Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spraypainting Without Swearing

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’re generally aware that often times my “process” goes something like this:

1) Find junk.

2) Slap a coat of paint on it.

3) Rejoice in its made over glory.

It’s pretty simple, and it gets results. But the road to patting myself on the back is littered with do-overs, some stomping, and a whole lotta cussing. [and I’m totally working on that, I promise.]

But over time, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep the swearing to a minimum and greatly reduce the need to strip away all you’ve done and start over. There is a chair sitting in my garage that is in need of this step, and if I would have followed my own advice, I wouldn’t be in this situation. As it stands, that dumb chair makes me so mad I can’t even look at it.

Here are just a few simple rules when putting your finger to the spray that could save you from a whole bunch of *#^$#$%#()*_(*&@*)&^&%.


1) Sand. I hate hate HATE this step more than anything. I’m so impatient and because spraypaint gives me that wonderful “ahhhhh, instant gratification” rush, I throw a little temper tantrum inside when there’s something that gets in the way of the actual painting. But, it’s a huge help. It smoothes out imperfections or grit, and helps ensure an overall even coat.

2) PREP. This is probably the most important step. When you’ve finished sanding, wipe down your piece from top to bottom with a damp rag (I use old t-shirts that I cut up into rags. They don’t leave behind fuzz, they’re durable and they wash really well. Oh, and they’re FREE :) ). Let everything dry. THEN, give it a good wipedown with TSP – Trisodium Phosphate – it’s a strong cleaner used specifically for prepping surfaces like walls and furniture before painting. You will be surprised at how much more grit and dust the TSP picks up, even after you’ve “damp-cloth’d” it.

3) Prime. I’ve been known to skip this step, but the projects of mine that have come out the best are those that I’ve primed. That’s just the way it is. Killz is a good brand to use, and there are lots of spray primers out there, too. Don’t be afraid to sand (+clean again!) in between priming and painting. A good primer will lift up stray woodgrain which is good for allowing the paint to really adhere to the wood. (priming is still a good idea for painting surfaces other than wood, too, by the way).

4) PATIENCE (I suck at this one, too). Let. It. Dry. It’s so tempting after you’ve painted that first coat (especially with spray paint!)… it’s dry to the touch, so you think “sure I can put another coat on there”. Well, DON’T! Most paint takes at *least* 8 hours to fully cure. Trust me, you’ll kick yourself if you’ve gone through all those other steps, only to fudge it up by layering on too much paint before the piece is ready. This is when you start to notice the paint is overly sticky or tacky, and doesn’t seem to ever dry. That’s because you’ve gunked it up. So I’ll say it again. LET IT DRY. I like to throw on a coat of paint right before bedtime, then I just trot off to bed so I’m not tempted.

And there you have it! Some simple steps to swear-free painting. They won’t help ease your impatience, that’s for sure, but it’s true what they say: “Good things come to those who wait” (AFTER PICTURES! :) )

Happy Painting!

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