How to Spray Paint FAQ’s

Spray painting makes it fast and easy to paint or make over almost anything, but it can be tricky to apply if you don’t follow a few basic tips. Here you will learn to how to get your spray paint problems solved.


The two great things about using spray paint to paint just about anything is that the finish will be smooth and even with not a brush stroke in sight.

The other good thing about using spray paint is that textured items, like wicker where there are a lot of nooks and crannies in the surface where paint needs to get into are much easier to paint with no paint build-up from trying to push a brush loaded with paint into.

Spray Paint FAQ’s Answered 

Hammered Brown Spray paint from Rustoleum is the best spray paint to use on outdoor metal furniture.

The Most Important Spray Painting Tips Not to Overlook:

  • Always spray outside or in a well-ventilated area like a garage with the door wide open. Wear a protective mask when you spray.
  • Shake, shake, shake the can for a minute, then shake it again for another minute and also while you are spraying.
  • For optimal paint adhesion and drying,  try to spray when the temp is between 65 – 85 degrees. Cooler is better.  75 degrees and no humidity – perfect.
  • Long, light fluid strokes are the way to spray – and don’t forget to shake the can a few times while you are spraying.
  • You must get all the coats needed on the piece you are spraying within an hour. If you can’t get this done, wait 48 hours to apply a new coat. If you add a coat before this waiting period, you run the risk of the paint wrinkling.

How To Spray Paint FAQ’s Answered


How many coats of spray paint are needed


The number of coats needed to get the best coverage when spray painting any item is at least 2 light coats, perhaps even 3 applied at different angles to make sure you are getting everything covered. More light coats are better than one heavy one, but be sure to get all the coats on within an hour.

How long to let primer dry before spray painting?


The length of time to let primer dry before spray painting an item can vary with each brand of spray paint. The ideal time is when the primer is completely dry. If you used the recommended thin coat it should dry within an hour, but read the spray paint can label to make sure. Drying time will take longer in hot and humid conditions.

How long should I wait until I can re-coat my piece?


Re-coat within an hour as mentioned above. If the temps are optimal between 65- 85 degrees you can re-coat about every 5 minutes as long as you are applying light even coats.  If the item is two sided, let the first side dry to the touch, then flip and paint. It should dry to touch in 30 minutes, to handle – 1- 2 hours, and be fully dry in 24 hours.

Why did the paint finish crackle or wrinkle when I re-coated?


Here is how to fix wrinkled spray paint that can happen after spraying an item with spray paint. A few different factors can cause the finish to wrinkle or crack when applying another coat of paint.  The most common – is applying the paint too thickly – which makes the surface of the paint dry too fast and not the underside.   When you re-coat, the solvents in the paint shrink and this causes the wrinkling.
How to fix spray paint crackle and the way to avoid it– spray only when the temperature is 65 – 85 degrees, apply only light even coats, and re-coat every few minutes.  Also read the back of the can. Some brands say you should get all re-coating done in under 30 – 60 minutes. After that, do not re-coat at least for 24 – 48 hours or the paint may wrinkle. Again…read the label for specifics.
Another reason it may happen is if there is wax or residue on the item that is incompatible with the paint. Sand, clean well and dry your piece before painting. Use a primer and make sure the spray paint you are using is made for that specific surface.   Read the label.

I just spray painted my chandelier – it came out nice, but some of the sections are not smooth – they feel like sandpaper. What am I doing wrong?  Help!


Powder residue after spray painting happens when you paint outdoors when it is hot or in the sun.  The paint spray dries before reaching the surface and it cannot level because of too rapid evaporation.  It can also be caused if you hold the can too far away.   It is better to spray in the morning or evening during the summer and keep the can about 8-16” away from the item as you spray.

If it is a chandelier or large piece that has to be sprayed in sections, block off other sections while you spray one section at a time with a piece of cardboard.

The Pieces That I Spray Paint Always Have Raised Blotches, Do I Have to Sand It and Start All Over?


When spray painting, after shaking the can for a minute and then shaking it again for another minute – hold can upright 8” – 16” from surface. Press trigger or nozzle and begin covering the surface lightly in a steady back and forth motion, slightly overlapping each stroke and shaking the can a few times as you paint. This will give you a nice even finish.

You get blotches of paint when you hold the spray in one area for too long.  If you get blotches and want to sand it to start over.

Wait for the paint to completely dry. If you sand too soon you will create a gummy mess that will be hard to remove.  If this happens, use paint remover to remove the paint, clean well and start over.

How to Seal Spray Paint?


After the item you spray painted is completely dry, depending on the sheen of paint used, you can apply a clear coat over spray paint. If you use high gloss, semi-gloss and you want a shiny finish, you really don’t have to seal it.

If using a lower sheen you can seal with a water-based sealer like Minwax Polycrylic. It comes in a spray version. 

Most brand’s mention on the can’s label about how to seal and even sell sealers to go with certain formulas of their paints.

Can you You Paint Over Spray Paint?


Yes – you can paint over spray paint as long as it is completely dry, not just to the touch but really dried and cured.  You need to sand the finish lightly with 100 grit sandpaper to provide something for the new paint to grab onto.

If you sand too soon after spray painting you will create a gummy mess.  After sanding, clean the surface well with a damp rag and let dry. Then you can paint over the spray painted surface with any kind of paint.

How to Unclog a Spray Paint Can Nozzle?


This is a common problem with spray paint. What brand is it? and can you remove the nozzle? If it is the Rustoleum brand with the fancy spray tops – they can’t easily be fixed. If the can is new then I would take it back to the store to get your money back.

Three Options:

1. After each use, clear the valve of paint by holding the can upside down and spraying off until only clear gas comes out.

2. If #1 doesn’t work, remove the valve and run very hot water over it to remove any paint. You can also soak it in nail polish remover for about a half hour. Then take the end of a pointy toothpick or straight pin and put tip into the holes on the nozzle to clean out the paint. Do both holes on the nozzle – the underside and the one on the side of the nozzle.

Important:  Only clean a spray paint nozzle when it is removed from the can. NEVER stick a pin into the nozzle when it is still on the can.

Place back on can, shake the can very well, really shake it so the paint is completely mixed and spray. If it doesn’t spray, hold the can upside down and try to spray.

3. If you have a few cans of spray paint in your paint supplies, try switching out the nozzles.  This usually helps get the can spraying again.

Before I throw out used cans of spray paint I save the nozzle. I place them in a baggie and store it so I have plenty when I need to change a clogged one.

How to Remove Spray Paint Odor on Newly Painted Furniture?


One way to reduce spray paint odor is by minimizing its curing time. Paint the furniture outdoors on a dry, moisture-free day, if possible. If you already painted the furniture, set it outdoors on a non-humid day.

Sunny weather helps even more. Place it outside in the sun, bring in at night so it won’t get moisture on it. Do this for several days until the smell is gone and the paint cured. The air movement helps cure the paint and will cut down on the odor.

If unable to keep the furniture outdoors, store it in a garage for a few days, or in a well-ventilated spare room of the home.

How Do I Spray Paint Small Items and Cabinet Knobs and Hardware?


Place your item on a piece of foam. If your object doesn’t have a flat bottom, use toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, whatever to raise it up so that you can easy move the piece your spraying without actually touching it.

This way you can move the piece easily by picking up the foam and not the actual object to turn it around so that you get all sides equally covered with spray paint.

Pebble style foam that comes packed in boxes around TV’s and knock down furniture works the best as the spray paint doesn’t melt it.  STYROFOAM style foam will melt if the spray paint is applied very close to the surface.  Using light coats of paint will lessen any melting of the foam.  I use my blocks a few times and then throw them out once they start melting away.

Tip for spray painting metal cabinet pulls and knobs
Wood door knobs lined up on toothpicks stuck into foam.

How do you spray paint when it is too cold to go outside to do it? 

Create a no-cost collapsible spray booth to store in your garage.  This not only keeps the overspray from going everywhere, but it is also a place to spray paint when it is too cold to go outside.  Just be sure to open the doors while you spray and then close them when you are done.  Also remove your cars from the garage. Trust me… overspray happens.

You can find large boxes in the dumpsters behind retail stores.

Spray painting tips and tricks

How to Make a DIY Spray Painting Booth

  • Get a box to accommodate the item to be sprayed.  If you spray paint a lot, get a big box that will accommodate all sizes.  Use Duct tape to tape a few together to use when spraying larger items.
  • If you have an extra box or two – flatten them to make a large liner for the floor.
How-to-make-a-mini-spray-painting-booth

Small objects only need a small box.

Spray-Paint-tips-and-tricks

I also like to use a box top to place items in.  You can find these in the box stacks by the check out lines at Costco or when you buy cans of dog food in bulk.    This allows you to carry the item inside to dry where the temps are better. Then you can collapse the spray booth right after using and pull the car back into the garage. No need to have to wait for it to dry before moving it.

Instant-knock-down-spray-painting-booth

To Store Your Instant Spray Booth: Simply open the bottom to make the box flat and store it vertically against a wall and out of the way until you need it again.   When you need it –  just fold up the bottom of the box by tucking every other flap under each other so the box becomes an opened top box again.

