I love the power of paint to change up a thrift store find, but if you’re looking for a quick colorful way to change something, grab a can of your favorite spray paint!
There are some things you should know before you spray paint anything.
- Read The Directions
- Choose a good location outdoors—be aware of overspray where other valuables are concerned. No thrift store project is worth ruining the family car!
- If you are in a confined area, wear a respirator
- A cardboard box makes a great “paint booth” for small objects
- Raise your project off the ground if it’s small enough so you can get at all the angles easier
- Start with a clean/dry project. Wash with soap and water if possible, and allow to dry completely
- Using a primer may help you achieve better coverage
- Several light coats of paint are much better than a couple of heavy coats that may run
- IF you get a run, lightly sand it, wipe it off and hit it again with LIGHT coats
- DUST and WATER are the worst enemies of spray paint
- Humidity levels will mess with drying times
- Be sure to use a tack cloth after sanding to remove all dust
- Test the spray paint before you begin to make sure you have a good flow
- Start spraying before you move the can toward the project, continue spraying after you leave the project
- Two passes count as 1 light coat
- Read THE Directions (yes, it’s important enough to list twice!) Especially for dry times and recoat times
- After spraying, turn the can upside down and press the the button to clear the nozzle of paint. If a tip does become clogged, wipe off the opening with warm water or lacquer thinner, NEVER stick a pin into the nozzle!!
- Please dispose of paint cans properly
Things you can spray paint:
- Wood-furniture, frames, boxes/crates, trays
- Plastic-lawn furniture, décor, frames, flower pots, trays
- Glass-vases, mirrors, ornaments, trays, glassware, wine bottles
- Fabric-stencils for pillows, stripes or patterns, rugs
- Metal-buckets, furniture, nick knacks, mailboxes, folding chairs, shelving units, filing cabinets, tools
- Items found in nature-tree branches, leaves, pumpkins/gourds, pine cones, dried flowers, acorns
- Wicker-baskets, furniture
- Brass-lamps, chandeliers, flower pots, trays, urns
- Vinyl-mini blinds
Things around your house:
- Ceiling Fans
- Cabinet knobs/pulls
- Heat vents
- Fireplace screens
Types of Spray Paint:
- Mirrored paint
- Stained Glass (which looks translucent)
- Rust proof
- Frosted Glass
Check out these creative/colorful uses of spray paint:
Perhaps those chairs were inspired by my friend Catherine’s adorable folding kids’ chairs.
How about some practical uses from My Repurposed Life:
kitchen accessories get some Stainless Steel Spray Paint
give new life to white lawn chairs with spray paint
how to spray paint a ceiling fan
Most recently, I painted some Ball Mason Jars for one of my night classes discussing the power of spray paint. It’s hard for me to choose a favorite—do you have one that you just love?
To see more of my spray painted projects, check out this Take 2 Tuesday post Spray Paint Edition
What’s the last thing YOU spray painted?
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Thinking of using taupe or brown textured or non skid spray paint on pet stairs made from boxes and duct tape so can hopefully make more appealing to my wife to use in bedroom. Thanks for great info and inspiring tips. Last time I used spray paint was for inside barbecue lid that was peeling. Chas 😎👍
Good luck with your project!
I have a bench at the end of the bed for my little dog, and a ramp in the living room for the couch. Both are projects found here on this site if you need ideas.
Great post. Thanks for all your tips. I will be bookmarking it for later reference. The last thing I spray painted was a vase.
Back before blogging...
before I knew about chalk paint, etc.
I painted a long dresser with mirror. I painted it for my boys room. It was particle board, with paper finish...el cheapo, but used, and given to us.
I painted it YELLOW!
I don't think I have one picture of it.
But it lasted a long time after that. 🙂
Spray paint is a girl's best friend, lol. The last thing I painted was a set of filing cabinets. Seen here: http://meari.blogspot.com/2013/10/diy-filing-cabinet-reveal.html
The last thing spray painted at our house was a metal bed painted today. BUT...I don't spray paint. My husband does it because he thinks I don't do it correctly. Why would I mess with THAT system? He also does automotive and tractor restorations and paints those (not with rattle cans!). He thinks Krylon is the best choice for performance/dollar spent. I have actually learned several things working on this bed with him. After he gave into sandblasting it he primed it. He then sanded it and filled in the dents with auto body putty (Bondo) and sanded some more. He wanted to prime it again and used a second color of primer so that he could easily see what needed sprayed. He also made sure the final primer was a different color than the paint. I have to say, I have THE best looking spray painted, antique bed I have ever seen. If I had done it as planned there probably wouldn't have been any fixing the dents but I could now. It is easy. I also wouldn't have primed and sanded twice like he did. Really made a difference.
