How to Use Spray Paint {The COMPLETE Guide} – Love & Renovations

You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Today we’re chatting all things spray paint in this complete guide on how to use spray paint!

Collection of Rust-Oleum spray paintCollection of Rust-Oleum spray paint This post is sponsored by Rust-Oleum.
Are you so excited to learn about spray paint today ? Because I am so stimulate to chat about it !
I have a especial place in my heart for spray key because, like many people, it was my first love when it comes to DIY. I hadn ’ triiodothyronine ever done a short ton of unlike projects, but I discovered my first can of spray paint and it was pretty a lot history .
I spray paint lamps, I spray paint furniture, I spray painted accessories – basically, if it sat still for farseeing adequate it was probable to end up painted.

Spray painting is a bang-up novice ’ s project, but there are some authoritative techniques and rules you should know if you in truth want your project to turn out well. And that ’ s what I ” meter hera for nowadays – I ’ molarity going to dump all of my atomizer painting cognition on you, along with some tips from the experts over at Rust-Oleum ( because they were kind adequate to playing field all of our most burn questions ! ) .
The first step to any spray paint project is going to be to decide what sword of spray paint you want to go with. I ’ ve used them all over the years and I promise I ’ megabyte not just telling you this because I work with them, but Rust-Oleum is by far the most superior spray key brand .
They were my favorites looooooong before they had any idea who I was, and I placid pinch myself on the regular that I actually get to work with them now !
Why is Rust-Oleum so amazing ? Because of every spray paint brand I ’ ve always tried ( which is a bunch – commend I used to be a spray paint addict ! ), their spray rouge gives the most consistent and durable results, the best eat up, has the fewest issues, and the best discolor options .
Plus, they ’ re a brand that sincerely cares about their product and the quality, and that is constantly a huge winnings in my reserve .
so, let ’ s dive into the details. I opened it up for questions over on my Instagram stories and y ’ all delivered with some hard-hitting spray painting questions – some of them I knew the answer to right away, and some of them I had to defer to the pros on. Thankfully, the Rust-Oleum team was glad to answer my questions and as a result we ’ ve got a superintendent detailed lead that should cover anything you ever wanted to know about spray painting but were excessively afraid to ask .
Are you ready ? Let ’ s prima donna in !

the complete guide to HOW TO USE SPRAY PAINT

Woman holding up a can of spray paint, with text overlay - spray paint the complete guideWoman holding up a can of spray paint, with text overlay - spray paint the complete guide

Where to begin: Choosing Your Spray Paint

You may have noticed that within every post of spray paint there are respective different lines of paint. It can be incredibly overwhelming to know where to even start, so allow me to be your usher .
Rust-Oleum has several unlike lines of spray key – I ’ megabyte going to break down the differences of three of them hera. They ’ re all a fantastic quality and provide capital coverage ( and, of naturally, they ’ ra extremely versatile ) .

  • Stops Rust: This line is most well-known for fighting against rust, but it’s incredibly versatile and can be used on tons of different surfaces (not just metal!). This is the go-to line when the most important factor in your project is durability and protection (especially for outdoor projects).
  • 2X Ultra Cover: This line has the most color options, and is probably what I gravitate to the most. It has fantastic coverage and a quick dry time, and it’s very versatile – it can even be used on plastic!
  • Universal: This line is considered Rust-Oleum’s premium line – it offers some really unique finishes (like metallic and hammered) in addition to regular spray paint, and it has a comfort grip trigger that helps reduce finger fatigue!

once you ’ ve chosen the best paint for your undertaking, you ’ re ready to begin homework workplace. This will vary depending on the material of the project you ’ re paint, so I ’ m going to break it down for you below !