When Spraying Larger items:

For more spray painting tips, see these posts:

Spray painting and paint cans. Text overlay on image says All your Spray Painting Questions Answered

Spray-paint-questions-answered

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271 Comments

  1. Hi! Love this page!
    I made some coasters with some adhesive vinyl and applied a clear engine gloss to make them heat resistant. The first one worked a charm – gorgeous smooth glossy finish (beginner’s luck!). So then I tried to do 9 more today…They all came out wrinkled and blotchy.
    I’m pretty sure it was too windy and the adhesive just wasn’t attaching but now I’m not sure how to fix them. Should I wait 48 hours and then just try to coat again over the top or do I need to sand them down so the coat is even? I’m worried that if I sand them, the vinyl will get scratched. I have a picture I can show you if that helps.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi SP – The technique you used sounds very unique. I am not sure it will be easy to fix the wrinkles. As they dry, the wrinkles may lessen, but not totally. One thing you can try is using a blow dryer over them. The heat from the air may be enough to dry the layers and wrinkles. Sanding won’t work since the vinyl would be ruined. If you have to redo them, make sure the layers of adhesive are fully dry or no air is under them. Rub the side of a plastic spatula or the edge of a credit card over the surface to make sure there is no air under the vinyl. You may have to experiment a little. I hope you can get them to all come out like the first.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to make this info available and the hard work required to answer the many questions.
    My question is, should I clear coat painted pvc to help reduce damage to paint due to use by two small children?

    I painted the PVC pipe with Rust-Oleum American Accents 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer, Metallic Aluminum.

    Thank you,

    John

    1. Hi John – Sorry for my untimely reply to your question about clear coating over spray paint, but with the holidays things got a little busy. Did you clear coat the painted PVC? If so, it is fine to do that. It will make the paint more durable. If you haven’t done it yet, make sure to use a water-based sealer like Minwax Polycrylic. It won’t yellow over time.

  3. I’m doing some artwork on the signs at my work. They are a faux chalkboard which they generally use Chalk markers on but they feel more like a plastic surface. I recently clear coated a finished one with clear and it turned cloudy. From a previous post I read that it is probably due to humidity which makes sense since we are in S.W. Florida so I will try the heat method described above. Is there another way of protecting these that would be better than spray painting the clear? Or just be more patient, use thinner coats with plenty of dry time in between? If the heat method doesn’t work, can I sand the cloudy areas down and start over?

  4. Hello,

    I’m spray painting pieces of ikea furniture (Alex 9 Drawer taken apart) with Rustoleom Blush Pink. Today I went to flip the pieces to paint the white side but the pink paint leaked under the plastic drop cloth and now the non-painted side has huge wrinkles of of the pink paint. What’s the best way to fix this?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Shanda –

      The best way to fix the paint that leaked to the white side of the pieces is to wait for the paint to completely dry for a few days and then sand the areas smooth. I would use 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block to do this.

      If you try to sand too soon, you may create a gummy mess as the underside of the paint may not be dry even though the surface feels dry.

      Another option would be to use CitraStrip over the areas. It is a no smell gentle stripper. Brush some on over the leaked painted areas, let sit for an hour or longer and then scrap the paint off with a spatula or hard edge. Then sand the area smooth. Prime the piece if the paint you are using doesn’t have a primer in it and then paint.

      1. Hi Diane,

        Thanks for the tips. I ended up sanding the wrinkles then I found these tiny triangles/pyramids on Amazon that hold everything above the surface. Unfortunately, I have a new issue. For some reason the edges of the surface are drying darker than the middle. I can’t figure out what’s causing this. Have you had this issue?

        Thanks,
        Shanda

        1. Hi Shanda – I realize my reply is getting to you late, but did the problem with the paint drying darker in the middle of your painted IKEA furniture. I have not had this happen and just wondered how it came out now that it is completely dry?

  5. Diane, you’re working hard on these comment responses! My situation: I used Rust-oleum Flat Enamel to paint MDF. It turned out nice, and now the piece is built inside. Did I need to finish/seal it? What are my options? Can I brush on a poly?

    1. Hi Michael – With flat paint it is best to seal it since the flat finish will show marks easily. Yes you can use brush-on poly over the dried flat spray paint. I would use Minwax Polycrylic in the sheen you want or any brand name water-based poly. I would use a high quality foam brush or a foam roller with rounded ends. The rounded ends, lessen roller lines showing up. I would wait until the spray paint is dried and cured. At least a week before you apply the poly.

  6. I have 40 year old old unfinished wooden farmhouse style oversized picnic style dining room table in the that I would love to paint a pure, true chalk whit,e (no yellow tones) withpaint. spray paint. It is a large table that I inherited from my father and since I have never painted furniture before am quite nervous about screwing the project and table up as it holds an enormous, emotionl and sentimental place in heart . Never sealed, stained, sandpapered or finished in any way this blonde-peach table exhibits a rough grainy texture that to this day when scrubbed clean leaves a sawdust- like residue. Being a complete novice I have no clue what do; from prepping, priming, painting to sealing it. From what I have seen in your blog you are not only an adept expert on transforming and refashioing just about everything, you also treat your followers with great care and kindness. Can you help me transform my table from a catepillar to a beautiful butterfly?

  7. Hi!!! Thanks so much for your blog! I am spray painting my first DIY project of patio steel furniture. After fully drying my side table I turned it over and laid it on a trash bag and sprayed the undersurface. When it was all dry I went to turn it over and pieces of the trash bag had gotten stuck to it! Is there a way to salvage this? I am hoping I can use soap and water to get the pieces of trash bag off??? Thanks! I’m learning as I go along!

    1. Hi Julie –

      Sorry to hear about the bags sticking to your table. Have you tried to remove the pieces yet? If not, I would wet the surface where the pieces of bag are. Let it sit for awhile to see if the water loosens the bags. Another option would be to try placing the table in the hot sun and see if the bags melt off. If either of these options don’t work, let the surface dry for a few days. With the hot summer temps it may take up to a week for a painted finish to dry under the top most coat. Once dry, you can use 100 grit sandpaper to remove the bags. Once gone, go over the surface of the table with 220 grit sandpaper and repaint, making sure to follow the re-coating and temp directions on the can.

  8. help me please.
    i’m painting a dresser and when i went to do a second coat it started wrinkling. i sanded off the wrinkles and smoothed it out using spackle, and it’s still wrinkling. i cannot figure out for the life of me what i’m doing wrong. the weather has been in the 80s and humidity in the 60s. where i live it the humidity doesn’t get much lower than that. i have definitely waited more than a few days (probably closer to a week with the amount of time it took to spackle) and i don’t know how to fix it at this point. please help thank you

    1. Hi Pam – Sorry to hear that the paint is wrinkling. :-( Spray paint wrinkles because the underside of the paint is not dry fully. It may feel dry on the surface, but it or the actual wood of the dresser was damp, was holding humidity when you applied the first coat. If you waited over 48 hours, then the reason could be that the paint was applied too heavy and needs a long time to dry and cure, before another coat of paint can be sprayed on.

      To remedy the painted finish, I would sand it down, just to smooth things out and then use a brush-on paint to finish it. I know this means having to buy more paint, but this way you won’t run into the wrinkling problem. I would use a paint & primer in one formula of paint in the sheen you want. Use light coats – 2 will be needed. Let the first one dry over night and then add a second light coat. You can use a brush or a flocked foam roller. After the first coat is dry, look at the surface in the light and sand over any rough areas. Then apply another light coat of paint.

  9. Hi Diane!
    I just discovered your blog and oh my word, this is hands down one of the best I’ve come across!! So thank you!!

    First off-I’m pretty partial to Rustoleum products because I really like them and have worked with them a lot. But there are SO many different options now that it’s overwhelming! Like what’s the difference between “painters choice 2X” and “American accents 2X”?!?! More importantly though, should I protect the cabinet hardware that I just spray painted with clear satin enamel, 2X clear coat or Minwax water-based polycrylic spray? I’m not sure of the difference been these products.

    Thanks in advance!
    An admiring fan

    1. Hi Monica – I agree with you that there are way too many options of Rustoleum products to choose from. :-) The only difference I know about between the Painter’s Choice line and the American Accents line is that American Accents has limited colors and was created for smaller projects. Where the Painter’s Choice has many more color options.

      To seal your cabinet hardware – either the Painter’s Choice 2X clear coat or the Polycrylic spray will be fine. They are both the same thing, just different brands. I love both, so go for whatever you can easily get. :-)

  10. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with your readers! I am using Rustoleum 2x Primer/Paint white gloss spray on a vintage wood dresser. Rustoleum white primer, 2 light coats. Gloss white, three light coats within 20-30 minutes of each other, as instructed. Drawers inside the house for 48 hours due to the humidity and rain. Back outside this morning for a final light spray before clear-coating. I am horrified to see three or four wrinkled patches having developed almost immediately upon the paint application. Clear coat is on hold until I can figure out what happened, fix the mess and correct it so it won’t reoccur. No temperature or humidity extremes, very light coating. Any ideas what may have happened? And thoughts on wet sanding those spots? Thank you for any ideas!

    1. Hi Kathy – Sorry that your paint wrinkled. :-( The reason why is underside of the paint was not fully dry. It may feel dry to the touch, but under was not. The drying time can take a long time when the weather is wet, humid and rainy.

