February 5, 2014

10 Things You Should Know About Spray Paint

Everything you need to know about spray paint all in one place! This is a MUST-PIN!
One of my favorite parts of blogging is the emails/comments ya'll send me. For two reasons. #1: Although I'm usually pretty outgoing, I'm a big introvert at heart, and sometimes wearing XXL sweatpants and hiding under my bed sounds like a fine way to spend the day. But, then I read your emails, and I'm reminded of how much I love blogging and why I can't just live under my bed in sweatpants. 
Basically, your emails prevent me from becoming Gollum. 







Reason #2: Your emails are filled with tons of great questions, which really helps me out when I'm trying to figure out what topics I want to write about. So, today I thought I would tackle one of the topics you ask me about the most: spray paint. 
And that's how we transition from Gollum to spray paint. You saw it here first, folks.

I began using spray paint around the same time I started decorating our house with thrift store finds, and I quickly learned that just about anything can be updated with a coat of spray paint. And ever since sharing this post last year, I've been getting tons of questions about spray paint. Hopefully today's post will help answer some of those questions!

So, let's get started. Here are the top 10 questions you guys ask me about spray paint. 

1. Why choose spray paint? 
Everything you need to know about spray paint all in one place! This is a MUST-PIN!



There are so many pros when it comes to spray paint. Just to name a few, spray paint provides more coverage (with no brush strokes) and dries much faster than paint out of a can. It's oil based, and adheres really well to almost anything, and it's much more durable than latex paint.
And of course the best part about spray paint...it's easy and fast, and there's barely any cleanup.
Basically, it's one of life's most precious gifts.

The cons of spray paint, in my opinion, are as follows: Color choices are very limited (when compared to the infinite possibilities of traditional paint) and it's more expensive per square foot of coverage. Also, it's smelly and you have to use it outdoors in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask. 



2. What surfaces can be spray painted?

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Spray paint is super versatile and can be used on tons of different surfaces, for example: wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass, tin, ceramic, mirror, glass, masonry, plaster, concrete, terra cotta, canvas, MDF, laminate, and particle board. 

You can use spray paint on most items used for decorative purposes, but it shouldn't be used on surfaces that comes into contact with food or beverages. 
So don't spray paint your fork. 


3. What are the basic spray painting techniques?

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Spray painting is pretty easy, but here are the basics to get you started.

  1. Go outside in a well ventilated area. Wear a paint respirator. Wave at the neighbors who look at you like you've escaped from the set of Breaking Bad.
  2. Shake the spray paint can for a few minutes. 
  3. Aim the can away from the item you're painting, push down the nozzle, and start the stream of spray paint. The first spray out of the can usually spatters and you won't want that spatter on your item. 
  4. Move the stream of paint onto your item, keeping it about 6-8 inches away, and move back and forth in a smooth, rapid motion, spraying it from every angle. When spray painting outside, I often put my items on a big piece of cardboard that I can rotate without having to touch the item.
  5. Apply 2-3 very light coats of spray paint, allowing each coat to completely dry in between. If you apply the paint too heavy, it will drip. If you don't allow the coats to dry in between, the paint will bubble. So, just remember...several light coats + allowing paint to fully dry in between coats = perfect paint job.

4. Can spray paint be used in any temperature?



Spray paint doesn't work well in very cold weather. 
Trust me. I've tried it. 
We don't park in the garage though, so I can use the garage for spray painting during the winter. I usually set up a large box or garment bag to create a spray painting tent and prevent any overspray.
It's best to spray paint in temperatures above 50 degrees. Anything below that, and your paint is going to crack all over the place and make you very, very sad.
 I'm hoping that Jesse saw the 'No' spray painted in the yard before the snow melted. Because just when he thinks I can't get any weirder.....
WHOOP. There it is.

5. Do I need to sand before I spray paint?



Not always. This one is kind of a judgement call. I never sand small decorative items. I just spray paint them and call it a day. But, sometimes when I spray paint small furniture, I might scuff it lightly with some fine grit and then prime it first before spray painting. Also, if there is any old varnish or if something needs smoothed out on a piece of furniture, sanding can provide you with a fresh start. 
So, small items = no. Furniture = It's up to you, girl.

6. Should I prime before painting?

I rarely prime anything unless it's furniture, something really glossy, or if it's going to go outdoors.
In my experience, although primer is supposed to help with durability and adhesion, I don't find it necessary on most items. Spray paint is oil based, so it adheres really well on its own. Although, if you're in doubt, it can't hurt to prime.
Primer sidenote: If you're ever looking for a really pretty flat gray spray paint with blue undertones, just use basic gray primer. Remember that one time when I discovered the awesomeness of gray primer...and then temporarily ruined that desk with what followed?