It ’ sulfur always a good estimate to sand forest projects before painting – you don ’ t have to unless you ’ re dealing with chip paint or an previous eat up that you need to remove. But, you ’ ll never regret taking the time to sand for a better finish !
If you ’ re working with raw wood, prim is constantly recommended because it will help the paint go on more evenly and prevent it from soaking into the wood .


beginning, you ’ ll need to clean any rust or loose bits from your metallic element. If you do have any corrode on your piece, I recommend priming with Rust-Oleum’s Rusty Metal Primer. It will prevent any spread and keep the rust from seeping through your paint .
If the metallic element is glossy at all, you should lightly sand before painting, and if it ’ mho something that will come into contact with high heat ( like the exterior of a grill ), be certain to use specially formulated high-heat paint !


When you ’ ra spray painting formative, I recommend using a fuse. Rust-Oleum has a primer meant specifically for plastic, and it ’ s meant to help bond to the plastic better than spray paint alone .
After priming, you should be able to use any atomizer paint over it and get good results. But to get the best results, I recommend you stick to Rust-Oleum’s 2x line, which specifically says on the can it ’ second effective for plastic ( the Universal telephone line is good for formative besides ! ). You won ’ thymine bring great results unless you ’ re using the right key !
Be surely to wipe down any formative projects with rouge thin or mineral spirits to truly thoroughly clean them before you paint !

Tips for spray painting glass/ceramic

Glass and ceramic projects should be lightly sanded to scuff up the surface before applying paint. Don ’ t use a exponent drum sander ( you could shatter it ! ), but a immediate sandpaper by hired hand should be adequate to do the trick .
I ’ d constantly recommend priming any glass or ceramic surfaces before painting for the most durable finish .

HOw to spray paint

once you ’ ve chosen your fabric and got it all prepped and ready to go, it ’ randomness clock time to paint !
This is where a fortune of people seem to struggle a little because, while it ’ mho very comfortable, spray painting requires a snatch of delicacy and patience that a set of people overlook !
woman spray painting a plastic dollhousewoman spray painting a plastic dollhouse here ’ s a summation of how you should spray key :

Prep & Safety tips

  • Check the weather. Always double-check specific guidelines on the back of your paint can, but generally you shouldn’t spray paint if it’s less than 50 degrees or higher than 90 degrees, and the humidity should be no higher than 65%. Extreme temperatures can mess with how the paint cures and destroy your finish.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Spray paint fumes are no joke, and you shouldn’t ever work in an enclosed space when you’re spray painting. It’s best to work outdoors if you can, but I’ve been known to spray paint in my garage (with the garage door open) when it’s too windy or wet to paint outside.
  • Protect your work area. Some overspray is inevitable with spray paint, so you should always lay down a drop cloth and cover up anything in the vicinity that you don’t want to accidentally get paint on. Painter’s tape is your best friend here. If you’re working outside, it’s also a good idea to place your project in an area that’s relatively protected from the wind so you don’t get bits of leaves or bugs in the paint!
  • Thoroughly clean your project. Rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits are both great options for cleaning your project and ensuring any lingering dirt is removed before you paint! Be sure to wipe any sanding dust off of wood pieces, and allow the piece to fully dry from any cleaning solution before you begin painting.