      To fix it, just let the dresser sit for a few days or longer if the sun doesn’t come out. The painted finish needs to really dry. If you try to sand the surface too soon, you will end up with a gummy mess. If the area(s) that wrinkled are still wrinkled after this, you can sand them smooth with 100 grit sandpaper and then respray on a dry sunny 78 degree day. :-) Another fix you can try, is to blow the wrinkled areas with a blow dryer to dry them out. You have to be really careful doing this though. Don’t place the blow dryer too close or you risk it getting too hot and burn the surface. Hold it about 8 inches way and move it back and forth and see if the wrinkles flatten.

  11. Hi

    I so hope you can help. I sell vintage wash bowls, china ones, and often use the Crystal Clear spray glaze to good effect on ones that have lost their sheen. I just sent one to a client abroad and unfortunately when she opened the package, the bubble wrap I had put around the bowl has left ‘bubble’ imprints in the glaze all over the bowl. I assume I sent it too soon and should have let the glaze dry for a few days rather than just a few hours, and the heat during transit caused the effect? Can you recommend any way she can get rid of this bubbling and reveal/glaze it to achieve a smooth finish? Would the sanding method and the respray (with something else?) work?
    I do hope you can help!
    F

    1. Hi Freya – I would have your client blow the piece with a hair blow dryer. They should go over the surface in long sweeping motions. The heat may soften the imprint pattern. If that doesn’t work, a light sanding may remove it, but it also may remove the good glaze around it. I would sand until smooth and then a light respray.

  12. Thank you for your great pointers. I recently stripped some brass lampshades, ending with an alcohol rinse. I wanted to protect the new shine with a Rustoleum clear gloss coat. I sprayed in 65 degree, 80% humidity – they looked clear before I left my spray booth; but upon returning an hour later the coat is cloudy. How to do clear up the coatings as I think I trapped some humidity in the coat.

    1. Hi Jack – Sorry that your finish coat went cloudy. The 80% humidity probably is the cause since cloudiness in the finish is a sign of trapped moisture. Kinda like a glass ring on a wood table.

      The only way I know of removing it is to get the surface warm/hot with dry air. If it is not humid, place the lampshades out in the sun for a day or two and see if the cloudiness goes away. You can also use a hair dryer. Put it on high and move it back and forth over the lampshades until the finish clears up. I hope this helps.

      1. Hi. I used Rustoleum spray to paibt a wood chair. Everything was great. Waited one day between each 3 coats. I want a gloss finish, so sprayed LIGHTLY with clear gloss enamel..almost immediately, the paint wrinkled a bit.. WHAT DID I DO WRONG??

        1. Hi Brenda – Sorry to hear the the paint wrinkled. I think it was the enamel in the clear gloss that caused the wrinkling. To fix it, you can buy the same paint, but get it in a gloss finish so you won’t need to seal it. If you do want to seal the paint after it has dried, I would use Minwax Polycrylic in a gloss finish. It comes in a spray. It is not enamel based and won’t wrinkle the paint when applied according to the label dry time/ respray directions You can see it here: https://amzn.to/2PDjBts

  13. Hi!

    I recently used rustoleum universal spray paint to re-paint the IKEA duktig wood kitchen for my son. But the paint scratches off VERY easily just with a finger nail.

    Should I use the top coat that rustoleum sells to try to stop the scratching/chipping? Or is it too late to save it?

    Thank you!!
    Lisa

  14. This is obviously a common and frustrating problem with spray paint. I use Rustoleum 2x glossy and had no issues using it to paint wooden crates last spring. This year however when painting metal lanterns and just today, metal storage containers, I have experienced ALL these issues. Some pieces came out great yesterday and wrinkled today (can directions say apply second coat with 1 hour or after 24 hours – arrrgh!). Some that were painted yesterday didn’t wrinkle at all today but instead gave me that grainy pebbly texture! It is spring here and today was a mild 13 Celsius with low humidity. The other days I sprayed were overcast and cold and I sprayed outside then brought the pieces inside. One piece had those wrinkles and I assumed the cold temps were to blame – now I know differently so thank you for that! Today I sprayed in the sunny part of my balcony but the pieces were shaded in a makeshift booth. The cans were new but I definitely made sure to shake the bejeepers out of them both before and during the spraying! But there they are – all gritty and sandpapery. I’m at my wits end with this paint – it shouldn’t be this difficult to get a nice shiny finish lol! I just wanted to thank you for answering others’ questions so helpfully – it’s helped me out as well. Now, if I can just get one nice shiny coat on at least one of the six containers with this paint, I’ll be a happy woman!

    1. Hi Michelle – Sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble with getting the paint to spray shiny and smooth. Too cold or too hot can effect the spray and cause the sandpaper texture. Usually this happens when it is too hot, but from your comment, it sounds like you are working in cooler almost ideal temps.

      It could be the spray paint itself if you have followed all the tips. I like Rustoluem 2x paint and have never had a problem using it, but who knows if you got a bad batch. Maybe try using another brand of spray paint and see if you have success. My other favorite spray paint is the Valspar brand.

  15. Hey! I am painting a side table with some pints of wall paint, which I believe is acrylic, and I’m wanting to put a gloss sealant on it, by krylon, it says to use when not humid but I live in North Carolina and it’s almost always humid. Temperatures are good but it’s 88% humidity right now. I can’t do it inside and live in a small apartment. Help!

    1. Hi Jay – If you wait for a sunny day, it will be fine to seal/spray the table then. You just don’t want to spray on a hot and humid day when it is in the 90’s. Now if NC is like SC, you just have to wait for the sun to come out again.

  16. Hi
    I’ve been using Rustoleum 2X gloss spray and painting parts of a wooden toddler table and stools. Some parts are painted but the tops are mostly bare wood (some type of hardwood. It was made by Lakeshore) my question is should I sand the paint a bit before topcoat because a few spots could use I light sanding and if so will the gloss come back? It did on my test piece surprisingly well. Also what type of topcoat? Im very familiar with oil based poly and prefer to make my own wipe on poly w/50% mineral spirits. Im not very good with the spray cans so I figured this would take longer but may turn out better. Also I have it disassembled in several different parts. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    1. Oh and as far as the poly. I had to fix a spot so Isanded it and used a damp shop towel with mineral spirits to remove any fingerprints or paint dust ect. The mineral spirits seemed to remove a tiny bit of paint (paint only chief for 24 hrs) but I used my wipe on poly on fully cured paint with no paint removal. So I’m assuming that the oil based poly and mineral spirit mixture won’t hurt the paint as long as it’s fully cured. Is that correct? Seemed to work but I always prefer to consult someone more knowledgeable. Thanks again.

      1. Hi Stephen – If no cured paint came off with your poly mixture, it should be fine to use. If it is oil-based it may yellow or darken the paint over time. This isn’t a big deal when used over dark colored paint. If using white or light colors, it may yellow over time. Using a water-based poly like Minwax Polycrylic will not yellow the paint.

    2. Hi Stephen – If you sand the surface lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then clean off the grit, applying a new light coat of paint will adhere better and the gloss will be nice and even. Shake the can well as you spray and repeat another light coat in 5 minutes. Then let it dry for 48 hours.

      If you don’t want to use spray paint, you can use chalk paint with a brush. It sands really easily to create a super smooth finish that you can then seal with poly.

  17. Hi,
    I learned a lot from other questions you had answered but still am not sure what would be best for my style of project.
    I have a large metal frame that I covered In loose canvas. I then cut out shapes in the canvas so there are hanging pieces of fabric. I need to harden the canvas because I plan to paint on it with acrylic and then seal it.
    I considered using Spray on flex seal clear which is a liquid rubber to use on boats, but I feel like there is a better option. Can you help me?

    Thanks,

    Viveka

    1. Hi! We recently painted some wooden chairs with Rustoleum’s Specialty Lacquer in black.. it didn’t mention primer so we didn’t use any, but instead sanded then washed before spraying. The issue is that the finish is very patchy -some areas are super shiny and glossy while others are dull.
      I wouldn’t care if it was all shiny or if it was all matte, but the striped, patchy combination is too much. They look terrible!
      What should we do to fix it? Sand and re-spray with a satin or semi gloss finish? Brush on a coat of polycrylic or polyurethane? Something else???
      Thanks!!

      1. Hi Jaeda –

        Sorry to hear that your painted finish did not come out right. I think what the problem may have been is that the spray paint can wasn’t shaken long enough. You can never shake a spray paint can enough, it should be shaken a good 2 minutes before spraying and a few times as you spray.

        Another reason the sheen variation may have happened is that angle and distance from the surface changed as you sprayed. The next time you spray, try to keep the can the same distance from the surface as you go over the surface.

        To fix the problem you will need to sand and respray. But I would wait to sand until the paint is truly dry (3-7 days) or you will create a gummy mess on the surface as you sand. If you see that happening, wait a few more days before sanding.

        If you don’t want to respray, you could go over the surface with an alkyd varnish. You can’t use poly as it will not stick to the lacquer. There are many alkyd varnishes – brush-on and spray. For ease, this Minwax spray gloss will work: https://amzn.to/3jE2kKB

        Follow the cans directions and if you can spray one area on a chair to see how it looks, I would test just to make sure you like it.