7. Do I have to use a topcoat/clearcoat after spray painting?



I rarely ever use a topcoat when spray painting. Mostly because the majority of the items I spray paint are smaller decorative items, not furniture, and the spray paint alone provides enough durability. If you are spray painting furniture and find that you just really want an extra layer of durability, I recommend using Rust-Oleum Clear Gloss Spray Paint (affiliate link). It can also be used over flat spray paint to make it glossy. But, really, you don't usually need a topcoat for spray paint.

8. How do I choose a sheen?
Some colors of spray paint are offered in different finishes, usually flat, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Basically the only difference is how shiny they are. You can tell by the lid on the can what the finish will look like. 
It's usually a pretty great indicator, 
unlike that little square on top of every single box of hair dye ever. 
Seriously, whyyyy?


10 things you should know about spray paint! This is SO good!

I mostly use metallic spray paint, but if I am using a color (like some of the ones pictured above) I almost always use semi-gloss or gloss spray paint. I just love the way it turns out, and it's a really durable finish.
I also love using high gloss white to make stuff look like ceramic. You may remember in my last paint secrets post when I talked about spray painting glass to look like ceramic.




9. Are any of the spray paint accessories worth buying?
 I don't use primer very much, or topcoats, but there are a few other products out there that are totally worth buying because they actually make spray painting easier.
My favorite is the spray paint handle (affiliate link). I get much better results when using a a spray paint handle than I do when using my bare hand. I don't use it every single time, but if you are spray painting something large (like a piece of furniture), the handle makes it a lot easier.
Although the manhands look strong, they are very dainty indeed.




Another product I recently found are these little painter's pyramids. They apparently hold up to 200 lbs and elevate your item while you spray paint. I say 'apparently' because I have yet to try them out, but I though they looked like a pretty cool idea.

Everything you need to know about spray paint all in one place! This is a MUST-PIN!

OR...if you're cheap like me, you can also use tacks to elevate your projects. I do this a lot, especially when painting frames.
I don't think tacks can hold up to 200 lbs., but I have yet to test my theory.

Everything you need to know about spray paint all in one place! This is a MUST-PIN!


10. What are your favorite paints?
Last but not least, let's talk about my favorite paints. There are tons of different brands of spray paint on the market, and I'm pretty sure I've tried them all. Or at least most.
 The ones I like the best are Rust-Oleum and Krylon. They're affordable, the colors are great, and the quality is usually pretty consistent.
I use the metallic colors the most, and the ones in the below picture are my favorite.

Everything you need to know about spray paint all in one place! This is a MUST-PIN!



From right to left (pictured above), my favorites are:
You can find any of these on Amazon using the above affiliate links.

Here are a few examples of where I've used each one in our house.
In our entryway pictured below, I used the Krylon Champagne Nouveau on the mirror and Rustoleum Bright Coat Gold on the dresser hardware.


In our master bedroom, I used the Krylon Satin Nickel on the mirror frame and on the base of the lucite lamp. I used Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze on the dresser handles, and Rustoleum Bright Coat Gold on the mirrored tray. 
I actually gold leafed those candlesticks (which were originally the clear glass kind from the dollar store) and then Cheese kept knocking them over. And then I crammed them in a closet somewhere. And then I never thought about them ever again. CATS.


I used Krylon Champagne Nouveau on that mirror on the rock wall. I think I've been asked about what color I used on that mirror more than any other questions I've ever gotten. 


In the master bedroom side room, I used the Rustoleum Bright Coat Gold on Vern's hardware, Rustoleum Bright Coat Silver on the planter, and Krylon Satin Nickel on the mirror.
My poor plant has one leaf left, guys. 
I tried everything, including mouth to mouth.


On our barstools in the kitchen, I used Rustoleum Universal Titanium Silver. I didn't have a can on hand, so it's not pictured in that first picture, but it's one of my favorites. The Rustoleum Universal spray paints are the most expensive, but you totally get what you pay for. Those barstools get more use than just about anything in our house, and they have held up perfectly for more than a year. 
And there's Tootie, showing off one of her many talents: hiding in plain sight.


On the mantel, I used Rustoleum Bright Coat Gold on the little wooden thrift store deer, and I also used it on the mirror frame and then sponge brushed a little bit of silver metallic craft paint over the top of the gold spray paint.



And finally, in the picture below, I used Krylon Champagne Nouveau on the mirror. On the vanity, I used actual silver leaf on the drawers and top, but used Rustoleum Bright Coat Silver on the sides and legs. Many of you have asked since that project if I think it would have turned out just as good if I only used the spray paint (since the silver leaf was a nightmare), and my answer is yes, yes it would have.


