Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tips & Tricks Tuesday #1 - Hooray for Spray

Welcome to the very first Tips and Tricks Tuesday linkup party at the Brambleberry Cottage (BbC)!

Are you ready for some great tips and tricks to make your projects a breeze? Terrific! Then let's get started!

If you ask any decorator or DIY enthusiast what his or her favorite, least expensive transformation resource is, hands down the answer will be paint. And for the average small project, it will be spray paint.

We do-it-yourselfers are totally enamored with this tool. And for good reason. Paint covers a multitude of sins–literally! It costs little, but packs quite a punch. And…anyone can do it.

But there are a few tips and tricks that will ensure your end result is the best it can possibly be.

In the world of spray paint, there are several usage tips that are fairly consistent across-the-board–regardless of brand or type of spray paint used:

Safety first is rule one! Make sure you use your choice of paint in a well-ventilated area.

Wear a mask if you're sanding or scraping, and there is the possibility of lead-based paint.

Prepare the surface to be painted–making sure it is clean, dull (for best adhesion), and dry.

Air and surface temperatures should be between 50-90 degrees and below 85% humidity to ensure proper coverage and drying.

Cover the surrounding area to protect it from overspray.

Avoid spraying in windy or dusty conditions.

No doubt, you're familiar with those cardinal rules. But, are you aware that not all spray paints are created equal?

It's confession time! Do you read the entire label each and every time you use a different brand or type of paint? Well, you should.

Compare some of my favorites to understand why.  Note the manufacturer's specified distance between the can of paint and the surface being painted and the time suggested between recoats for each paint.

Hold 10"-16" from surface; apply second coat within one hour or after 48 hours.

6"-8" from surface; additional coats within one hour or after 24 hours

10"-12" from surface; recoat within one hour or after 24 hours

8"-10" from surface; recoat before 24 hours or after 7 days

10"-16" from surface; dries fully in 30 minutes and can be recoated anytime

same as one just above

As you can see, there is quite a bit of difference between differing brands and types of paint.

Applying multiple coats of paint, outside of the time frame and distance indicated on the can, may cause it to peel, crack, or develop an orange-peel texture.  And who wants that!

From now on, you're going to carefully read the directions for each paint you use, right?
Just nod your head "yes".
OK, I feel better!

Now, to wrap it up–or should I say spray it up–here are the final tips and tricks to make sure you get 'er done right:

Whether the surface to be painted is new–having never been painted–or was previously painted will determine the preparatory steps you need to take.

You may need to sand, scrape, or wire-brush to loosen or eliminate old paint– remember the safety step here.

In most cases, a simple soap-and-water cleanup will follow the step above; however, there are occasions when you will need to use an ammonia-based cleaner, or denatured alcohol or paint thinner to thoroughly clean your surface, prior to painting.

Priming the surface provides the best adhesion, but isn't always a necessity. 

Shake that paint can vigorously for one to two minutes after the mixing ball begins to rattle, and shake often during use. Think oil and vinegar. You want your dressing thoroughly mixed before you use it, and you want the paint pigment evenly distributed as well, right?

 Always begin spraying just to the side of the object to be painted and end just beyond–never directly overtop–to avoid splotches, runs or drips.

A few light passes–a minute or two apart–are better than a heavy one-coat application.

Keep your can at the same distance from the surface the entire time you're painting, and keep it moving while spraying in a gentle back-and-forth motion.

Start at the top of the object–spraying in horizontal sweeps–as you move downward and slightly overlap each stroke.

Finally, turn the can upside down–away from your paint project & yourself–and press the spray button for approximately five seconds to clear the valve of paint and to prevent clogging.

If you weren't a paint pro before, you're sure to become one by using these simple tips and tricks.

I can't wait to see all the wonderful things you have to share.  Just be sure to follow the simple rules of this party.

Be sure to linkup with the specific URL for your Tips and Tricks post, grab the event button at the top of this post and link back to the Brambleberry Cottage Tips and Tricks #1. 

Please leave a comment at the end of this post, and become my friend by following along–if you aren't already.
Happy Tips and Tricks Tuesday!

Sharing my paint mosaic at Mary's for Mosaic Monday.


  1. Okie dokie Liz- got mine up there..hope you get more entries but remember you have to do it for a couple of weeks to get the word out there..

  2. oops, I'll try for another time...didn't know about it in time for this week. Last night would have been the time to get it up and I was snowed...:))

  3. Love the spray paint tips! This post makes me want to run out and spray paint something tomorrow. Hah! Maybe I'll do just that. Great party! :)

  4. Thanks for your great tips! I have never spray painted anything before, but am thinking about doing the old dresser in my daughters room. I should probably practice on something smaller first, huh?

  5. Great tips ~ I'll look forward to this fun Tuesday feature!

    I'm having a WEDDING BLOG PARTY on June 25th (my first ever to hostess!) so please stop by if you are interested and read about it ~ I'd love to have you join us! And there will be another sweet giveaway, too!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  6. Great paint tips! I have added my link from an older post on how to recover a lampshade. Thanks for the invite!

  7. Great tips. Thanks for the info.

    I came here via A Little Lovely blog and glad I did so I could link up to your party.

    Come by and visit me sometimes over at Pittypat Paperie.

  8. Oh, I forgot to ask. Do you have a button I can add to my blog about this party? I didn't find it. Just let me know. Thanks, Diane

  9. What great posts!
    But I have say thanks a I've gotta spray paint my chairs, eagle, metal outdoor sofa...LOL.....thanks heaps!!
    Hey, if ya come across those shoes again, let me know.

  10. Thanks for your sweet comments! I added a link to one of my tips, and I'll be back to check out your other parties! Thanks!

  11. Some great tips on spray painting. I use a huge box , place the item in and it contains some of the overspray. I saw that one on a decorating show several years ago!!


  12. I love spray paint! You can spray anything!

  13. I do love to spray! I'm your new follower!

  14. Love spray paint! Georgia heat & humidity keep me from using it June - Sept!

  15. Great post! Love the chalkboard paint, it's really a fun project! Cool mosaic!

  16. Thanks!! I'm just about ready to start painting my dining room chairs!

  17. Yes some paints can make wonders..... Great tips. PS! I like header very much.

  18. I have to confess I have NEVER read the directions but I guess from now on I will. I tend to get a little heavy handed when using the spray paint and have ended up with some globs of paint on my item. Now I know to go lightly and spray a few times. I am looking at two chairs and thinking I should go out and buy some spray paint today. Thanks for sharing your tips with me.

  19. Thank's for the tips! It is so much easier to learn from someone who has already 'been there-done that', rather than the 'school of hard knocks'!

  20. Hi, thanks so much for all the tips! I hope that you have a lovely new week!

  21. Great tips and informations. Have a great week!

  22. Thanks for inviting me to your party but I missed it. I hope to come back next time :D

  23. What great tips! ANd what a terrific mosaic! Thanks so much for playing along. :)


Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to comment.