  18. I am wanting to spray paint red plastic to turn it to the color pink. Would i use white primer to cover the red color up and once that is dry could i spray paint it the color pink?

  19. Hi Diane,
    I spray painted a wood/metal chandelier that I am installing outside but in a covered patio area where it won’t get wet or anything. I live in Palm Springs (desert). Do I need to put a clear coat or anything to protect it for the elements?

    Thanks,
    Don

    1. Hi Don – Sealing your chandelier all depends on the paint you used. If it is a gloss or semi-gloss, there is no need to seal it, especially since it will be undercover and not get wet or have the hot sun beating down on it.

      If you want to seal it, wait for the paint to fully cure a few days to a week before sealing. Follow the cans directions. You may want to do it in the morning or evening when the temps are cooler.

      If you seal it too soon, you can run the risk of the paint wrinkling. You can use a few light coats of spray Minwax Polycrylic or Krylon Spray Sealer. Both of these formulas will not yellow over time. With this said, I am not sure you even need this if the paint you used is semi-gloss or gloss. If it is a flat finish of paint, then seal it.

  20. Hiya,
    I’ve been restoring old English Anglepoise type 1227 and older 1209 lamps recently.
    The Rustoleum ‘hard hat’ brand works well but is expensive, so I tried Rustoleun ‘Painter’s Touch’, and it seemed fine but I noticed even after drying it responds (comes off) to kerosene / white spirit, ie it’s oil based….but doesn’t dry totally ?
    Anyway, some of the old lamps (1930’s) originally had ‘crincle’ finish, the paint was crinkled very nicely by the makers (Herbert Terry), and I’d like to know how best to recreate that look, exactly….since the lamps are expensive projects, being antiques.
    Cheers, Ben.

    1. Hi Ben – The best way to create a crackle finish on the metal lamps is to use a Crackle spray paint. It is a two part process. Krylon sells one in gold/ivory and Montana paint makes a few colors. Once the finish is on, you can use a spray sealer over it. You can see some of the products on this page: https://amzn.to/33vOQbI

  21. Hello,
    I am using a Rustoleum brand of spray paint I get at Walmart. I have been using it awhile now but for some reason all of a sudden some cans while spray out smooth from the can and then all of a sudden start spraying out differently and causing a sandpaper look not smooth.. these cans will spray smooth and then start spraying rough giving my project a sand papery look.

    What is causing this to happen? It only happens with certain cans and colors. Sprays smooth one minute then sprays out sand papery the next. Yiu can even hear it in the way It sprays when it starts.

    1. Hi Patrick – I have had this happen to me with the Rustoleum metal line of spray paint. There could be three things happening, but I think it is #1.

      #1 – It is the spray nozzle or the paint itself. After a while the nozzle gets clogged and the spray doesn’t come out right. The fancy spray tops of the metal look paints do this from time to time. When this happens, I return the can and get a new one. It has happened a few times for me when I use the Oil Rubbed Bronze color. Some cans are fine, other troublesome.

      #2 – How hot is it where you are spraying? If the air is very hot when spray painting, the paint can dry before it hits the surface causing the sandpaper texture. To fix -lightly sand over surface, clean off grit and respray when the air is cooler. Around 75 degrees with low humidity is perfect.

      #3 – The can needs to be shaken more. When spray painting, always shake the can for a minute before spraying and while spraying, give it a shake every 30 seconds.

      I hope this helps you figure out what went wrong.

  22. I’m pretty much housebound so I buy a lot of stuff on the internet. When delivered, I have a flat metal cart with wheels that I use to pull the boxes into the house. The weather ruined and rusted the floor of this cart so I decided to clean it up and spray paint it. I got some of it down to the bare metal but about half still had paint or the residue of paint on it . I decided to go ahead — this was a good as it’s going to get. I got it cleaned up and hosed it down. A day or two later, when I got ready to spray the primer, the cart floor was totally covered with a rusty film. What do I need to do to finish this project? Thanks so much…you do a wonderful job of keeping us informed.

  23. Hi Diane,

    I just painted a set of chairs and table with Rustoleum Universal spray paint, I now want to try my hand at painting whimsical designs (think Mackemzie Childs type patterns) on this set, but I don’t know if the best paint s hobby craft paint or latex indoor house paint or if both will work just fine. The table has cure for about 4 days and the chairs for over a week.

    I am dying to move onto the main point of my project, the adding of whimsical designs, but i am afraid to mess up the great spray paint job i did on the table and chairs,. ,

    Any advice is most appreciated!!!! :-)

    Best,

    Karen

    1. Hi Karen –

      What you are planning sounds very colorful and pretty. If you applied light coats of spray paint and painted in an air-conditioned space, four days is a good amount of time to wait. It is save to proceed to the fun painting. :-)

      The best paint to use would be brand name acrylic craft paint. Examples: (Folk Art, Martha Stewart) or use glossy acrylic enamel craft paint. Enamel is more durable, but usually has a sheen. Just make sure all the colors of paint you pick out to paint the design are the same finish. I don’t think you would want one shiny and another flat. (There are so many craft paints in the aisle, it is sometimes hard to find all the same sheen)

      If sealing, I would suggest using Minwax Polycrylic. It is water-based and will not yellow over your paint. It comes in a few different sheens – satin is usually the best for using over painted furniture since it is not super shiny.

  24. Hi! I spray painted an old dresser with matte paint and primer in one. It’s been a week and there are still blotches on the top and when I wipe with an old towel there is paint residue on the towel. Should I apply a sealer of sort? I do want it to stay a matte finish though.

    1. Hi Lesile – After a week, you should not be able to wipe away paint residue. Something sounds not quite right. Is the residue dry or wet? If it is wet, wait to seal it until the finish is completely dry and not tacky or sticky. If it is dry, you can seal it with water-based poly like Minwax Polycrylic. It comes in a matte finish: https://amzn.to/2N6XQQR

    2. Sounds like you painted in hot humid weather. The paint dries before reaching the surface you are painting. That is the powdery paint that you wiped up. Sand and repaint indoors or on a cool day with no humidity.

    3. Hi there,

      Thank you for the awesome information. I had a question; I painted a set of metal patio furniture with the rustoleum universal oil rubbed bronze spray paint and it has stayed tacky to the touch. In fact, if we have sunblock on (which in AZ is a must) and touch the furniture it rubs off on our skin. Any suggestions on which sealant to use?

      1. Hi Elizabeth – Wow. I have never heard of that happening, but it is probably the heat. I would allow the table to cool off out of the sun if possible and then spray on RUST-OLEUM High Performance Rust Preventative Spray Paint in Gloss Clear for Metal. You can see it here: https://bit.ly/3cztCOV

        Or you can use Automotive clear spray. It will hold up to the heat: https://amzn.to/2y7gGAQ

        No matter what you use, first test a small area to see if the paint wrinkles. With the heat in AZ, the underside of the paint on the furniture may not be dried yet. If you do get wrinkling, you should wait a few more days until the paint has time to cure. It can take up to a month for paint to cure, especially in hot weather.

  25. Hi! I purchased some plastic toy animals from amazon, sprayed them with Rustoleum Metallic Gold, however it has been 2 weeks and they have not yet dried. I may have sprayed them closer than 8″ and not sweeping motions. Am I able to speed the drying time somehow?
    Thanks!
    Sara

    1. Hello, I would like to know, what I could use as a sealer for spray painting molding on a bar? I have just sanded and re painted now I would like a strong sealer to prevent it from chipping again. Thnks!

  26. While I was spraying a card board and duct tape project with Hammered metal paint on the second coat it seems to sprout growths… like like spikes I guess. Why did this happen. the first coat was smooth and i sprayed the second layer within an hour.

    1. Hi Aaron – I think what happened was a chemical reaction between the spray paint and the duct tape. Duct tape has that rubbery plastic coating and the sticky side has a few chemicals in it also – both of these don’t play well with spray paint.

      The only way to avoid it happening again would be to seal the duct tape first, maybe using a clear shellac or even a water-based primer like KILZ. Once this layer is on and completely dry, the spray paint shouldn’t penetrate it and you should get the finish you were hoping for.

  27. I have gold or shiny brass faucets and towel holder in my half-bath. Not sure which it is but bottom line it is shiny. I see now that a lot of brass and gold has come back but Brushed gold or Satin brass in other words matte. Do you recommend for me to spray the faucet and towel holder with spray paint. What would leave them with a matte/satin finish?

    1. Hi Lourdes – I don’t think you will be happy with the look of spray paint on the faucet as it will eventually come off. It may take a while, depending on how much you use the faucet and if condensation ever builds up on it. This mostly happens in hot humid climates. You may want to consider brushing them with sandpaper – rubbing the sandpaper over in one direction on so the brass takes on the brushed look. I did this on brass swing arm lamps and was very happy with the results. You can see how I did it in this post: http://bit.ly/2G6aiLr

  28. hello i have a company and want to spray paint some glass cosmetics bottle. however im worried about the spray paint chipping and smelling. what steps should i take?

    thanks

    1. Hi Ashtin –

      You can use any Primer + Paint formula of spray paint to paint the glass bottles. Most brands have a few to choose from. To prep the bottles, go over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface a little. Don’t rub too hard as you don’t want to damage the glass. Clean off the sanding grit and wash the bottles well to remove any dirt or grease from the surface. Let dry.

