We love spray paint, don’t we? It is cheap, accessible, and so easy to apply. There are no brushes to clean no rollers to deal with. Paint in a bottle- genius right? Spray paint can also be a waste of money and time if not done right. No one wants to scrape off drips of paint or to see uneven coverage. Don’t even get me started on having to clean off spray paint! Here are a few mistakes people often make when spray painting, and how to avoid them. Take 5 minutes to educate yourself before you start your next DIY project.

#1-Not Planning on a Clear Coat With Larger Surfaces

Spray paint can produce an even finish when painting surfaces like chairs and smaller surfaces, but with tables and larger furniture items, it can be really difficult to get a finish on a larger surface area that is even. With larger surfaces like tables, dressers and other furniture pieces with large flat areas, plan on sanding after you paint.  Give your piece a good thin coat of spray paint and then a second one after it has dried.  Use long slow motions, going with the grain of the wood.  When the second coat is dry lightly sand it with a grit of 200 or more.  Paint a 3rd coat if you feel the need. 

Once you have a sanded smooth surface, spray a clear topcoat over the paint.  Spray paint can produce a blotchy-looking surface when painting over a large surface area, so the best way to overcome that is to sand the blotchy surface until it’s smooth and then roll on or brush on a clear coat, over the whole piece.

#2-Over Spraying in One Area

spray paint

Make sure you do smooth, even sprays that don’t overlap too much in order to keep the paint from building up and dripping.  Drips can be a real pain to deal with and fix, the best way to deal with them is to prevent them from happening.  In some spots where you need to paint corners and beveled edges from different angles, it may be best to spray from one angle, then move to another part of the piece and then come back to that area and spray from anther angle, to allow the first spot a few minutes to dry before hitting that area again.

#3-Spraying When It’s Too Cold

Colder temperatures and rapidly dropping temperatures can cause the paint to crackle as it’s drying.  Crackled paint can also be a real pain to fix, so if possible.  Try to warm up the space that you are working in and keep it at an even temperature as the paint is drying.

#4- Watch Your Spraying Distance

Spraying too close can lead to drips and too far away can cause a dotty, rough surface to form.  Read the back of your can for the exact spraying distance.  But, typically, 12″ away is a good distance to spray from. Trust the paint brand, they want you to have a good experience with their product, so follow their instructions.  

#5- Purchasing the cheapest Brand

Guys, not all paint companies are the same. Some are out there to give you a crappy paint, with a cheaply made nozzle that will clog, and will dispense your paint unevenly. Spend one to two extra dollars and enjoy your DIY project a lot more. Rust-Oleum is my favorite brand, the fry sauce to my fries, the cream in my oreo.

Kilz is my runner up. This company does a great job as well, its just a hair under Rust-Oleum in the smooth finish category. If I can’t find either of these two brands in the color I need…I don’t paint. Seriously, you can try other brands, but I have had too many bad experiences. Rust-Oleum and Kilz is always in large supply at Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes…so you shouldn’t have trouble finding it. If you need Amazon.com sells it with prime shipping.

I hope this helps you avoid mistakes on your next DIY spray painting project. I wish the best of luck to you in your crafting future!

Spray painting soon? Learn from others mistakes and do it right!