one!
4) Read ALL the Directions
That's right, all of them. No, really. I'm being serious. The back of your can will list the proper spraying distance, drying times and a whole bunch of other useful info. The drying time is particularly important, as different brands and finishes take longer to dry.
5) Use a Handle
This is the one spray paint accessory that people don't think they need...until they do. Pushing down on a spray paint nozzle isn't exactly hard labor, but you'd be surprised how easily your fingers will start to hurt! Spray can handles attach to your can and make everything easier and more comfortable.
6) Test, Test, Test!
Before you do anything to your precious project, take a couple seconds to test out your spray can on scrap wood or paper. Make sure it sprays properly and get a feel for the proper distance you should spray at.
7) Rotate Small Objects
If you place the object that you're painting on a piece of cardboard or plywood, then you can rotate as you paint without touching your project! A Lazy Susan also works really well.
8) Apply Multiple Thin Coats
When painting, sweep the can across your project, beginning and ending off to the side. Coat the entire project at once, then wait for it to dry before applying a second coat. This will give you an even, consistent color.
9) Clean the Spray Valve
This is something that most new painters don't think to do, but once you're done you should hold the can upside down and spray until only a clear gas is released - this will prevent clogging. If one of your spray cans does become clogged, wipe off the nozzle with warm water or lacquer thinner. Do not stick a pin or wire into the hole.
10) Be Creative!
As always, becoming a great DIY-er is a lot about experimenting. If you don't like what we suggest, that's fine! Be creative, be yourself, and most of all, be persistent. You're going to mess up, that's part of the process. Just make sure that you learn something along the way!