      If you have a block of Styrofoam that comes in packaging of small appliances. Place a few long skewers into it and place a bottle over the skewer so the bottle is upside down and the top of bottle is not touching the Styrofoam. Doing this will make spraying the bottles easy.

      When spraying – use sweeping motions with your hand about 8″ away from the surface and use only light coats. Respray another light coat on after about 5 mins and keep repeating until you get the coverage you want. Do not recoat or respray after an hours time. If they still need more paint, wait 48 hours to respray. If you respray within this time period you risk wrinkling of the paint.

      Let dry for at least 24 hours. The smell will go away in a day or two. To help remove any lingering smell, place the bottles outside (protected from rain) in the air for a day or two.

    2. I am spray painting a tv stand black. The paint is dry but when I run my fingers over it they come up with fine almost powdery black paint that also seems dry. It’s not taking too much off the tv stand as that appears black still. Is it not dry enough? Do I need to put a protective topcoat on? Should I have used a primer even though the paint I chose says paint and primer?

      1. Hi Natalie –

        From your description, it sounds like the paint may have dried too fast or you sprayed in low humidity. What brand and finish are you using?

        Another cause is that the paint can was too far away as you sprayed and the air dried it as it hit the surface. Another reason could be that the can was not shaken enough. Shake it for about a minute and then spray and then shake the can even as you are woking on the project.

        You should always use a primer when the can only says “paint”. If it says Primer and Paint, you don’t need a separate primer. If the paint is not an enamel and glossy, then you can add a protective layer, but you need to read the direction on the can for when to add this layer. If you add it too soon, it can wrinkle the paint.

  29. Hello. My spray can’s nozzle got clogged and I can’t open the nozzle. I only used it The first time, what do I do?

    1. Hi Tas6 –

      This is a common problem with spray paint. What brand is it? and can you remove the nozzle? If it is Rustoleum with the fancy spray tops – they can’t easily be fixed. I would take it back to the store to get your money back.

      If using another brand with a nozzle that comes off, remove it and run very hot water over it to remove any paint. You can also soak it in nail polish remover for about a half hour. Then take the end of a pointy toothpick or straight pin and put tip into the holes on the nozzle to clean out the paint. Do both holes on the nozzle – the underside and the one on the side of the nozzle.

      Place back on can, shake the can very well, really shake it so the paint is completely mixed and spray. If it doesn’t spray, hold the can upside down and try to spray.

      If this doesn’t work, then take the can back since it is new. I have had to return a few cans myself over the years.

  30. I sprayed blue paint from Painters touch, an old digital piano, aluminum that I stripped clean and treated with metal treat for aluminum. It came out beautiful, two pieces the top and bottom. Then I waited two days, I put some stick on letters for the control buttons. 48 hours and I sprayed the bottom piece with the same brand clear coat and it looked even better than the blue paint. Then I clear coated the top and within 1 minute I got wrinkling. So I was really pissed off. Just a couple of places. I will now have to wait about 3 days and then sand the wrinkles. Try to correct the mess. So 48 hours is not long enough. How long is? Maybe a week to be sure. I would have gladly waited a week if I knew this was going to happen, It says 48 hours on the can.

    1. Hi Jeff –

      Sorry to hear about the wrinkling. It can be upsetting after you prepped it and did everything right. From your explanation, I think what may have happened, but not 100% sure is that when you sprayed the bottom, some overspray got on the top section. When you sprayed the top, the sections that may have gotten over sprayed, wrinkled.

      To fix it, wait for a few days to a week (48 hours is usually enough, but it will depend on how thick the paint is and how humid the air is), sand to smooth and respray. Wait longer for spraying on the top coat. Also mask/cover the bottom and any other section that is still OK. Then spray on the clear coat. You could also use water-based top coat. Minwax makes called Polycrylic. It comes in brush-on and spray versions as well as Satin and Gloss finishes. It is sold online at Walmart, Amazon and Home Depot, but if you buy it in the store it will be less expensive. You can see the can here,: https://amzn.to/2sGRPNV

      1. Hello Diane,

        Thanks for the reply, I did the two pieces separately at different times and they were never close together, I know about over spray.

        I think the areas that wrinkles were a little thicker and still not cured. 48 hours is not long enough.

        Here the air is very dry. Most of the paint went on perfect and it looks like it came out of the factory.

        Yes, I even have practice sheets of aluminum, some big sheets and practiced, I put the blue paint on very thick , waited two days and then a bunch of experimenting. I printed out the labels for the piano on glossy paper and then put contact cement on the back and stuck them onto the blue paint . Then clear coated over top of the blue and the labels. When practicing I did not even wait 48 hours and put the gloss on very thick , Never had a single wrinkle. So I just wish I understood the science behind the process. I am now sanding the wrinkles and I am sure the paint underneath the clearcoat is wrinkled , not the top coat, So I think the clear coat solvents go into the bottom layer and redisolve it.

        Jeff Guarino

  31. How do I get rid of the spray paint smell? I painted a kids play kitchen and it smells so badly that I can’t bring it in the house. I’m afraid for my kid to play with it. Should I have sealed it?

    1. Hi Andrea –

      The smell will eventually go away with time. If you seal it now, it will only make the smell worse. One way to reduce paint odor is by minimizing its curing time. Paint the furniture outdoors on a dry, moisture-free day, if possible. Since you already painted the furniture, set it outdoors on a non-humid day. Sunny weather helps even more, so place it out in the direct sun for an afternoon. Keep the furniture outdoors for several days, if possible, such as on a porch. The air movement helps cure the paint and will cut down on the odor. If unable to keep the furniture outdoors, store it in a garage for a few days, or in a well-ventilated spare room of the home.

      Once the item no longer has a smell, then you can seal it. I would use Minwax Polycrylic. It is water-based and has no smell. It comes in satin and gloss sheens so you have a choice if you want the finish shiny or not.

  32. In major need of help! I purchased a play kitchen for my son from Ikea and spray painted some already finished pieces a new color to match some other pieces I had to paint. I got some wrinkling on one piece and some paint drip on another. I sanded down (as best I can) where the mistakes are, but now I have this unevenness (compared to the other areas) and am afraid I spray too heavily, I will create more wrinkles. Do I need to sand down the entire piece before spray painting again? Or can I do a specific section only? This has become a spray paint nightmare.

    1. Hi Andrea – From your description, I think you sprayed the paint on too heavy and then may have recoated after an hour. Re-coating after an hour from the first coat will cause wrinkling.

      It can be fixed without having to sand everything. Use 60 grit sandpaper to remove the rough paint, follow with 100 grit sandpaper to begin to smooth the area and then 220 if needed to smooth further. You want to make sure you are smoothing the transition lines around the bare wood where it meets up with the paint. Once smooth you can re-spray. Note: If it has been less than 48 hours since you sprayed on the paint, wait to re-coat at least 48 hours before re-spraying.

      When respraying use long sweeping motions over the surface with the can about 8″ away from the surface. Re-spray with very light coats every 5 minutes until you get the coverage you want. Get these coats on within an hour. Do not spray again after an hour. If more coats are needed, wait 48 hours. Wrinkling is caused when a new coat of paint is applied over a not quite dry one. More light coats are how to achieve a perfect spray painted finish.

      1. Thank you so much! It worked! At tips for making the furniture not smell like it’s been spray painted? I didn’t use a finish on it (maybe I should)? It’s a play kitchen for my kid and so it’s important it doesn’t smell like paint!

  33. I think that spray paint is the best approach to several items I need to paint. However, I am having no luck at all.

    I start off with a primer spray paint and apply several light coats. I then apply two-three layers of finish spray paint.

    When I hold the object afterwards, I end up leaving fingerprint impressions in the paint. Bearing in mind that I did wait for the paint to dry between coats, can you please tell me what I am doing wrong?

      1. Hi Shaun – Sorry I missed your question. I get a lot of questions on a daily basis and try as best I can to get them all answered in a few days.

        From your comment I think you let the primer fully dry before spraying the paint on? If not, you should. It will help.

        The problem you are having is common, especially in the summer months when it is humid. Spray paint, especially certain brands can take forever to dry. To keep this from happening, try to spray paint on non-humid days. When spraying the paint on, use really, really light coats… like count…1…2… 3 and stop spraying. Wait for 5 minutes, then repeat keeping the coats very light and airy, not even full coats. Wait again and then repeat this process up to an hour until you get the coverage you want.

        When you use really light coats the paint dries much faster. If you use heavier coats, one right after the other every 5 minutes or so, the new coat keeps the first one from drying completely and the paint stays tacky.

        If your piece is still tacky, try putting it next to an AC unit to see if it speeds the drying process. Once the weather changes and you have the heat on in your house, placing the piece inside a heated room for a few days should remedy the situation, too.

        Another thing that I know has happened to me, is certain spray paints dry faster than others. They are different. I like Valspar the best. It go on evenly and dries fast. I hope this helps.

  34. Rustoleum is junk. Krylon works much better. You can sand and recoat next day. Rustolum 48 hours and more if you sand just before coating again.

