Spray Paint FAQ’s
Two of the most important tips about spray painting not to overlook:
- Shake, shake, shake the can for a minute, then shake it again for another minute and also while you are spraying.
- For optimal paint adhesion and drying, try to spray when the temp is between 65 – 85 degrees. Cooler is better. 75 degrees and no humidity – perfect.
- Long light fluid strokes are the way to spray – and don’t forget to shake the can a few times while you are spraying.
Question #1: How long should I wait until I can re-coat my piece?
It all depends on the weather. If the temps are optimal between 65- 85 degrees you can re-coat about every 5 minutes as long as you are applying light even coats. If the item is two sided let the first side dry, then flip and paint. It should dry to touch in 30 minutes, to handle – 1- 2 hours, and be fully dry in 24 hours.
Questions #2: Why did the paint finish crackle or wrinkle when I re-coated?
A few different factors can cause the finish to wrinkle or crack when applying another coat of paint. The most common – is applying the paint too thickly – which makes the surface of the paint dry too fast and not the underside. When you re-coat the solvents in the paint shrink and this causes the wrinkling.
The way to avoid it – spray only when the temperature is 65 – 85 degrees, apply only light even coats, and re-coat every few minutes. Also read the back of the can. Some brands say you should get all re-coating done in under 30 minutes. After that, do not re-coat at least for 24 hours or the paint may wrinkle.
Another reason it may happen is if there is wax or residue on the item that is incompatible with the paint. Sand, clean well and dry your piece before painting. Use a primer and make sure the spray paint you are using is made for that specific surface. Read the label.
Question #3: How do you spray paint when it is too cold to go outside to do it?
Create a no-cost collapsible spray booth to store in your garage. This not only keeps the overspray from going everywhere, but is also a place to spray paint when it is too cold to go outside. Just be sure to open the doors while you spray and then close them when you are done. See this post for the tutorial on how to easily make a spray booth.
Question #4: I just spray painted my chandelier – it came out nice, but some of the sections are not smooth – they feel like sandpaper. What am I doing wrong? Help!
This happens when you paint outdoors when it is hot or in the sun. The paint spray dries before reaching the surface and it cannot level because of too rapid evaporation. It can also be caused if you hold the can too far away. It is better to spray in the morning or evening during the summer and keep the can about 10-16” away from the item as you spray. If it is a chandelier or large piece that has to be sprayed in sections, block off everything while you spray one section at a time with a piece of cardboard.
Question #5: The pieces that I spray paint always have raised blotches, do I have to sand it and start all over?
When spray painting, after shaking the can for a minute and then shaking it again for another minute – hold can upright 10” – 16” from surface. Press trigger and begin covering surface lightly in a steady back and forth motion, slightly overlapping each stroke and shaking the can a few times as you paint. This will give you a nice even finish. You get blotches of paint when you hold the spray in one area for too long.
Question #6: My nozzle leaks or gets clogged so I can use the can, how do I fix it?
If you have a few cans of spray paint in your paint supplies, try switching out the nozzles. This usually helps get the can spraying again. Before I throw out used cans of spray paint, If the nozzle is a good one, I place it in a baggie and store it so I have plenty when I need to change a bad one.
For more spray painting tips, see these posts: