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Tips for spray painting furniture

When the furniture is worn out or doesn’t match your style, a fresh coat of paint is the ideal solution. It will restore the piece to its original condition, and you can easily fit it to your aesthetic. 

If you are new to spray painting, you might have a few questions on your mind. This post will share some useful tips and tricks for spray painting furniture. Once you go through them, you will know how to spray paint your pieces for a professional finish. 

Prep furniture for spray paint

Before you even get to the painting process, you must prepare your furniture. Dust and dirt will make it difficult for paint to grip, so it is time to give your furniture a good cleaning. 

Use soapy water to clean the furniture and remove any dirt, leaving a smooth surface for painting. If the furniture has a detailed surface with nooks and crannies, make sure to clean them thoroughly with a brush. 

When the furniture is completely dry, you can sand it. This will remove any imperfections and provide an even surface. If the furniture is flaking or peeling, make sure to smoothen it. 

You will sand the furniture manually or use a handheld sander. This step will also eliminate minor damage. When sanding, make sure to remove the dust. Use a vacuum cleaner for this purpose, and clean the furniture with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any residues stuck on the surface. 

If the furniture is damaged, it might need repairing. For any larger dents and scratches, you can apply a wood filler. Make sure everything is dry before you proceed to prime. A primer will ensure an even and durable finish. However, some spray paints might have a 2-in-1 formula that gathers paint and primer. They are an excellent choice if you wish to save time and skip the primer. 

Mind the weather conditions 

We know you’re excited to start your painting project as soon as possible. However, make sure to mind the weather conditions. Don’t paint when it’s windy, humid, or very hot. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to check how the weather elements affect your paint. Most spray paint brands indicate that you should avoid painting in hot and humid weather. The high temperatures and humidity will cause the mist to dry in the air before reaching the surface, creating bumps. If you want to ensure a smooth factory finish, always follow the instructions indicated on the label.

Spray painting will release a fine mist. Since spray painting can get messy, it is better to cover the working area. Lay a plastic sheet or a cloth to make sure it stays protected from paint. Also, always make sure to spray paint in a well-ventilated area. The fine mist will quickly spread, so make sure to wear protective gear. 

Overlap spray paint lines

One of the most important tips for spray painting furniture? Make sure to overlap each line when you spray, which will give your paint color an even, smooth appearance.

If you are a beginner in spray painting, it’s also important to understand the right spray paint technique. To avoid a splotchy finish, start your spray stream before you reach the surface of the furniture. Also, release the nozzle away from the piece. If you start and stop the nozzle on the furniture surface, this will create harsh lines and circle-shaped splotches.

Don’t hold the can too close to the furniture

The proximity of the can to the furniture is an important factor. A one-foot distance between the can and the surface is enough for the nozzle to release an optimal amount of paint. Holding the can too close to the furniture can create an uneven layer. Also, shake the can once in a while to mix the paint. 

Spray in a steady stroke going from side to side, but don’t spray continuously. Apply a light coat and wait for it to dry completely before proceeding with a second one. In the case of drips, make sure to wipe them away instantly. These will dry out, creating a bumpy surface. If the drops dry, you should remove and sand them before proceeding. 

When spray painting, it is likely you will have missed spots. It happens to even the best of us. Nevertheless, you don’t need to cover them instantly, as you can do this with the next coat. 

How do I get a smooth finish with spray paint?

Spray painting is a quick and easy way to paint your furniture. Regardless, obtaining a perfect factory finish can be challenging. There are a few things to know if you want to achieve a smooth finish with spray paint.

Spray horizontally

Always spray in a back-and-forth motion. Spraying vertically will create paint drips, which make an uneven surface when dried. And you will need to waste time sanding them out and covering them again. 

Set a new plastic sheet

When flipping your freshly painted furniture on the other side, place it on a clean surface. The paint residue on the plastic sheet or cloth might not have dried thoroughly and will stick to the fresh paint coat. To prevent this from creating an uneven finish, you must switch to a new plastic sheet. 

Light coats

When spray painting, it is always better to go for two lighter coats than one thicker. A thick coat might start to crack. Also, the paint will start dripping when applied thickly. We found out that some brands might be more prone to dripping than others. Going with a light coat would be the safest option for any brand you’re using. 

Spray paint dries within minutes, so apply two light coats. If you notice any bumps or drips, it would be best to tackle them immediately. Try wiping the drop with a cheesecloth. When it dries, sand the surface between the coats. This trick helps create a smooth factory finish for your furniture. However, ensure the previous coat is thoroughly dried before you proceed with the second one. Otherwise, the paint buildup will create an uneven layer. 

Clean the nozzle

Even if you do the strokes properly, you can still end up with an unevenly painted surface if you fail to clean the can. The paint buildup on the nozzle can disrupt the flow, which results in splattering. Clean the nozzle often to ensure an even mist.

Do I need to seal spray-painted furniture? 

No, you don’t have to seal spray-painted furniture. The paint should dry to a hardened finish. However, you can still seal the paint if you think it needs extra protection. Usually, this is done with pieces that get frequent wear and tear. The sealant will prevent scratches and damage and might make cleaning easier for you. Or, you want to achieve a different finish than the one the paint offers.