Spray Painting Using Aerosol Cans

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I have been selected as the resident house painting expert for the site http://www.doityourself.com The site sends me articles, and I correct them. As I said in the beginning of this blog, most of the information about interior house painting is just plain wrong. It has been my quest on this site to correct some of the misinformation about interior house painting. doityourself was wise enough to realize that a lot of the articles on the site had bad information, and they were impressed with the accuracy of http://www.interiorhousepaintingblog.com and solicited me to correct their articles. One thing that keeps coming up is spray painting, both with professional equipment and also with aerosol cans. I have to keep repeating the proper technique in many articles, so I decided just to write an article for this blog with the basic information. Be sure to bookmark this page. Whether using professional equipment such as airless sprayers or compressor driven paint guns or aerosol cans, the basic technique is the same.

First of all, let me caution you on a health matter. When spray painting, the proper paint respirator is a must. They are not cheap, but if you want to fully protect your lungs and nervous system and yourself, you should wear a respirator. The fumes from spray paint can make you dizzy and sick, and even pass out. Also make sure that you do this spraying with adequate ventilation. If you have a metal cabinet or a piece of furniture or anything that you can move, the ideal solution is to wait for a warm, calm day and carry the piece outside. If this is not possible, make sure there is a LOT of ventilation. Protect your health.

The next caution when spray painting is to make sure that you cover anything that you do not want to get any paint on with drop cloths, either plastic or canvas, or newspaper. When spraying, there is a lot of overspray. It can travel very far and really make a mess of things. So, cover it up!

Now for the technique to spray paint. Let us say that you are painting a small metal cabinet or some outdoor furniture. You need to remember that the proper way to spray involves an on/off on/off motion. Lets say we are doing the cabinet. Hold the spray can to the left of the cabinet with your finger on the button and start to spray BEFORE you reach the cabinet. Hold the can about ten inches away from the surface to be painted. Then continue spraying beyond the right edge of the cabinet, then let off the button completely and repeat the process from right to left, and each time you pass beyond the cabinet let your finger off the button for a second and then start spraying again. And do not try to paint the piece all in one heavy coat. You should use several light coats, otherwise you will have sags, drips and runs. The first coat should be a very light coat. Painters call this a “tack” coat. Don’t worry about covering the piece with the first coat, think of it as just something for the following coats to stick to. You will usually need about three light coats.

When using aerosol cans, they first need to be shaken very hard for very long. There is a marble inside of the can, and after you have been shaking for a while, it will “break loose” and you will hear it rattling around inside of the can. Continue to shake for a very long time. You can do no harm by shaking too much. Also, make sure you read all of the instructions and cautions printed on the can.

Here is a good trick that you must know. If the aerosol can starts to clog up or spit or dribble, shake the can and turn it upside down and depress the button until nothing but air is coming out. This should brake up the clog. Another little tip: After the can is completely empty, turn it upside down and spray out any remaining air and save the spray button. Sometimes a button becomes hopelessly clogged, and sometimes they may pop off and be hard to find. Having that spare can be really sweet.

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61 Responses to “Spray Painting Using Aerosol Cans”

  1. Residential Painting Toronto Says:

    Thanks for sharing information about spray painting. Can you describe what is difference between normal painting and spray painting?

  2. Dayvee Allington Says:

    Don’t worry about covering the piece with the first coat, think of it as just something for the following coats to stick to. You will usually need about three light coats.-home painting dallas tx-

  3. Furniture painting Says:

    This is a great post.I think it will be very usefull to us. I read it but I need some thing more to know about this. How can I know about this.

  4. Residential Painters Toronto Says:

    Spray painting is like adding beauty in interiors of house.As i know, Aerosol paint is a type of paint that comes in a sealed pressurized container and is released in a fine spray mist when depressing a valve button. When aerosol paint is used, care must be taken to cover or mask areas where paint is not wanted. But this blog is really useful to know the use of Aerosol Cans.
    Residential Painters Toronto

  5. New Braunfels Painters Says:

    Spray painting is rather easy and can be picked up quickly by nearly anyone. Your info could easily get a beginner ready to start spray painting. Just watch out for runs!

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    Nice article, thanks! I learn something new on blogs everyday and yours is stimulating and provides new ideas. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  8. Interior Painting Missoula Says:

    Good post. Using aerosol cans take alot of time. I recommend using a sprayer instead.

  9. Clinton Painting Services Says:

    This is a very good blog entry. Spraying paint is like a like of things in life. Easy to do, but hard to do well. The disclaimer about the respirator is also very important because breathing paint particles without one can make you extremely ill and give you brain damage over time. Thanks for sharing this information.

  10. Toronto painters Says:

    Spray painting is although easy to be done but it can be injurious to your health if not taken precautions while painting.The technique discussed above is very informational.

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  12. Ivy Says:

    Thanks for this specific solutions I was
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  13. James Says:

    I still prefer normal painting to the sprayers, but that’s just my opinion.

  14. Grovom Painting Says:

    Great advice!

  15. Denver House Painter Says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  16. DynamicTouch Says:

    Very well written article. Personally I have learned that the secret with spray painting is to not over do it. Light sprays and multiple coats.

  17. House Painter Indianapoli Says:

    There are only a few instances that we actually need to use spray painting. When needed, it is not a problem.

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    This is a good suggestion. Very nice article. Keep it up.

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  20. Jason Says:

    Thanks, this article has helped me understand more about interior painting, and helped get rid of a few things i had done wrong in my house, so i was able to fix it.

  21. Bill Says:

    Cool post, lot of great tips for those of us DIYers out here! I agree having a spare tip can be great, and really save you some headaches!

  22. marry Says:

    Nice job thanks for sharing

  23. joepower1234 Says:

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  25. Johnson Says:

    Great stuff !! Thanks for sharing such a deep and informative article on spray painting.

  26. Den Says:

    I will try this in my house…keep posting NICE :)

  27. Dennis Says:

    Spray painting is more ideal to me. Less in action and less in time.

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  31. New Ceilings Says:

    We definitely always use mouth respirators when painting.

  32. Jason Says:

    Hey, Thanks! I had been wondering how to do the painting for my home in Calgary, and I like this, I will have to try it!

  33. Cairine Says:

    Great tips you impart. Thank for this, very informative.

  34. Dannie Riel Says:

    Nice information about spray painting !!! is spray painting is long lasting than normal painting?

  35. web site Says:

    I didnt know they even had something like this. Im painting my car on a budget I already sprayed the car with color duplicolor GM Automotive smokey grey (spray cans) i was wondering if i could just use this clear coat to apply over it? If someone could help me out I’d appreicate it. Will it affect the duplicolor paint?

  36. Andrew Says:

    Breathing in paint fumes from spray cans is no joke! That stuff is super dangerous in enclosed environments like a garage. I think it gets overlooked a lot though for interior painting.

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    Great ideas here. Was thinking href=”http://okanaganhousepainter.com/”>hiring a contractor in the Okanagan but you give some great advice.

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    This blog is really nice.Spray painting is great idea.thanks for the idea.

  42. Grant Says:

    Some nice tips! Spray painting looks great in the short term and it’s quick and convenient, but if you want a long term solution, rolling is the way to go

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    Aerosol can painting can be awesome but I is it expensive compared to a pint of paint?

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