How to Use Aerosol Spray Paint

by Karen Sheviak

Using aerosol spray paint is fairly straightforward but following a few simple guidelines can ensure that you are working in a safe environment and that you'll get the best possible results. If you have never used spray paint before, practice on an object that has little or no value. By doing this, you'll learn from your mistakes and improve your technique by the time you want to paint something that is important to you.

Items you will need

  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Primer
  • Aerosol spray paint
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Step 1

Choose the right location for using aerosol spray paint. Outdoors is preferable to prevent getting paint on other items inside the house and to ensure proper ventilation. Make sure the temperature is neither hot nor cold. Also ensure that it is not rainy or too humid, since excess moisture in the air can lead to a cloudy finish on the paint. Do not work in direct sunlight.

Step 2

Cover the surrounding surfaces with newspapers or drop cloths if you must work indoors to protect them from overspray. Open all windows and doors in the area for ventilation.

Step 3

Prepare the items that you are going to paint. They should be dry and clean. Use a degreasing cleaner to get all dirt and residue off of the items. If the item is glossy, lightly sand it to improve adhesion.

Step 4

Use a primer. It will help the spray paint adhere better, ensure that the color is true and improve the look of the finished paint.

Step 5

Shake the aerosol can thoroughly. Use long, even sprays in a side-to-side motion to ensure there is not a buildup of paint in one area, which will take longer to dry. Spraying too heavily in one area can also cause drips, which are time-consuming to fix. Start each spray slightly away from the object to ensure the spray is steady by the time it reaches the object. Stop the spray away from the object to ensure the bottom or end of the item is covered completely.

Step 6

Apply several thin coats of spray paint, rather than one or two thicker coats. This will take more time because each coat of paint will have to dry thoroughly but the results will be superior. Always paint the entire object each time, rather than stopping partway through and returning to finish it. The coats will be much more even this way.

About the Author

Karen Sheviak has more than 10 years of experience as a writer, researcher and copy editor for "Canadian Living" magazine. She has worked as a freelance editor for other magazines including "Toronto Life." Sheviak has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from the University of Toronto and a diploma in journalism from Centennial College in Toronto.

Photo Credits

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