Spray painting tips

  • Start by shaking your can. You should shake it until you hear rattling, and then keep shaking vigorously for a solid minute before you begin painting. This is a tempting step to skip, but don’t do it! The more well-mixed your spray paint is, the better your results will be.
  • Keep the can 6-8 inches away from your project. If you get too close, you’ll get drippy paint – but if you get too far away, you’ll have lots of overspray and uneven coverage! About 6-8 inches away is the happy medium for nice, even coverage that shouldn’t drip.
  • Use long, sweeping motions. Keep your arm moving while you work and slowly sweep the can from side to side along your project. Try to begin pulling the trigger just off to the side of the project and spray all the way until you go off the other side – this will help prevent any drippy parts along the edges!
  • Do multiple, thin coats. This is key and where so many people struggle. Your first coat of spray paint won’t look good or cover well. Neither will your second. That’s how it’s supposed to be. You should do multiple thin coats (plan on at least 3) over the entire project before you expect to see actual full coverage. If you try to cover the whole thing in one to two coats, it will be way too thick, very drippy, and just messy. Resist the urge! Also, for best results, it helps if you switch up the direction you’re spraying with each coat (for example, spray vertically the first time, then horizontally on the next coat).
  • Wait about 5 minutes between each coat – no more than an hour! Always consult the back of your spray paint can for specific dry times, but generally speaking you can begin your next coat about 5 minutes after you finish the one before it. Most of the time, if you wait more than an hour between coats then you have to wait for the entire cure time (usually 48 hours) before re-coating, or else the paint might bubble!
  • Now, leave it alone! I find that spray paint generally requires a little more cure time than latex paint to really achieve full durability. I try to leave my spray painting projects alone for a solid 24-48 hours after I finish them to allow the paint to dry all the way before I put it back into place.

And that ’ s all there is to it !
now, let ’ s get to the fun part – your questions !


Do you always have to prime?

The official answer : it ’ second always a good estimate to prime, and you ’ ll never regret taking the time to do it. I recommend Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer for great results on every project !
The unofficial solution ? I typically lone prime surfaces that I expect will have a hard clock accepting paint – things like galvanized steel, glaze or porcelain, or plastic ( and, of course, rusted surfaces ). wood should be primed if it ’ s a holey breed or wood or if it ’ s wholly raw ( so that it doesn ’ metric ton just soak up all of your paint ), but if it ’ sulfur been painted or stained before, I much skip the fuse dance step .
primer is besides a great mind if you ’ re going from a black color to a lighter color – it will help you achieve adept results in fewer coats .

I spray painted a project, and now it feels sticky. What did I do wrong?

typically, this happens because your coats of spray paint were excessively thick and seaport ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate been allowed to cure properly. What ’ mho happening here is that the top level of spray paint has dried, but the layers beneath seaport ’ thyroxine. Your piece should stop being tacky once it has in full cured, which could take days or even weeks. Try to set it in a target with well public discussion and do not use it at all until it has dried amply !
To prevent this in the future, you should always stick to multiple thin coats, and you can wait up to 30-45 minutes between coats to give it extra cure prison term .

It’s killing my finger. Is there a tool to make pulling the trigger easier?

There is ! Rust-Oleum makes a Comfort Grip tool that slides right over the exceed of your atomizer paint can and makes it a lot easier on your hand. It ’ sulfur capital for larger projects, and it can easily be moved between spray paint cans for different projects. Rust-Oleum ’ s Universal line besides has a comfort-grip trigger that should help this issue !

Help! My nozzle is clogged!

It can be very frustrating when your atomizer paint can gets clogged and won ’ t spray anymore. thankfully, it ’ s an easy fix – just pull the beak off the spray can and soak it for a few hours in some mineral spirits, paint thin, or evening collar polish remover. Once it ’ randomness soaked for a while, pull it out and wipe it down – it should be capital after that !
besides, don ’ thyroxine forget that most of the nozzles are a universal paroxysm – so if yours is clogged and you don ’ t have time to wait for it to soak, plainly pull the nozzle off of another can to replace it while the clog one is soaking !
In order to prevent clogged nozzles in the future, you should always clear it of key when you finish a project – turn the can upside down and spray onto a objet d’art of fight cardboard or your drop fabric until it runs clear. then, wipe the nozzle off thus any remaining paint is removed .

Do I need to seal my piece?

Sealing international relations and security network ’ t ever a requirement, but it is highly recommend if you ’ ra working with something that will see heavy manipulation that you want to be amply protected. I in truth like Watco’s spray lacquer – it ’ s easy to use and gives a in truth good end !

And that, my friends, is equitable about everything you need to know about atomizer paint !
Go forth and transform everything in your house !
( Just pull the leg of. But badly. You can transform about everything ! )

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Category : How To

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