diy projects

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com Let’s chat about spray paint! As you know, I partnered with Krylon again this year because we tackle plenty of spray paint projects around here. It’s an easy, fast, and affordable way to achieve a nice durable finish when done the correct way. It has been a month of paint and DIY tips, and I usually receive lots of messages about my spray paint projects, so I figured a post was in order. To wrap up our month of DIY posts, techniques, and building creative confidence, I wanted to share my very best tips for a durable, professional looking spray paint finish. Click through to check them out… especially if you have any paint projects in your future!

*This post is sponsored by Krylon. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!

So how exactly do you achieve a high-quality, professional looking paint job that actually lasts? That’s the big question. It really takes a combination of things- but they’re all very easy and just require patience and a little elbow grease. Here is what I would recommend…

#1 : Setup a Good Painting Environment

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com We’re lucky because we have access to a spray booth at Emmett’s work, but the majority of the time- we just setup a space here at home for the sake of convenience. Whether you’re working in a garage, an empty room, or outdoors, make sure you use plastic, a drop cloth, or pieces of wood or cardboard to create a nice environment for whatever it is you’re painting. For example, if you’re painting a table with four legs on the grass outside, put down plastic, then grab a piece of wood or four blocks to prop up the legs… that way you have access to spray the entire leg without grass getting in the way. Having a flat or elevated surface helps. The same goes for weather- make sure you’re painting within the temperature requirements (not on a super hot or super cold day), and I try to avoid really windy days that can stir up debris. Those little particles can easily ruin a smooth finish. You should also ensure you’re painting in a well-ventilated room.


#2 : Select the Right Paint For Your Project

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com There are so many different spray paint and speciality options, make sure to choose the best one for your project. Be sure to read the label and choose a paint based on the material and use of whatever it is that you’re painting.


#3 : Don’t Skip Prep

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com If you really want your finish to last and look professional, don’t skip the prep steps. Whether that’s cleaning, sanding, disassembly, masking, or applying a thin coat of primer (depending on the product you use… Krylon Fusion requires no sanding or primer)– take the time to set yourself up for success before you even begin spraying. To prep, sand any rough rust or chipped paint, remove any oil with a degreaser and wash the surface to remove debris or dust. With the right prep, the Krylon stats show five times stronger adhesion and a no peel guarantee.


#4 : Use a Handle Attachment

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com I swear by this handle attachment. It makes spraying a consistent pass easy, without having any finger or thumb cramps that cause you to pause. Consistency is key and this handy contraption really helps with that! It’s definitely more ergonomic and comfortable, in my personal opinion. It’s not necessary, but a welcomed addition!


#5 : Apply the Paint in Thin Layers

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com I can’t stress this point enough… applying the paint in thin, even layers is key in getting a smooth finish that doesn’t chip. Less is more, and allow the paint to dry completely in between coats.


#6: Always Keep Moving

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com You want to spray past the item at the beginning and the end. Begin a steady spray in the air before moving the can to pass the object you are painting, and continue the spray once you pass the end of the object. Use a consistent sweeping motion and keep the same distance away from the object, making sure you’re not too close. That’s kind of a trick one to explain, but does that make sense?


#7 : Wipe In Between Coats

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com

If you’re looking for a really smooth, expert finish- I recommend monitoring overspray in-between coats. Some people opt for a paper bag, a rag, steel wool, or even a super fine sandpaper to knock down any overspray in between applying thin layers. Be sure to wipe any dust before applying the next coat.


#8 : Allow It To Dry Completely

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com In between coats, and well after your final coat of paint, allow the object adequate time to dry. I always double the recommended drying time based on the instructions found on the can (just to be safe).

Before signing off, I also wanted to share some favorite colors below… there are also a million colors to choose from at the big box stores, but these are my tried & true favorites from two of Krylon’s most popular collections…

Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com


Tips for a Durable, Professional Looking Spray Paint Finish - roomfortuesday.com Hit me with your spray paint questions in the comment section below! I’m happy to help. Do you have any painting projects on your to-do list? I have some wrought iron outdoor candleholders that could use a refresh, among other things.

