5 spray painting hacks everyone should know

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We’ll show you how to make your DIY projects pop with these spray painting hacks

A coat of spray paint is the easiest, fastest way to liven up a DIY project. It can freshen up old and tired furniture and home décor, or completely change up the look of any piece.

That’s why mastering the art of spray painting is one of the skills anyone who loves to DIY should master. We’ll turn you into a spray-painting queen in no time with these five spray painting hacks.

Prep Your Surface

We know you’re excited to get started on your project, but first things first: prepare the object of your spray-painting affection.

If needed, like for wood and laminated surfaces, sand it down first. Wash/wipe and dry it. Dirt, dust particles, and sticky or oily surfaces will ruin your project.

Our hack: rubbing alcohol! It’s good for removing any stickiness or oiliness (which prevents the paint from sticking properly) and dries quickly.

Use a clean, lint-free cloth (we used a wet wipe that we left to dry out first), douse with some rubbing alcohol, and wipe away.

Wear Proper Protective Gear

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Work in an open and well-ventilated area. And please, ditch the bandannas and those dome-shaped masks with a little piece of metal to shape it to your nose.

You’ll need better protection that that.

This is important: use a respirator, the kind that comes with a filter, and can be found in any hardware store. You don’t want spray paint in your lungs. Just in your DIY projects!

Make It Spin

Here’s a fun hack that works great when painting smaller objects: make a rotating platform!

This way, you can paint your object without having to walk all the way around it. We used an old fidget spinner.

  • Cut out small pieces of cardboard and hot glue onto the fidget spinner’s arms. Cut out a cardboard circle.

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  • Centre the spinner and glue onto the circle.
  • Then you can glue it onto a base: we used the lid of an empty spray can, but you can use a box or whatever you have handy (that you don’t mind getting spray paint on).

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  • If the object you’re spray-painting is lightweight, tape it down on your rotating platform.
  • If what you’re spray painting is too big, use boxes or an old stool to lift it a little bit off the ground. This will help a lot in spraying hard-to-reach areas.

Make a Spray Painting Booth

Use large sheets of paper, newspaper, or cut-open garbage bags as a drop cloth to keep the floor clean. But don’t just stop there: make a spray painting booth by cutting open an old box.

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Sweep, Do Not Stay

Now we get to the meat of the matter: the actual spray painting!

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Follow these steps for foolproof spray painting.

  • First, shake the can well.
  • Then hold the can about 8-12 inches away from your object.
  • Starting from just off the side of your object (and not on the object), spray in a sweeping motion all the way across and a little past your object.
  • Continue doing this, top to bottom, until you’ve covered the surface facing you with a single, light coat of paint.
  • Then turn the object to the next unpainted area and repeat, until the whole object is covered with a light coat of paint.
  • Then STOP. Let that light coat of paint dry for 5-10 minutes.
  • What NOT to do: spray paint thickly in one area because you want it completely covered up as soon as possible. You’ll end up with a thick, runny, gloopy coat that will take forever to dry.

The key is patience. What we want to do is build up several light coats of paint until the whole object is covered. This is how you get a smooth, professional-looking finish.

Clean Up Trick!

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You can wear gloves to spray paint, but if you get spray paint on your skin or hands, you can clean it up with some rubbing alcohol (yes, it’s our favourite hack when it comes to spray painting!)

Just use a rough cloth and rub away.

You can also use oil: baby, body, or coconut oil, but be sure to do this after you’re completely done painting so you don’t get oil on your project.

Want to explore DIY projects using this material don't forget these spray painting hacks to make it even easier!

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