All about Spray Painting

Benefits of Spray Painting

If you are looking for a quick paint job, are a novice painter, or want to avoid the hassle and strain involved in brushing or rolling, spray painting may be your ultimate solution. Although slightly more expensive than traditional paints, spray paint is relatively easy to use with the right directions, and the coverage it supplies is top notch. Moreover, spray paints cover certain surfaces more evenly than do brush paints and roller paints and are therefore a superior choice for painting trellises, louvered shutters, fencing, and other intricately shaped furnishings and objects.

Types of Spray Paint

Two types of sprayers are available:

•1) Compressed-Air Spray Guns

•2) Airless Spray Guns

Although airless sprayers are easier to use and work faster than compressed-air sprayers, and although they provide a more directed and denser paint mist, extreme caution must be exercised when using airless sprayers. Airless spray guns feature speeds as high as 200 miles/hour and pressures of up to 3,000 pounds per square inch to force paint through the spray gun tip, and thus their powerful propulsion can cause serious injury to your skin or amputation of a limb without immediate and proper medical care.

Spray Painting Safety Rules

•- Never aim or point a spray gun at yourself or anyone else

•- Never leave an airless sprayer unattended

•- Always unplug airless equipment when not in use or before unclogging a spray tip

•- Keep children and pets away from spray painting areas

How to Spray Paint

Follow these expert tips on how to spray paint:

•- Hold sprayer upright, parallel, and 6-12 inches away from the surface to be painted (avoiding swinging, which causes paint to distribute unevenly)

•- Do a "sample" spray first to check the pattern, which should be even throughout and finely atomized

•- As you move along, maintain the same distance from the surface being painted by flexing your wrists

•- Spray paint in thin, even coats, using horizontal sweeps and overlapping each strip of paint by about one inch

•- Adjust the spray paint pattern by one of the following actions: experiment with the pressure control knob; change the spray tip size; adjust the viscosity of the paint (paint thickness); use a flexible extension tip for ceilings or floors, allowing you to point the spray up or down while keeping the main sprayer level

Spray Painting Guidelines

Here are some step-by-step guidelines on how to spray paint a room:

•1) Prepare the room as you would for any paint job, i.e., emptying the room, covering heavy furniture, protecting the floor, removing wall defects and wall stains, cleaning the room. (For outdoor spray painting, shield cars and shrubbery from paint mist)

•2) Wear protective clothing such as goggles, painting overalls, and a dust mask

•3) Prime the walls by spraying with an all-purpose primer (thereby avoiding the need for several coats of paint), applying the spray in smooth horizontal lines with 1-inch overlap for good coverage

•4) Wait the required time for the primer to dry before applying paint

•5) Using the same technique, spray the first coat of paint

•6) If necessary, apply a second coat once the first coat is dry (typically a wait of at least two hours)

•7) Wait until the paint is dry to the touch before returning furniture to the room/removing protective covers (to prevent paint from rubbing off onto furnishings)

Expert Spray Painting Tips

•- If this is your first time using a sprayer, practice spray painting and using the controls with water first, spraying against a piece of scrap wood or an outdoor wall

•- To select the right spray tip for your particular coating, remember to use larger spray tip openings for heavy latex paints and smaller spray tip openings for thin stains