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    August 4, 2021 at 6:26 am

    Good morning! So many great tips! I don’t think I have ever heard to start and finish off the object (#6), but it certainly makes perfect sense. Your suggestion to wipe down between coats might be new to me also; I did it intuitively, but now I will do it authoritatively! I haven’t tackled many spray paint projects, so this could come with experience, but how do you estimate the number of cans you’ll need? My Homecrest lounger took far more than I anticipated. (Perhaps because painting wire furniture is mostly painting air!) Of all your projects, I will forever love that mushroom lamp! So stinking cute and immeasurably better than the police tape yellow. Maybe I should undertake a little makeover adventure? After lamenting that I never see busts while thrifting, I spotted one yesterday! A slightly weird Heathcliff & Cathy; at least that’s my best guess. It could be more charming with an expertly applied coat of paint! Possibly just good for a laugh and some painting practice. Today will be for surprise birthday shenanigans, so projects will have to wait. Have a beautiful Wednesday, Sarah!💜🎉

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 4, 2021 at 8:37 pm

      I’m actually terrible at estimating how many cans of paint I’ll need. I always buy wayyy too much, then return the ones I don’t use (usually at Lowe’s). I wish I could be more help in that department, but you know me- my math brain doesn’t function very well. haha! That little mushroom lamp is still a favorite of mine, too :) Yay for finding a bust!! It sounds amazing- I can’t wait to see. And birthday shenanigans?!! I hope you had the best day! How did the cake turn out? xox

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 4, 2021 at 9:01 am

    These are all great tips that I’m going to put to good use! I have quite a few odds and ends to spray paint that I’ve been saving up to do in one session. A few outdoor hooks that will serve as towel hanging by the pool; a few baskets for Brooke’s room; a few plant stands that could use a refresh. Now if only the weather would cool down just enough to do it! I usually get a pretty decent finish, but I’m hoping putting your tips to work will produce an even better outcome. Thanks for the tips Sarah; and thank you for the color roundup of your favorites! I definitely will check those charts first. I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start. Xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2021 at 11:49 am

      Smart idea to paint lots of things in one session, Lauren! It has been super hot here, too. I probably sound like a broken record, but is it fall yet? Haha! Here’s to hoping it cools off and we can all tackle some outdoor projects on our to-do list!

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    August 4, 2021 at 10:57 am

    I successfully spray painted our mailbox along the highway shortly after we moved in. There was a hodge-podge of mis-matched letters and numbers and the plastic had faded but otherwise the mailbox was in good shape. After receiving a mailbox address set in reflective white vinyl I peeled and scraped off all the old mess, cleaned the box thoroughly and masked off the red flag and beige door. I sprayed several light coats of matte black while trying to stay upwind and out of traffic. It doesn’t look quite brand new but the refreshed black surface and new vinyl address are a vast improvement that didn’t cost much in time or money.

    Posts like this, full of great advice and encouragement, gave me the confidence that I could handle this project with ease. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2021 at 11:45 am

      That sounds like an amazing and productive project, Cheryl! I always love the power of paint. Well done on the mailbox, and thank you for reading and taking the time to share :)

  • Reply
    Danna F
    August 4, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Great tips! I have to force myself to be patient and not try to do it all in one spray. Patience, thin coats, keep spraying, wipe between coats and prep are all new tips I will try on my next spray paint endeavor. Plus it will look and last longer I am sure.
    Have a great Wednesday!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Me too! Patience is the most difficult thing when painting for me. I echo all of those points, Danna! Thin even coats will definitely last longer :)

  • Reply
    Lia
    August 4, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    It seems every brand of spray paint has so many options – it can be so confusing. I understand the indoor vs. outdoor but after that I’m lost. Should I just buy the most expensive one and assume it’s the best? How do you decide which of those 2 options above to use on your projects?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2021 at 11:42 am

      There really are a million options, Lia. I can relate to that frustration. It takes a little research and reading to find the right product for whatever it is you’re painting. Check the can to see what material a product adheres to, the temperature rating, if it requires primer, the durability, rust proof, etc. Expensive isn’t always better. I hope that helps! Just consider what you’re painting, how much use it gets, what it’s made of, etc.

  • Reply
    Keri
    August 4, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    I have 90s high gloss lacquer kitchen cabinets (well made KitchenKraft) but horrible style (curved edges and all). Would the matte spray paint work on those? I’m terrified to try anything and make the situation worse.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2021 at 11:39 am

      I probably wouldn’t matte or spray paint, Keri! Just because they’re kitchen cabinets and matte will show everything (finger prints, etc), and if you’re going to paint a bunch of cabinets- you may be better off using a professional paint sprayer or hiring them done (with lacquer). I think it could be a great quick temporary fix, but probably not long term. I’m not sure if that’s helpful? I wish I had better suggestions for that! Maybe you could replace the doors only?

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