  35. Hi Diane!
    I was wondering if you know if you can spray paint a faux marble table?? We have a table that has about a 1/4” thick faux marble on the top. The table is in good condition other than some chips on the corners and a some scratches. I planned on spray painting the vinyl chairs it has to give it new life but was wondering if I could spray the table top as well? If so what type and process is best?

    1. Hi Amber -You can spray paint the table. If it has a slick, smooth finish, you will need to rough it up with sandpaper first to provide some “Tooth” for the paint to adhere to. Clean off the grit well and then use a spray primer first. A light coat only, let dry and then one more light coat.

      After the primer is dry, wait 4 – 6 hours if it is hot and humid or even overnight, then spray on your paint again using light coats, every 5 minutes. Read the label on the paint as you will need to get your full coverage within an hour. After an hour, stop adding any more coats as they may wrinkle. Wait 48 hours if you need to touch up.

  36. I have a 30 year old home. I was working in the garage and dropped a piece of metal. It pierced a spay can of paint which immediately adhered to the concrete floor. Several days later, after parking the car on it, I noticed there was absolutely no hot tire pick up of the paint. What are the arguments against spray painting the rest of the floor?

    1. Hi Daniel – Sometimes accidents can have a good outcome. :-) You could spray the whole floor with the same spray paint, but you would have to make sure the entire floor is in the same condition as where the paint adhered. I would scrub the floor with a degreaser and then rinse it very, very well. Then let it dry for a day or two to make sure there is no moisture in the concrete at all.

      If there is any grease on the floor, the paint will not adhere. If it is a paint and primer spray paint that would be the best. The only other negatives would be you would need a lot of cans of spray paint to get the floor covered. This could get expensive. Before proceeding, you may want to look into a garage floor paint the you roll on. Like this one: https://amzn.to/2wYszHM It would be easier to apply and get and even finish across the entire floor.

  37. Hi Diane,

    Thank you for providing so much helpful advice! I suspect many future projects will be saved by your great tips.

    It may be too late for my current project… unless you have any ideas?

    Two days ago, I sprayed a VERY thick, single layer of paint on an antique, hand-made seashell frame (domed glass included). I didn’t realize at the time what a terrible strategy that was. The finish *seemed* fine and dry enough for another touch-up coat this evening, which would be about 36 hours later). In fact, the entire surface of the glass began to wrinkle immediately, as did the paint on some of the shells. Although tempted to give up completely, I decided to scrape away all the paint from the glass and remove the worst of the wrinkled patches from the shells with sand paper.

    Now I’ve read your post and understand the reason my paint wrinkled. So I’m wondering if, at this point, there’s *any* length of time I can wait before that thick layer is thoroughly dry, and I can re-spray the bits I sanded without causing further wrinkling? Say, a week? Or will there forever be a gummy under-layer of wet paint beneath the seemingly dry surface? (I should mention that it seems nearly impossible to strip/sand the paint from all the shells and start from scratch, as they’re too textured.)

    Thanks again!
    Anna

    1. Hi Anna –

      Sorry to hear about what happening to the finish of the piece you are working on. I would try to at least remove the paint and then start fresh. You can spray on Citra-Strip. It is not as toxic and take a little longer to work, but I think you may be able to get the paint off. I would test an area first, but I think it will be fine. After the Citra-Strip is on for a few hours, check to see if the paint comes off. If not, let it sit overnight. Use an old toothbrush to scrub it off in tight areas, then wash everything with detergent and water to remove the stripper and any dirt or grease on the surface. When you are sure it is very clean, let dry. You may have to repeat the stripping process again to get any hard to remove paint off.

      Once your piece is clean and dry, place on a stiff piece of cardboard, then spray paint again. Shake can well, light coats sprayed about 8″ away from surface, every 5 minutes until you get complete coverage. Use the cardboard as a tray and move the piece to a quiet area in your home to let it dry for a few days.

    2. I did that to a vase I was painting. I kept it in a bucket water with degreaser in the bucket for 24 hours. It worked. The paint came right off. Didn’t have to sand nor scrape.

  38. Hi!!

    So I am spray painting my kitchen cabinets with white Rustoleum semi-gloss spray paint. I am doing two coats and I am noticing some of them are coming off with a “webbing” look when they dry, I’m assuming because I may have sprayed too thick in those areas. Is there a way to fix this? Could I just slightly sand down those areas and re spray?

    1. Hi Sarah –

      Yes, you can sand those areas, but wait for a few days to make sure the paint is really, really dry or you may create a gummy mess. Once dry, sand smooth with 100 grit sandpaper, clean sanding debris off and then repaint using light even coats, spray about 8 inches away from the surface. Re-coat every 5 mins until you get the coverage you want and then let them dry. Do not respray after an hour. If you need more paint, wait at least 48 hours before respraying.

  39. How long after an oil-based aerosol spray primer can i sand? I know with the type in a can it’s 24-48 hours, i’m hoping this one i can sand sooner.

    1. Hi Jess – If you sprayed the finish on with light coats and it is dry and warmer temps, 48 hours should be enough. The real key is making sure the paint underneath (first coat) is dry. If it isn’t you will create sludge then you sand. It is better to wait, if you sand too soon, you will wreck the finish and have to strip and start from scratch.

      1. I’ll add to the temp issue, if that’s OK…I’m in AZ, USA, so cold is not usually an issue. But to deal with the higher temps I take my project outside to paint, place it out of direct sunlight and I paint immediately, to not let my project heat up. Then I always take my can indoors with me in-between coats so the paint stays cool. If I set it in the sun, the surface dries super fast but the underneath layer is not, and like you said, it will smudge/wrinkle/etc. As always, with any paint project, patience is key, LOL! Thanks for sharing your tips, they’re dead on!

  40. Hi There, we spray painted a brass bed frame with rustoleum gloss protective enamel and it still smells 2 weeks later. Just wondering what we can do to get rid of this smell. The bed is meant for a toddler so want the smell completely gone as soon as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Lucy – That is a long time for the smell to still be hanging around. From my experience this can happen sometimes if you spray too many/too thick of a coat without leaving enough time for the original layers to dry.

      The easiest thing to help rid the smell would be to place the bed outside in the fresh air for a day or two. Bring it in at night. The air will help speed along the curing process and lessen the smell.

      If airing out doesn’t work, you could add a clear coat sealer over it. If you can find Rustoleum Clear Coat (it’s an enamel like the paint you used), you can spray it over, but that can be pretty smelly itself, so instead I would use Brush-on Polycrylic (not the spray version) It is a water-base polyurethane that has no smell. It comes in a few different sheen’s including gloss. It can be added over anything and not make the finish wrinkle like many spray-on clear sealers can. Test it out though first just to be on the safe side. I would brush on a very light coat to a small inconspicuous area of the bed frame and then let it dry. If the finish is fine, then you can brush-it on over the surface of the bed frame and the let dry. It dries fast and has little to no smell. It should get rid of the smell.

  41. Hi there Diane,

    I’m working on an unfinished wooden jewelry box that I want to spray paint some parts black, some parts white. I also plan to add designs on the white and black background with acrylic paints. I would like to end with a satin finish.

    What do you recommend I do for sealing, priming, painting, and then finishing the wooden box?

    I’ve read that people initially sand and seal the wood with GAC 100 (a multi-purpose acrylic polymer) to keep the wood from bringing contaminants into the above surfaces that would yellow the white paint. (this is what I found for those doing acrylic paintings… so I’m not sure if it works the same for spray paint). If it doesn’t, can i leave this step out and go straight to primer?

    If I am able to use the GAC-100 to seal the wood, which primer would you recommend to use above that layer? I plan to use black and white spray paint above the primer.

    AND FINALLY, after a million questions… would you still recommend i use Minwax water-based polycrylic sealer to finish my work if I’m using spray paint and some acrylic paint?

    Thank you so much for your help. Reading the comments above really helped and I hope to hear from you!

  42. Hey!
    Thank you for your patience and knowledge with all these questions. I read through so many hoping my question was already asked, but I didn’t see anything. I want to spray paint my cabinets. However, I can’t find many articles or videos that do this. SO, I’m thinking it must not be a good idea?? It won’t hold up in the kitchen? It just seems like it would be so much faster, easier, and have a smoother finish. Is it possible? Or should I just prepare for the long process that most seem to use?

  43. Hi Diane! So I got a piece of furniture with stained wood and a gloss on top, I sanded everything off (with a power sander and by hand in tough to reach spots) with 60 grit then with 220. After that I used a shop vac followed by a tack cloth to remove the saw dust. However I applied two coats of primer (Rust-Oleum) and the two coats of paint (Rust-Oleum High Performance Enamel) then forgot to sand between each coat. Some pieces have small bumpy areas due to not sanding in between coats I believe. Is it too late to use a 400 grit to even everything out if not (after sanding) can I spray paint with the enamel paint? Should I do it by hand only? Thank you!

