Spray Paint FAQ’s
The 3 Most Important Spray Painting Tips 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.
- You must get all the coats needed on the piece you are spraying within an hour. If you can’t get this done, wait 48 hours to apply a new coat. If you add a coat before this waiting period, you run the risk of the paint wrinkling.
Spray Painting Question #1: How long should I wait until I can re-coat my piece?
Re-coat within an hour as mentioned above. 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 to the touch, then flip and paint. It should dry to touch in 30 minutes, to handle – 1- 2 hours, and be fully dry in 24 hours.
Spray Painting Question #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 – 60 minutes. After that, do not re-coat at least for 24 – 48 hours or the paint may wrinkle. Again…read the label for specifics.
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.
Spray Painting 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 it 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.
How to Make a DIY Spray Painting Booth
Spray Painting 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 8-16” away from the item as you spray. If it is a chandelier or large piece that has to be sprayed in sections, block off other sections while you spray one section at a time with a piece of cardboard.
Spray Painting 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 8” – 16” from surface. Press trigger and begin covering the 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. If you get blotches and want to sand it to start over. Wait for the paint to completely dry. If you sand too soon you will create a gummy mess that will be hard to remove. If this happens, use paint remover to remove the paint, clean well and start over.
Spray Painting Question #6: My nozzle leaks or gets clogged so I can’t 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 I save the nozzle. I place them in a baggie and store it so I have plenty when I need to change a clogged one.
For more spray painting tips, see these posts: