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14 Spray Painting Tips

We all use Spray Paint, so in this video, I’m going to be sharing some tips to help your painting go a little bit smoother.

First tip that’s an easy one to get better results is to shake the can well before use. It really does matter. The marble should be heard rolling around the bottom.


If the can is cold, I often warm the can up by setting it outside in the direct sun light. By the can being warm, the paint will atomize better.


It’s easy to lay stuff on a flat surface but often the item gets glued down by the spray paint. Instead create some sort of stand off. This can happen in a variety of ways. You can grab a scrap of wood and run a screw in so that you can thread and item on. If it’s on the underside then nobody will ever see it. 


You can again grab scraps then use a brad nailer to throw a few protruding nails in them. Do this by using any item to compress the head of the nailer in the air instead of the scrap itself. A few of these placed correctly and any item is quickly held up. 


Hanging is always a great option for covering all sides at once. I typically clamp a board to my mobile workbench to give me a suspension point. Then I thread in a hook on the end and use bailing wire to create a loop. 


It’s temping to spray a part as a whole, but you get a much better result if you take the time to dissemble it first. Use a solvent to remove any oils that will interfere with adhesion.

Once the parts are on a stand off, you can get 100% coverage on all sides.

For screws, you don’t want to get paint on the threads or it won’t thread back in easily. Use some cardboard to poke a hole to punch the screw threads in so only the head is exposed to be painted. 


If you have deep chips or scratches in old finish you can sometimes sand them out then use multiple light coats to fill them back in. This won’t work on everything but it’s worth a try before having to sand back the entire piece to repaint. 


When painting wood or MDF, I recommend first laying down a sandable primer. This will seal the wood and prevent absorption which will drastically save on the number of coats you’ll have to apply on the painting stage. 


Always test the sprayer first on a piece of cardboard to avoid sputter or splatter on your piece. 

If a nozzle is spluttering or plugged and won’t clear, just swap it for one that isn’t. They are interchangeable. 


To prevent a nozzle from getting clogged in the first place remember to always clean it out before putting a can away. Do this by spraying it upside down, again I use a scrap of cardboard, then use a rag to wipe off the tip. 


When it comes to spraying techniques: Always start and and stop the spraying when you’re to the side of the work piece. Each pass should overlap your previous pass by about half. It’s easy to rush but try and control your speed so that it’s nice and even. It’s also easy to swing in an Arc but imagine a straight line as you’re moving.

Instead of stretching over a workpiece, try and rotate it so you can keep spraying at a comfortable range. After getting complete coverage on the first pass, rotate the piece 90 degrees if possible on the second coat. This will give you a more solid appearance. 


If you’re covering a large area, something I do that might look silly but certainly works is holding a can of paint in both hands. I push my hands together to get them not only in line but also moving evenly with each other. Get double the coverage for the amount of effort. : ) 


Of course it never fails that something gets into the fresh coat of paint….I keep tweezers on hand for this.


It’s best to spray multiple light coats to avoid runs but even I struggle with the patience this requires. If you get a run I find it best to dab at it instead of wiping it. It isn’t as perfect as several light coats without runs but if the piece isn’t prominent, then it will do in a pitch. 


Hopefully you learned a thing or two, or this has served as a good reminder when you are spray painting your projects. Leave me a comment below if I missed your favorite spray painting tip.


I’d like to thank this video’s sponsor, Fleximounts. If you’re looking for really good shop or garage storage, one awesome solution is with FlexiMount Garage Racks

I have lots of items in my shop that I don’t need to access super often so storing them above with FlexiMount’s 4×8 Overhead Garage Storage Racks is a great solution. By utilizing unused overhead space, you can get your items off of the floor and out of the way.

These overhead racks are strong and secure and really have unmatched strength compared to competing products. The heavy duty construction provides the ability to safely load them up to 600lbs and they are easy to DIY your own installation.  

To further utilize unused space I also installed Fleximounts Garage Wall Shelving with Hooks. These shelves are sturdy and stable and their buckle design prevents the shelves from falling or bending. 

Their heavy gauge steel construction allows for safely loading up to 400 lbs total, and you can secure them to wall studs, suitable for different stud spacing, or even a solid concrete wall. 

If you’d like to check out these Fleximount’s products for your own storage solutions, be sure and check out the links in this description or below. Thanks so much to Fleximount for supporting what I do!


Be sure and watch the video for an even better tutorial. I’ll see you on the next project.

Things I Used in This Project:

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