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A Beginner’s Guide to Spray Painting – Part II

In case you’ve missed it, here’s part one of my adventure.  This is part of a series about updating my backyard.

I was just as excited to paint today as I was yesterday.  Since there were also more tornado warnings in my area, I knew I had to get things done before they turned into my other forgotten projects.

I learned today how to paint with less paint, how to avoid drips, and how to remove drips without sanding.

The Table

I started with the glass table top.  Here’s what it looked like before the transformation:

This is what the patio set looked like before the transformation.
Lesson #1: Tape and cover before painting.

I was convinced that a wet washcloth and some elbow grease would take off the overspray that landed on the glass.  I thought, “Besides, it’s glass.  Paint isn’t supposed to adhere to glass very well.”

That last part is true.  It came off without a lot of effort, but it’s effort I could have saved by taping.

The table top was heavy and bulky to move around.  It didn’t help that midway through painting, several drops of rain fell and nearly ruined the edges.  I let them dry before going for another coat.

The table has been completed!

The Chairs

Lesson #2:  Always prime first.

On chair number two, I used no primer.  I ran out yesterday and forgot to get more on my last trip.  I went ahead and painted anyway, but…

The chair needed six coats to look like the other chair.  Even after five coats, I found myself touching up several spots that didn’t look covered.  It was a lot of paint to go through.

On chairs three and four, I used grey primer.

The chair on the left has two coats of primer and one coat of paint.  The chair on the right is ready to be painted.

I got two bonuses for using paint and primer together.  For one, the chairs would probably last longer outside.  For another, if I missed a spot, the grey undercoat would make it look less obvious.

Lesson #3:  Use thin coats.

I’m an impatient person.  I don’t like waiting around for things to happen.  It took some persuasion to not make super thick coats the first time around.

Here’s what a thin coat looks like.  The incompleteness hurts a little.

I soon learned some benefits from thin coats, like…

Avoiding Drips

Lesson #4: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right…

By the end of the second chair, I’d gotten into a rhythm for applying paint.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Press down on the trigger.
  2. Sweep from up to down or left to right while saying ONETWOTHREE quickly.
  3. At three, release the trigger.
  4. Repeat in another area, away from the previous line you made.

I wasn’t so concerned about the direction I was going in, so long as it was one way to the other.  If I went one direction and back again on one sweep, I usually ended up with drips.

For example, if I was doing the chair legs, I would start at the top and press the trigger.  I would say, ONETWOTHREE and release the trigger as I got to the bottom.  I repeated this process to the left or right of the line I’d made.

I took me a little while to find a good balance.  If I moved too quickly, the paint would miss the surface.

If I moved too slowly, the paint would gather and drip.  Speaking of which…

Lesson #5:  Don’t Go Over Drips With More Paint

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Here’s what happened a few times:  I would see a drip and attack it with more paint.  “Maybe if I apply more paint, the drip will magically be absorbed,” I thought.

I had better luck turning a blind eye and moving on to another spot.  I found out that some minor drips didn’t puddle if they were left alone.

Lesson #6:  How To Remove Drips Without Sanding

Supposedly, the only way to remove spray paint drips is to sand it down.

If you’re good with sandpaper and blending, go for it!  It’s a surefire way to get rid of drips for the patient-minded.

I used two other ways to get rid of them:

  1. Use a Magic Eraser on Dry Paint – This one gave me some success.  I let the paint dry and rubbed hard with a magic eraser.  It took off some of the paint in the area, however, I was ready to paint back over it anyway.
    Here’s what it looked like before I used the magic eraser
    Here’s how it looked after pouring my heart and soul into it.

    The drip on the third bar from the right was much less visible after two thin coats of paint.
  2. Gently wipe the paint while it’s wet. – This one might be controversial.  I had more success with it than with the magic eraser technique.It also worked best for me when combined with lesson #4 – Up, Up, Down, Down… and lesson #5 – Don’t go over drips with more paint.

As much as I want to finish the last chair, I can see a storm looming outside.  I’ll have to leave it for now.


Full reveal to come!

Please note:  Rust-oleum is not an affiliate of this blog.

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