Great information Gail! I sprayed clear coat on some jar lids this weekend to keep them from rusting. And I will be spray painting some spindle tree bases this week.
Great ideas! Thanks for the tips and inspiration!
I spray painted an old wicker desk that was originally white then sprayed black by the previous owner on 3 sides. I sprayed it brown (on all 4 sides - smile!) and then unearthed an old chair in our attic & sprayed that to match. It is actually my favorite area in my house right now!
Have some old nasty outdoor white chairs that give off that nasty white crud when they're sat on. Considering now spray painting them. How long will be paint hold up?
Sounds like a fun project Kathy! 🙂 I'm glad you were able to give it new life!
I spray painted my chairs last year for the same reason... the white crud coming off on clothes. I haven't left them in the elements (they're stored under my carport) but they still look just as good, and the paint doesn't some off on my clothes. So for me it was a win/win! I recently found a great deal on some outdoor spray paint (name brand) at my local Ollie's. If you don't have Ollie's try Big Lots for some good deals!
Hi. I was wondering if you have ever tried 'PREVAL Amazing Spray System'? The store sales associate said I can purchase any custom color of latex paint and this will convert it into spray paint. I have plans to try this however would love any comments before I try. My pieces are primed.
No, Cheryl, I've never heard of it. I use a HomeRight Finish Max that gives a great finish using any color, any paint. 😉
I have used Preval for many years and it can work really well!
*It's best used for little projects.
*You do need to thin latex satin/semi/gloss down just a little bit, and flat paint not quite as much~it's kind of trial and error.
*You'll find that the aerosol can gets VERY cold (almost freezing up) and you may have to stop for a moment to let it settle down before continuing.
*You can purchase the whole kit, and then "refill" aerosol cans for less, just reusing the original jar (but check the new can for a fresh straw--sometimes it's missing).
Hope this helps--they are definitely worth it for some projects!
Excellent post, Gail, with lots of great information! Spray paint - what a great invention!
I'm chiming in here to add my two cents on the Preval sprayer system. I haven't yet used mine, but I do have a project that I want to use it for: I have a collection of baby food jars in various sizes (my kitty got sick and in order to get her to take her meds, I had to disguise them in baby food, which she slurped right down!) and I want to pour small custom-colored, scented candles in them and then paint the metal lids various shades of aqua and turquoise. The reason I ordered the Preval system is because you have the option of mixing your own paint colors that way. You can take latex craft paint and mix your own colors, water the paint down a bit and then use the Preval system to spray your special paint color.
Once I get around to the project, I'll have to let you know what I think of the Preval. I'm sure as Catherine said, it'd be a bit of trial and error to get the mixing done correctly. You can check YouTube for various videos the company has put out about their system.
Thinking of you and hoping you are getting better as each day passes!
I love spray paint too!! Great source list Gail! Those tires are super fun, and I still love your spray painted lawn chairs, ever since I saw your post on those I have been wanting to do mine, maybe next spring!! I hope you are recovering quickly!
Love the tires, mason jars and chairs, gonna try all these ideas 🙂
Great tips! I love using spray paint and didn't take into consideration a few of these tips! Thanks!
Ahhh ... I'm a spray painting fool! Wouldn't be without it.
How does one live without spray paint...I'm not sure exactly! It is is my go-to paint for all small projects. A couple of coats and DONE! I LOVE those Ball jars...thinking how cute they would look in the silver metallic at Christmas...thanks for the inspiration!
Hope you are feeling better every day, my friend!
those tires are so fun!!!
It's amazing how a little bit of spray paint can change to look of an object completely. The one project we sprayed that is not holding up is the door knob of our main entrance door. I gave it some ORB-love to hide to ugly brass after painting the door red. It got scratches from the key rings unlocking the dead bolt above it (which is holding up great) and from wearing rings/ watches, so the brass is showing in some parts again. Any ideas other then buying new? I primed it twice and then 2 coats of ORB.
ohhh man! The only thing I can think of is to sort of start over, and add a sealer on top of the ORB... they come in all kinds of finishes, from flat to glossy. I haven't painted doorknobs, but that's my suggestion.
Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
Those colorful tires would be so much fun in a children's garden! And those painted folding chairs are just awesome! ... The power of paint!