Guest Author - Alison Barjaktarovich
Despite its reputation, spray paint isnít just for things like cars and graffiti Ė it can be a surprisingly good choice for all different types of projects! Spray paint is relatively inexpensive, quick to apply, fast to dry, and with a little practice, a very easy way to end up with even coverage (no brush strokes required).
Spray paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, and glass. Although there arenít thousands of color choices, as in latex paints, most home improvement and craft stores have a decent number of options. This includes specialty spray paints such as those designed for high-temperature surfaces (appliances, grills,) chalkboard spray paint, and even those that result in a textured, granite-like finish. A can of spray paint averages around $3-$6. Although it usually ends up costing more per square foot than latex paint, no other supplies are required - and not only is the painting process quicker, so is the cleanup.
Itís important to always use spray paint in a well-ventilated area Ė outside, if possible. Since spray paint is toxic, a mask or respirator should also be worn. The paint does drift (especially when outside) so make sure that the surrounding area is covered in something like a drop cloth or newspaper. The surface thatís being painted should be clean and dry, and if itís glossy, lightly sanded. In most cases, a coat or two of primer is recommended.
Prior to doing a test spray on a piece of cardboard or paper, shake the can vigorously for around a minute. To paint, hold the can approximately 8-10 inches from the surface and use a side-to-side sweeping motion to cover it in a thin, even coat. Overlap each spray, and stop frequently to shake the paint can.
Spray painting gives the best results when several thin coats are used, versus one or two thick ones. Luckily, most spray paints dry (enough for another coat) in 5-10 minutes. Many dry to the touch in about an hour, and are completely dry in 4-5 hours. After each coat, hold the spray paint can upside down and press the trigger for about five seconds to prevent the nozzle from clogging.
Ideas for spray painting projects can be found anywhere Ė simply look around for something that could use a facelift. From picture frames to pottery, lamps to lawn furniture, spray paint can bring new life to almost anything Ė in just a few hours.