March 2, 2021

Paint Spraying Tips and Techniques

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Written by Jose

Paint spraying is a technique in which a device is used to spray through the air, a coating such as paint, varnish, and ink, onto a surface. It is a convenient method of adding a touch of color to a project. A paint sprayer simplifies the painting process in two ways. One is that it speeds up the painting process as it is twice as fast as the traditional methods of brushing and rolling. Secondly, it results in smooth glass finishes as it has what it takes to lay paint flawlessly.

Spraying may look like an easy process and a straightforward one,but if it's not done well, it can lead to disastrous results. It can be a disappointing process especially for users who are not familiar with the painting process. This is the reason we have compiled the tips and techniques of paint spraying to enable you to generate beautiful results for your painting job even if you are still learning the art of painting.

Blue paint sprayer

The Basics of Spray Painting

Any painting project will require prior preparations before the actual painting takes place and it actually begins with "how to do use a paint sprayer?". The first thing that needs to be done is to prepare the painting location. The location needs to be well-ventilated to protect you from the painting fumes. Outdoor environments are the best locations,but even an open garage is good enough. If you have to do it indoors, ensure the windows are opened as much as possible and have the fan running to assist in quicker drying of paint.

white paint sprayer

Small objects need to be covered or placed in boxes to protect them from paint overspray. A drop cloth can also be used to cover them especially if they can't fit in a box. You then need to ensure that the painting surface is clean, smooth, and free of debris. Surface bumps need to be removed using steel wool or sandpaper. The remaining dust then needs to be cleaned using a lint-free cloth. Cleaning, sanding, and drying of the materials before painting helps in getting the best results.

The next step is to check and read all the instructions related to the painting process. Check for instructions touching on proper spraying distance, the level of shaking required, proper application temperatures, and the curing duration so that you could be able to save time with the paint sprayer. Having acquainted yourself with the proper instructions, you can now test the spray paint. You should begin with a can that is at room temperature and thoroughly shake it for about 2-3 minutes. This helps to mix the paint and you need to do this occasionally during the painting process. Use a piece of scrap metal within the painting surface for your spray practice. The tip of the can then needs to be pressed down 10 to 12 inches away from your surface. Use the trigger to create an even flow of paint and sweep the can vertically and horizontally across the object. Once you reach the end of the surface, move the can using your entire arm and start a new sweep on the surface.

The sweeping movements for your spray has start from one side of the object and end on the other side always. If you are starting from left, then begin each coat from the same side. Apply several thin coats to give you a more consistent finish. Check the recommended times of applying several coats on the canister as well as the re-coat window. Multiple passes are usually required for large surfaces.

man with white paint sprayer

Remember to slightly overlap your passes and apply several light coats to allow drying in-between. The drying times for various paints differ,so it's important to exercise some patience when applying multiple layers. At the end of the painting process, the can needs to be turned upside down until a clear gas is produced to clear the tip. Cleaning the spray valve helps in preventing clogging. You can remove any remaining clogs by wiping the tip opening using lacquer thinner or warm water.

Spray Painting Tips and Tricks

Now that we know the basic spray techniques, the following tips will help you take your painting experience to the next level. The first tip is to use a large drop cloth instead of taping so many pieces of cloths or newspapers that might fall during the painting process. If you are spray painting an object, you then need to set up painting item high on a workbench, sawhorse, or any other platform. This ensures easy access to the object during the painting process.
If you are painting smaller objects, it is good idea to use a paint booth to limit the overspray problem. A makeshift booth can be made using a cardboard box. The booth then needs to be set on a turntable to enable spinning without necessarily touching it. This allows you to paint from different angles. If you are handling a large project, you need to consider having a compressor and buying a spray gun. The spray gun uses compressed air to suck paint from the paint basin and pass it through the nozzle to create a fine finish.

No matter how big or small your painting project is, you should always use respirator and use it during spraying. Spray paints usually generate toxic fumes which can be harmful to your body. Spraying in a well-ventilated area helps to prevent the buildup of these fumes. A simple respirator costs less than $30 and gives you maximum protection against these fumes. It comes with replaceable filters for easier maintenance. To be able to revive old paint, you need to remove the nozzle from the can and soak it overnight to dissolve the paint. You can soak it in solvents like paint thinner and mineral spirits. You can also soak it in a bucket of hot water to reduce the paint viscosity and increase the pressure inside the can.


In this article, we have shared some of the techniques that can help sharpen your spray painting skills. Using these techniques and tips can help to achieve a professional finish of your painting projects. One key technique that you should apply in your next painting assignments is that of spraying a light coat on the surface, allow it to partially dry and then apply the next coat until the surface is fully wet. This technique produces a smooth and flawless coating for the objects. You should try this method on a test piece to ensure it works for your paint material since not all materials work with a wet coating. Finally, you need to stay safe throughout your painting process by wearing a dust mask and an appropriate respirator. The work area also needs to have enough ventilation to minimize the build-up of toxic fumes.

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