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MITREPLAN – Aerosol Spray Finishes – Kevin Farrell and Faye De Lanty

There are a number of Mitreplans available to help you with painting. Spray painting is popular, but we’ve had a few viewer questions that indicate people that have trouble with this, so we thought we’d answer a few.

Primers
Many viewers have paint problems that can be traced back to the primer used (or not used – which is usually what happens).

You really should use a primer, because they’re specially made to bind to the substrate (the surface you’re spraying) and to the paint. This helps prevent peeling.

There are a variety of primers available for different surfaces and purposes, so check the Mitreplan for advice about the right one. When you’ve selected your topcoat, read the can to find out what primer is  recommended before you drive home from the store.

MITREPLAN – Aerosol Spray Finishes – Kevin Farrell and Faye De Lanty

MITREPLAN – Aerosol Spray Finishes – Kevin Farrell and Faye De Lanty

MITREPLAN – Aerosol Spray Finishes – Kevin Farrell and Faye De Lanty

MITREPLAN – Aerosol Spray Finishes – Kevin Farrell and Faye De Lanty

Technique
Shake the can up and down and round and round for about a minute after the mixing ball rattles freely. Do this every so often while you paint to make sure the paint remains consistent.

Hold the can upright, and about 30cm from the surface you’re spraying. Move the can back and forth with long, even strokes. Spray slightly past the edge of the object you’re painting, and you can “button off” momentarily to minimise waste and over spray.

Common faults include:
- Spraying too thinly, so there isn’t an even coverage. Wait until dry then spray on another coat.
- Spraying too thickly, producing runs (or curtains) or orange peel. Wait until dry and use a scraper and fine sandpaper to flatten the paint surface, and then spray again.

Practice on some scrap boards to get a feel for spray painting. You never know, you might accidentally produce a masterpiece of spray art.

Over Spray
This can be difficult or impossible to remove from some surfaces, so it’s best to avoid creating over spray damage in the first place. Protect surfaces by using drop sheets and masking

Health
Use spray paint outdoors, or nearly outdoors, if possible. In the garage with the door wide open is good, and use a fan to blow fumes outside.

If fumes affect you, or you just don’t want to inhale any, use a respirator fitted with filters that are suitable for fumes. Dust masks are not suitable for paint fumes.

Stencils
You can buy stencils or make them yourself from cardboard, plastic, MDF or plywood.

Stencils are a great way to decorate, add interest, or to secure items. By spraying two colours (say black first, then white second), with the second slightly offset from the first, you can create a “drop shadow” effect.

Can maintenance
If the nozzle blocks or starts “sputtering”, wipe it clean with a rag.

If that doesn’t work, turn the can upside down and spray until the nozzle clears. If that still doesn’t work, take the nozzle off and place it on a can of RP7 (a penetrating oil). Spray the RP7 through the paint nozzle to clear it.

Do this as the last step in your paint project so the nozzle is clear for next time you need to paint.

The Mitreplan has stacks of project ideas, including BBQs, garden pots, ornaments and knick-knacks. Pick one up at your local Mitre 10.




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