And that, dear sweet friends, is all for today. I'll be back soon to share one of my favorite projects, the bedroom reveal, and the craziest thing ever. And I mean ever.
Now congratulate yourself on a job well done. 
You just made it through the longest post known to mankind. 
You complete me.

'Til next time!




Everything you need to know about spray paint all in one place! This is a MUST-PIN!

P.S. Oh yeah, and if you still haven't had your fill of spray paint talk, go here.



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55 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great information!! Love your tips!

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  2. Love your blog! Stumbled across it Via Pinterest a few months ago & have fallen in love. I usually hate reading, but this has become an exception. It inspires me to decorate differently and think outside the box! ;) thanks!

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    1. Well, that's just awesome. Thanks Ashley! xo

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  3. Thanks for the info! That really just saved me from writing a super long email asking you these EXACT same questions. True words.

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    1. That's so awesome! Thanks Amber! So glad it helped!!

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  4. Hi Virginia! I j'adore your blog. If I may ask, have you ever used the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint? I have a hankering to do some mirrored furniture (or preferably faux-mirrored, to avoid shard-related injuries) and have been wondering how that might look. I've seen it used on glass, but not on furniture. Thoughts? Thank you for coming out of your cave to blog for us!

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    1. Thank you, Meredith!! The Krylon Looking Glass is next on my MUST-TRY list! I'll probably test it out on a little piece of furniture, too....just to see how it turns out. I promise to share my findings when I do! xo

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  5. Virginia, I read your blog for sometime now and I think I never comment before but I have to now - you are a star and my inspiration. I love the way you change your house.
    Thanks your sharing all your wonderful tips- LOVE YOU
    xxx
    Karolina from H O U S E L O V E S

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    1. Karolina, I'm so glad you commented! It's nice to meet you! I appreciate your support and sweet words sooooo much! xo

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  6. Wish you could come over to my house and do all of this for me! ;) Love your tips and your whole blog!!

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    1. ohhh! Thank you so much, Maryrose! You guys just leave the sweetest comments....it makes me so happy! xo

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  7. Great post! I have used the Krylon Champagne Nouveau before and it is one of my favorite colors!
    Irene

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    1. ME too!!! I have yet to find anything else like it!

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  8. Great tips! Do you know if there a spray paint out there that will give that true "gold-plated" look? I have a brass plated side table, and the brass has rubbed off. I'm scared to spray paint it though because I haven't seen any that look truly gold.

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

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    1. Hi Hannah! You might want to try the Rustoleum Bright Coat Gold...it's pretty awesome.

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  9. This post is awesome! I was wondering what your experience is with spray painting MDF? I have a TV stand I would love to paint, but am nervous since it is made of MDF. Should I sand? Prime? Is there a brand of paint that works best on MDF? Thank you so much, your blog is so great!

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    1. HI Jaime! I would just prime it and then spray paint it whatever color you want. That should work! And thank you!! xo

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  10. I just emailed you yesterday commenting that I love your blog and wish you would post a little more often... glad I could motivate you out of your p.j.'s. We love you, Virginia!

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    1. Thank you so much! Perhaps one day! Fingers crossed! xo

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  11. Virginia, this is a wonderful post! I have always had the motto: "Never under estimate the power of a can of spray paint." :-) It's so true, right? I have a little thrift store vase that was originally green glass. Within a few seconds it became satin black and I've had more people want to buy it! Yup, the power of spray paint :-) (Of course like you, that's just one of many things I own that have been spray painted. Hee hee!)

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    1. Thank you, Connie!! It is definitely SO true!! Spray paint is basically magic! :)

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  12. I love spray paint too and used to feel like I was "cheating" when I used it. I had the same problem with flat surfaces that you did with the black desk. This seems to happen to me only with the color black spray paint and I correct this problem exactly the way you did. Your blog is great and look forward to future posts......don't hide under the bed.

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    1. HA! Thank you!! I promise I won't hide under the bed, Martha. It's tempting sometimes, but I don't think I even fit under the bed. And Jesse hogs his XXLs anyways! :)

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  13. Great tips! I hate spray painting but I bought some of the Rustoleum x2 and that was the best paint ever. There was an old wrought iron table on my deck from the previous owners and I painted it "lagoon". I thought I died and went to the tropics. http://www.glutenfreepoodlehome.com/spray-paint-fun/#.UvQ6QvaL1aU

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  14. So DON'T spray paint a fork. Check!
    DO spray paint the snow. Check Check!
    BAHAHAHAHAA! :-)
    In all seriousness, I did already know the "It's not food safe" thing but I just had to single it out as the best line in the whole post. You might be my favorite person ever LOL.

