Repaint everything from furniture to cars with the touch of a button
From the preparation and mixing to the difficulty of achieving an even coat, applying paint can be a long and arduous task. Fortunately, there’s a way to get the perfect finish without having to go to all that trouble – spray paint. Spray paint is a convenient, low-fuss alternative to conventional painting that can be used on everything from patio chairs to toys to cars. Available in a large array of colors, spray paint also comes in different types, allowing you to choose one that is suitable for your specific application. Consider the following questions as you plan the best way to utilize spray paint to help with a bevy of painting tasks:
Types, Application Tips and Features
Spray paint can be classified by the type of application it is best suited for. Some of the more commonly found types are general use, decorative and craft, rust-prevention, professional, plastic and specialty paints. The primary advantages of spray paint are its ease of application and its versatility. While it’s not particularly useful when it comes to painting a house or redoing the walls of your living room, there are a number of situations where it can be used in lieu of old-fashioned brush painting. In many cases, spray paint will require little preparation prior to application, though there are some instances where you’ll need to clean and perhaps prime the surface you’re working on.
General Purpose and Decorative Paint: Whether you’re painting a bicycle, cabinet, mailbox or piece of furniture, general purpose spray paint will come in handy. Formulated to dry quickly and minimize dripping, it’s available in a range of colors, may be used indoors or out and generally stands up well over time. Look for paint designed to provide a tough, durable coating if you’re applying it to outdoor furniture or other areas where it will experience constant wear. Decorative paints are designed to accent a variety of objects and are often available in otherwise hard-to-find designer colors. Stained glass spray paints imbue surfaces ranging from metal to wood with the elegance of a stained glass window.
Professional, Plastic and Rust-Preventative Paint: Professional spray paints are designed with contractors in mind, offering durable, high-quality finishes and proving useful for a number of specialized tasks. Plastic paints are designed specifically for use on plastic, resin, PVC and other similar materials whose smooth surfaces make it difficult for normal paints to adhere to. Use it on lawn chairs, playhouses, toys and more. Rust-preventative paints are generally used outdoors and provide a glossy coating that resists fading and cracking in addition to preventing rust accumulation. Use it on bikes, swing sets, cars, motorcycles and more.
Specialty Paints: Specialty paint is a term that encompasses a versatile array of different paints. They come in handy for a nearly unlimited number of applications. The chart below lists some of the more commonly found specialty paints and how they can be utilized.
|Paint||Description and Applications|
|Appliance||Washable, moisture-resistant epoxy that can be applied to washers, dryers and more|
|Chalkboard||Converts wood, metal, plastic or glass surfaces to a chalkboard, making it ideal for use in children’s bedrooms and playrooms|
|Epoxy Enamel||Offers a hard finish for tables and other furniture both indoors and out|
|Frosted||Decorative yet functional finish that reduces glare and adds privacy to windows|
|High Heat||Resists heat up to 1,000° F, making it ideal for use on grills|
|Lacquer||Provides a hard, polished, high-luster finish that’s perfect for furniture|
|Stain Fix||Hides and covers stain while priming surfaces for additional coats of paint|
|Vinyl||Renews the appearance of vinyl upholstery and can be used on luggage, car and boat seats, dashboards and more|
Application: While spray paint requires little more than the push of a button to apply paint, there are cases where you’ll need to do a little prep work. Wood will need to be sanded and wiped clean, and you may need to prime it. Fortunately, spray primer is available to make your job easier. It’s important to work in a well-ventilated area to prevent fumes from overwhelming you. Shake the paint can for 60 seconds prior to use to ensure that paint is properly mixed. The rattling sound you hear comes from a ball bearing located within the can that stirs the paint as you shake. More likely than not, you’ll need to apply more than one coat. Consult the manufacturer’s instruction as to when subsequent coats should be applied, as some paints require that they be added within one hour of initial application or after a certain period of hours or days. When you’re done spraying, turn the can upside down and spray for 5 seconds to blow remaining paint out of the nozzle so it doesn’t clog.
Fluorescent Colors: While fluorescent colors may be a little too bright for everyday use, they can jazz up a variety of objects for parties and holidays. They also come in handy for making signs or marking safety equipment and other objects you want to stand out from their surroundings.
Spray Pattern: If you’re tackling a big job, look for a nozzle with a fan-shaped pattern that will distribute paint over a larger area. Some nozzles utilize an oval-shaped pattern instead of a circular one and allow you to rotate them to adjust for horizontal and vertical application.
Cars: You’ll probably want to leave major paint jobs to the professionals, but simple touchups can be easily accomplished with spray paints. Two-component products mix components when the aerosol button is pressed, saving you time and effort.
Special Effects: If you’re looking for something different and unique, apply color-changing or glow-in-the-dark spray paint.
Sandpaper and spray primer will come in handy if you’re painting wood.