    1. Hi Dani – You can easily fix the problem. The bumps may not have anything to do with the fact that you did not sand between coats. It could have helped, but if the temps are hot where you are, it could be the spray paint dried before hitting the surface and those particles are the bumps you feel. You can always use sandpaper to smooth areas out. 220 – 400 will be fine. Sand until you like what you see and feel. Just wait for the paint to be completely dry before sanding or you will have a gummy mess. Once the paint is dry, sand to smooth, clean off grit. Shake the can well and respray when the temps are around 75 degrees.

      If you want to use brush-on paint, you can. Just make sure the spray paint is very dry and has cured a few days. If you apply a new coat of paint too soon or before previous paint coat has dried, you run the risk of the paint wrinkling.

      Use the same formula paint. For instance, if you used a spray enamel, then use enamel brush-on formula that has the same sheen as the spray paint you used. Apply using light coats, let dry and then apply another light coat.

      1. If the furniture is stained unless your primer is made for painting over stain than no problem. But if it’s not your going to have to sand the stain or apply a stain stripper to get back down to bare wood. The little bumps could also be from the spray can providing you are using a spray can. When you spray start before your furniture and finish spraying beyond your piece. I’ve also notice when you get near the end of the spray can it tends to spit bubbles so I would begin with a brand new can before I get to that ending point with the first spray paint & remember to shake the can alot. If your brushing/rolling on the paint do not due it from the paint can, instead use a strainer to strain the paint & pour it into a throw away cup/bucket. Seal your paint you bought from the store up for further use. I notice when you get your paint from wherever you purchase it from that sometimes that there will be contaimanets somehow got in the paint. I was given the paint, but always dip in with a stick and see that it flows consistantly like paint, so you can catch it at the store & refuse. When you buy something you want it new as & in good working condition. Just my experience.

        1. Hi! I want to spray paint a fiberglass door. Rustoleum recommends their universal product. However, that particular product doesnt come in the color I want. Can I use the Rustoleum Universal in white for adhesion purposes and then once that drys use the Painter Touch 2x product for the color? In general can different products be combined this way? Thank you!

  44. Hey I love your work!!!
    I was wondering if there is a coat of some sort I can add to a metal surface after spray painting it to make it long lasting?
    If so wich brand do you recommend?

  45. Thank you! Exactly the information I was looking for – thanks for providing this resource!

  46. Hello!!!

    First, love your blog. Thank you so very much for writing about these so important subjects.

    I’m hoping you can help me with a challenge I’m facing.

    I’m spray painting wood and after one coat and 24 hours of drying I put my hand across and it is leaving a powdery residue. When I wipe it down with a dry paper towel the towel is stained in the color too.

    What should I do?

    Thank you,
    Your wonderfully grateful reader

    1. Hi Claudia – From your description, it sounds like where you are painting the temps are hot and dry. Are they? When spray painting in high temps, the paint particles can dry before hitting the surface. When the paint that made it dries, these particles sometimes feel like powder or sand. The best thing to do is lightly sand over the surface to smooth and clean off. Or just use a wet rag to remove the powder. Let dry. Wait to respray when the temps are not soaring and it should fix the problem. Also make sure that you are spraying at the distance that is stated on the label. Most brands are about 8 inches away. Make sure to shake the can well and use long broad strokes. Doing these few things should allow the paint to adhere and dry to a nice smooth finish.

      1. Thanks- I painted a table yesterday and had the same problem. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

  47. Write your own posts if you are specialized in that field. Don’t make copy-paste from other sources.

    “try to spray when the temp is between 65 – 85 degrees.”
    -It’s impossible to spray in that temperature, because:
    1) it is too hot to work
    2) the paint will drain down

    I saw this post in other source, where it was 65 – 85 Fahrenheit not Celsius degrees!

    1. I did not write Celsius. You must not live in the United States were Fahrenheit is used. Spray painting is best done when the temps are between 65 and 85 degrees F. 78 degrees is perfect. No copy and pasting done, FACT! It is what most spray paint manufacturers suggest.

  48. Hi:

    Do you have any suggestions for painting rubber-coated plastic (like cheap cabinet racks and the like)? I know there’s a product called Re-Rack, but it only comes in white, which defeats the purpose :). Is there a primer that will work? I’m not using these in the kitchen–I have a hanging wire rack, for instance, that I’d like to make look a bit nicer.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jess – Painting on a new coat of plastic-coating over bare metal is not hard to do, but painting the white plastic coating itself another color can be tricky. You can paint it with an acrylic paint or paint mades for plastic and vinyl, but even after time this may crack off eventually in places.

      I would rough up the surface of the rubber with 220 grit sandpaper to provide some tooth for the paint to adhere. Clean the racks well with hot water and detergent, rinse well and let dry. Use a spray primer from the Krylon Fusion line or Rustoleum Plastic paint line let dry, then either spray on Fusion spray paint or brush on acrylic craft paint. Using one of these will give you the most color options.

      You could also use Rustoleum Paint for Plastic that is sold for use on automobiles. Colors are limited, but the paint itself should hold up great.

      When you use either of these paints, make sure to only use very light coats and let each dry completely before adding another. Let the rqck cure for a few days to a week before using and it should hold up OK.

  49. I have a question about using the Krylon Sea Glass spray paint. It says that it’s for indoor use only but I want to use it for outdoor candle holders… Can I spray it with a clear coat so it may be alright for outdoor use? You have so many FAQ’s that I didn’t have time to read them all, sorry if you’ve answered this question previously. Thanks for any guidance I’m new to spray painting!

    Elena

    1. Hi Elena – If you are OK with the Sea Glass paint fading a bit then it is OK to use. If the candle holder will be in the hot sun all day and out in the rain, etc it may only look good for one season. You can spray it with a clear coat, but it may yellow the color of the Sea Glass. Minwax has a water-based spray primer version of Polycylic. I would use this to seal the paint so it holds up better.

  50. Hi. i bought three wall wrought iron decorations to use as a hanging headboard. They are black and I want to spray paint them white. I bought a primer/paint spray and am having a problem. Red is instantly bleeding through the wet paint..red?!?!?!?! I haven’t been able to find an online answer. I applied another coat once completely dry and the bleeding continued.

    1. Hi Bethany – The red is a pigment coming from the black wrought iron paint. The solvent in the white spray paint is bringing it out. I am sure the pieces are made in China where the materials they use are not the best. The only way I know to stop this is using a stain blocking primer. Kilz and Zinseer both make good ones. You can find them here: http://amzn.to/2skZLpP

      Clean the pieces well and let dry. Then spray the stain blocking primer on. Follow the directions on the can about respraying and then time to coat with white paint. You want to make sure the stain blocking has taken effect before spraying your white paint. This should stop the bleed through.

  51. When I spray paint my paper sculptures the glue shows through as flat and shinny. It is a different texture then the paint on the paper. How do I stop this from happening?
    Thanks

    1. You can spray or brush on a coating that will make the entire surface the same texture. Plastidip is one that I use often.

  52. Hi Diane,

    I used the Rust-oleum Chalked protective top coat (spray can) and apparently didn’t spray as even as I thought, the whole desk is covered in spots, any suggestions for getting rid of them without sanding the whole thing and starting over? Thanks

  53. I asked earlier about spray painting the wedges of my shoes. I failed to mention that they are covered in fabric. Is there a specific spray paint I should use?

    Now, you guys have me hooked. The multiple uses for spray paint are pretty much endless.

    So I have a birdbath/fountain. It has a little motor, but I can disassemble it for the purpose of painting it. The paint is really chipping. Is there a paint that is safe for the birds, and will withstand water running over it? Any special suggestions on what to use, or techniques? I think I want to use a metal looking paint, maybe bronzy or coppery but I’m not married to any specific idea if there’s something you really like for this. Even an aqua patina would be super cool for this, but I wouldn’t know how to do that. Any ideas?

    1. I have the exact same issue however only the larger saucer experiences chipped paint; the red small pot on top of the saucer to attract butterflies has not chipped nor faded. I used high end primer and finished with high end gloss finishes for crafts outdoors.

  54. Hello,

    I have a great pair of wedge shoes that I love. The fabric on the wedge part is totally worn and frayed. If I clean that up can I spray pain them? And if so, what type of paint and/or sealer should I use. Should I prime them? Even if I tape the tops very well, I’m afraid I’ll get white primer on the tops.

    1. Hi Gale – Anything can be spray painted. Most spray paints have primer in them already so I would look for a can that says Paint + Primer on it. I would seal with a spray poly. If you are using a light color, use spray on Polycrylic. If it is a dark color, you can use any spray sealer ( choose your sheen) since if the sealer yellows the paint you will not see that happen with darker colors.

      Go over the wedge heels with 100 grit sandpaper and then clean the wedge heels well with detergent and hot water and let dry. You should tape around the area where the heel and shoe meet and then run your finger or a credit card over the edge of the tape to make sure it is taped down well. Then cover the rest of the shoe with a plastic bag. Tape the edges of the bag over the area where the wedge heel meets the shoe. This will protect the shoes from getting overspray on them.

  55. Wow, there’s so much good information here. Ok I have an odd question. I’m painting my Adirondack chairs. I started with a Rustoleum color Aqua, but it was a bit too dark and intense. So I went to a color they have called “Ocean MIst” So that one was bit too subtle. But I noticed that the two colors were amazing together (The underside of the chair still had the aqua bleeding through and it was an amazing effect). Anyway, so I was wondering if there is a deliberate way to sort of create a two color effect, but overspraying from a distance. Is there a technique for doing that? I scoured the internet for anyone who knew about this, but I couldn’t fine any answers. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Gale – I love when what we think are a mistake turn into something wonderful. :-) I have not heard about a technique to do what you want, but could you simply hold a can of each color in your hand and lightly spray them on the chairs at the same time?

