Spray-painting furniture — instead of going the traditional paintbrush route — isn't as weird as it sounds, especially when you want to save time on an upcoming project. Spray-painting gets the job done really fast, often in under 10 minutes. And compared to regular paint, it dries quickly, and you won't be dealing with any telltale brushstroke marks.
Once you master the art of spray-painting, you can flip any object, and you can do so without breaking the bank. Thrift stores and garage sales are overflowing with well-made furniture with great lines that just needs a little TLC. In addition, some of your own older pieces can become favorites with a new coat of color. A can of paint and a paintbrush may seem like the way to go, but you'll end up with brushstrokes and likely be stuck doing multiple coats. Don't let spray paint intimidate you — it's easier to get a smooth finish than you think.
Stock up on all the supplies you need to ensure you can complete your job quickly without another trip to the store. You'll need a mask, sandpaper, primer, spray paint and a sealer, depending on the project. Don't be tempted to buy the cheap or generic brands of paint. Brand names like Krylon or Rust-Oleum may cost a buck or two more but it will be worth it in the end.
Much like other paint, spray paint has several different finish options, from flat to high gloss. Be sure to select the finish to fit your needs; for furniture, the higher the gloss, the easier it will be to clean. If it is a high-use piece, avoid flat paint — satin or gloss finishes work best for most projects. If you have a large project on your hands, do yourself a favor and invest in a spray paint handle — it can save your finger from aches and pains and make for a quicker job. They're only a few bucks at most hardware stores.
Be sure your furniture piece is clean and free of loose pieces or cracks. Tighten any loose screws and fix any structural issues so the piece is sturdy. For best results, sanding your furniture first is essential. Depending on the finish, you'll likely need a medium- to high-grit sandpaper. Sand the piece thoroughly, paying specific attention to any inconsistencies in the original finish or any rough areas. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain. If you're painting over a piece of furniture with a smooth glossy finish — like most pieces made of particle board or MDF — you'll need to get that finish off as best as you can. Once it is sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove all the dust from the piece.
You should only spray-paint in a well-ventilated area and always wear a mask. Ideally you will be outdoors, so pick a day when the weather is neither too cold nor too hot, as that may affect dry times and create a bubbly finish. In addition, avoid painting on a windy day. Not only will a lot of your paint blow off into the breeze, but you risk having particles of dust blow onto your wet project. Be sure to cover any surfaces that you don't want to get paint on, even if you don't think you're close enough for it to matter. Spray paint can travel.
Next Up: Step 4: Prime
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