    Erica
    www.fortheloveofdecorating.com

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    1. HA! Thank you Erica! You are awesome. xo

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  15. Aside from always delivering on your posts, you my friend, have one wicked awesome sense of humor!! Thanks for the great tips and laughs. :)

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    1. Thank you, Katherine! It's so nice to know ya'll 'get' me! xo

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  16. These are all wonderful tips! I've been considering giving my bar stools a little makeover, as well as a few other items! Pinning. :)
    Brandi @ Nest of Bliss

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    1. Thanks so much, Brandi! And beware....it's addictive! :)

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  17. I'm an introvert myself. I love looking for excuses why I can't go somewhere. Such a great post too and that's coming from a total stray paint addict.

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    1. Thank you thank you thank you, Julia! Introverted spray paint addicts unite! :)

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  18. Perfect post! I have a couple decorative pieces I have been wanting to spray paint. I always love your results of your spray painted items. By golly, I CAN DO THIS! :)


    Hope your weekend is extra BLESSED!

    ~Sherri

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    1. Thanks sooo much, Sherri! You are too sweet! And yes, you CAN do this! I know you can! Hope you had a great weekend! xo

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  19. Hi Virginia! Does it ever chip if you spray things such as door knobs? That's my next project. I'm wanting to update :)
    Thanks you!
    Allison

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    1. Hi Allison! We spray painted a few doorknobs in our master bedroom a little over a year ago and they have held up really well. There are a couple of little scratches, but for as much use as they get, it's pretty remarkable. It would be an easy fix if I ever wanted to take them off and spray them again. As far as chipping goes though, nope...never seen any chipping on anything I've spray painted. I think it's because it's oil based, so it adheres sooo well! :)

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  20. Love all the pointers and ideas. Spray paint rocks! And I'm sorry to hear about your poor house plant. Get another one and try again!

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    1. Thanks so much Traci! And yes, I already have! I am determined to grow a green thumb. :)

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  21. P.S. I love the NO in the snow...I have totally done that before!

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  22. You are so funny! And although I had to take 3 breaks to get through the entire post...I learned so much that I am about to start spray painting EVERYTHING! Found you via Pinterest & am now a lifelong fan :)

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    1. HA! Tay, I love that you took 3 breaks and still made it all the way through! You get major points for that sort of commitment! Thank you so much and I'm happy to have you as a reader!! xo

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  23. Love your blog, you always make me smile! Question... Have you had any issues with Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze clogging? I'm on my 8th can & I only use it for hardware. Really frustrating b/c I LOVE the results. Just curious. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much! No, I've never had that problem before, but I've heard that removing the tip and running it under hot water might help remove the clog. You might want to try that next time!

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  24. First time listener/First time caller - just found your site and can't wait to browse around! Do you have any tips for spray painting wicker? I have an indoor wicker bookshelf I want to paint, and I envision much frustration trying to get all the nooks and crannies covered. Also - am intrigued by the stacked wood in your fireplace...any full pictures on here? Thanks!

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  25. Honestly, I think I'm in love with you. I came across your blog a couple days ago and I am absolutely oooobsessed. Thank you for being so awesome.

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  26. I was googling for spray paint info and stumbled across your blog. This information is so helpful and you are so funny... don't spray paint your fork. lol.

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  27. Love how down to earth you are, it is refreshing, and love your ideas. Talented!

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  28. Wait a minute!!

    So I can spray paint pretty much anything I want to get it the color and look I want? Do you know what this means? Garage sales and thrift stores here I come.

    Wow!!!

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  29. Great spray painting advice. I'm a big fan of it. Have you tried the Montana brand paints. They have many great color choices. I buy them at a local art supply store. They cost about $8-9 a can and they are very good quality.

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  30. Really good advice. I love when someone shares their experience so that other people can benefit. I really like your taste & design saavy. I am going to get some of the bright silver and cannot wait to try it. I have a ton of old items, glass & furniture that could be brought back to life, Question, am I going to become addicted & later need therapy??

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  31. Thanks for the awesome tips! I'm super keen to spray paint everything these days - unfortunately my workspace (ie. my bedroom) isn't a great location to spray in! And, in Australia, it's hard to find decent spray paints! But I'm about to move out, so am looking forward to experimenting - and these tips will be super handy!

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  32. Love this post! I love how you mix all the metallics in your home,beautiful job!

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  33. Thanks BUNCHES for taking your time to share these great tips!

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

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