Spray paint out of an aerosol can acts differently than brushing on latex paint.  Take a few minute to education yourself on the differences to get better results with spray painting your furniture.

Plan 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 its smooth and then roll on or brush on a clear coat, over the whole piece.

Avoid Over Spraying in One Spot

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.

Avoid 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.

spray paint furniture

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.  You can adjust that slightly as your spraying and see what works best for you.