Decor: How to use spray paint

Spray paints have come a long way in the last few years, but as with every type of painting product, there are certain things you have to prepare for...

Benefits of using spray paint:

1.    Far more coverage than conventional brushed-on paint - and without brush strokes.

2.    Faster to apply and dries in a fraction of the time.

3.    Due to its solvent base, spray paint is far more durable than most other paints.

4.    Spray paint is easy to use outdoors, with a drop cloth and some newspaper.

5.    Specialty spray paints can be used to transform metal, wicker, plastic, resin and other surfaces.

6.    With a spray paint nozzle gun in hand, you can conquer the world, or at least, transform a piece of furniture without losing your mind to a million brush strokes.

7.    Clean-up is quicker – no brushes to rinse or buckets to wash.

8.    Spray paint makes you feel like you are cheating - it makes painting projects so much easier!

Disadvantages of using spray paint:

1.    Even with their wide colour range, the selection is limited when compared to conventional brush-on paints.

2.    Generally, you can’t use it indoors unless the area is well-ventilated.

3.    Spray paint is typically oil-based, so clean up on your hands requires mineral spirits or really strong exfoliation.

4.    Spray paint is extremely toxic (ALWAYS wear a mask).

5.    A bad nozzle will spatter paint and, well, ruin your day.

Guidelines for using spray paint:

•    Shake the can and then shake it again. You can never shake enough, especially when using for the first time.

•    Always spray 30cm away from your piece, and move gently from left to right as you spray.

•    Two thin coats is better than one thick coat, and it prevents drips.

•    Have a scrap piece of wood handy to check that the paint is mixed before starting, especially when using metallic or stone sprays.

•    If the valve becomes blocked, shake the can and hold upside - give it a couple of spray to clear the valve. Always keep a couple of spare nozzles handy from old cans just in case to have a faulty          nozzle - it's easy to swap them.

•    Quality varies, so I mostly use Rust-Oleum spray paints.

•    Dispose of your cans properly at a toxic waste disposal sites.

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