      1. I have done the two-tone spray, too, and it looks awesome with light blue and light green!

        1. Me too! I did a large bird fountain from terra cotta pots. I used all the colors in the rainbow and it now has a the-die effect.

  56. Hello! Could you advise me on the proper steps for painting small igloo coolers and water jugs? They are for our tennis team, and I need to number and ID them.

    Thank you!`

    1. Hi Charla – I would use multi-surface craft paint, airplane model paint, or even nail polish to label the coolers. Make sure the area where you are going to paint is very clean. I would even go over the area first with a piece of 100 grit sandpaper. Clean off the grit and then apply the paint in a light coat, not thick. If you apply the paint too thick, it will peel off eventually. If you have a stencil to label the coolers, I would use spray primer + paint made for plastic. Rustoleum has a good one. I hope you have a winning season. :-)

  57. I have a pair of leather ballet shoes that I just spray painted black. I know I should of just dyed them, but they are an old pair and everyone I asked said to use spray paint. I’m just worried. Would the paint come off on the floor that I’m dancing on? Nobody really addressed that issue. Thank you so much

    1. Hi Tatiana – If the paint absorbed into the leather and is completely dry then I do not think it will leave marks on the floor, but you can test it. You may want to rub a paper towel over them to see if any paint comes off on the paper towel. If it does then they might leave marks on the floor.

      Another thing that may happen is the when the leather moves the dry paint may crack off eventually. When painting fabric it is best to mix in a fabric medium (bought at the craft store) into the paint. This gives the paint some give so when the fabric or in your case the leather moves the painted finish moves with it. One way to test this is to hold the shoes in your hand and give them a slight twist. If you see the painted finish crackle then it will eventually flake off. If the paint does not crackle when you twist the leather, then the paint may adhered well and you are good to go. :-)

      1. I painted some high heels light pink and they were good for about a week, but they are now chipping. They are especially chipping on the parts that bend when I wear them, but now the stationary parts have started cracking as well. Is there some type of sealant I could spray on top of them that would prevent this if I re paint them?

  58. I have fallen in love with spray paint. Reading this for the first time I am so excited to learn all these great tips. I do have one question. I had my cans on a shelf in a outside shed. Winter hit us hard and fast and I didn’t get the cans inside. Will I still be able to use these in the spring or will I need to buy new.

  59. Diane,

    I was spray painting a glossy hard hat for a project, and I didn’t realize that sanding was a must-do. Now when the newly-painted surface is scraped even in the slightest, the paint easily comes off. Are there any clear sprays I should look into that will seal the new paint in?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Oliver – Even if you spray a sealer on the hat, you will still get peeling since the base paint is not adhered. The best thing to do is get a can of CitraStrip and remove the paint from the hat. It is a non-toxic stripper sold at home improvement stores and Walmart. Spray or brush it on (comes in spray and brush on) wait a few hours and the paint will come right off. Rinse well and dry. Sand the hat with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit. Clean the surface to remove all the sanding grit then use a primer + paint in one formula in the color you want. Most brands have these now. A few light coats sprayed on a few minutes apart, then let dry. I would use Polycrylic spray-on sealer in gloss, but it also comes in a satin finish. It will not yellow your paint color. You can find it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2joC5ft

  60. Diane,
    I spray painted a plastic drawer for my daughter for college. It’s scratches and paint comes off. I can not find a top coat to spray on it so this won’t happen. Tips? I used flat color.

    Also I keep reading on blogs not to use a top coat of any sort of mason jar I painted with metallic paint? But they will get crutches as well, I don’t want to keep reprinting.

    I have bought a can a primer, next time I’ll start with that but it doesn’t help me with the ones I already painted.

  61. Hi, I live in northern Illinois and the winter weather has set in (32 deg F during the day). I spray painted a metal shelving unit yesterday in my cold garage because I didn’t want to do it indoors or wait until spring when the weather warms up. I know the temps weren’t ideal but I decided to take a gamble. I used Rustoleum white gloss. I had sanded the piece with 400 grit sand paper and primed with Rustoleum Ultra 2x the previous day. Some of the paint is still tacky today, and it seems to just be on the parts that were black prior to painting. The previously brown parts seem to have dried fine. Now that the piece is indoors, do you think the tackiness will cure to hard or did I mess up by doing it in the cold and need to redo it?

    1. Hi Michele – I have been there, spray painting in the cold. :-) I spray painted a galvanized light fixture in the cold and it came out just fine. The tackiness will eventually go away, especially in a heated house. I would just let it cure and not place anything on it for a few days.

      1. Thank you so much, and Michele also for asking the question, now I have solution for the same exact problem I did yesterday. I painted in garage in cold weather and after 24 hours brought it inside, and wherever I touched it’s smudge and paint on my finger =D

  62. A few days ago, I used Krylon glitter spray paint on some pine cones for holiday projects. At the end of the day, my pine cones still smelled SO STRONGLY of spray paint that I ended up throwing them away because they immediately made any room in my home smell horribly. Why did this happen and how do I prevent this from happening in the future? Do I need to use a specific sealant?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kimberly – Spray paint smell takes some time to go away. Pinecones are porous so it even takes a little longer. Spray and then keep them outside for a few days, the smell should go away.

  63. I am making shelves to fit insides a high gloss Japanese antique lacquer cabinet. I want the shelves to look like they match the cabinet, so also high gloss. The shelves were sprayed first with clear lacquer and sanded between coats to make the surface very smooth.

    I am doing this all in the garage. Near the door. The black lacquer has a ghastly odor to it, so I MUST do this outside. It’s getting cold here, 50’s during the day. Putting a lamp on it to provide some warmth, but likely it’s not enough. I picked a day when we had not had rain, but I know the humidity level must still high. I have been keeping the can in the house and shaking thoroughly. But shelves have been kept outside.

    Then I went to spray gloss black lacquer. First few coats went fine. I decided to put one last coat on, and it went foggy on me. Not whitish, just like a satiny look.

    I re-sprayed yesterday, same thing.

    Tomorrow will be the warmest day expected for a long time, close to 60 degrees. But, it’s been raining all day today.
    What can I do? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Linnea – I have had this happen to me also. High gloss spray paint is finicky. There are a few things that probably happened. The temp is the number one reason. If the spray can was left outside and got cold, even after vigorous shaking the contents does not mix well enough and does not spray out glossy. Put your cans inside each night so they stay at room temp. Another reason, if you were spraying from a 3/4 empty can, the contents that is left is simply the dregs of the contents. Spray paint has to be shaken a lot and even through the painting process, the paint needs to be shaken. If it is not shaken enough all through the use of the can, when the can starts to empty, it is spraying out what is left, it may not be a good mix. The glossy ingredient simply has been all sprayed out.

      Other reasons could be that you sprayed at a different angle or further away then you did the previous coats or if you started using a new can when the problem started, it could be the can was labeled wrong.

      To remedy the situation, I would go over the surface of the shelves with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Wait for the warmest part of the day and then start with a new can and shake for literally 2 minutes, then respray. Shake the can every 10 seconds as you spray. If you still have the satin finish happening, I would call it a day with the paint and use a brush-on gloss sealer over the black paint. Try Varathane Triple Thick in gloss. It is water-based and self leveling so you will not see brush strokes. It can be done inside since you will be using a brush. It has very little smell, too which makes it OK to use inside. It will give the shelves a high gloss lacquer look. You can see it here: http://amzn.to/2gc5GXh

      1. Thanks so much for answering, Diane! The spray can was stored indoors. Though my house is on the cold side, ~ 65. Though I shook before and during, it was not 2 minutes. I usually count to 100. I ran across your blog while trying to solve this problem: one model-painting site suggested warming the can by setting it up in a tub of warm water! I don’t spray much, I will keep the 2 minute rule in mind for the future.

        However, the shelves were set up OUTdoors. So even if the spray was warm, the shelves were at ambient temperature of somewhere between 40 and 50. I probably should have run them out one at a time to spray. I was minimizing opening and closing the door to the house so as not to let that terrible odor in.

        I will try once more with my remaining spray. If that does not work, I’ll go out and look for the water based poly. Hopefully Menard’s or HD will carry it.

        I have only used water based poly once. To me it had a milky look, so I never used it again, just stuck to oil based (which I know has an amber tinge, but that’s okay for most of what I do, stained wood). But that was 28 years ago, so if they now make a truly clear gloss water based poly, that would be useful to have.

        Thank you so much for your site! Even in a quick surfing, I see you have useful tips I have not seen anywhere else.

  64. Hi Diane, I’ve repaired the cowling on my boat and repainted it with the same Mercury phantom black that was originally on it. I’ve been reading in other comments about orange peel happining when temperatures are high which has happened to me. Just wondering what i should do ? Sand back start again or light sand and respray at a better time of the day ?

    1. Hi Wayne – Sorry to hear about your paint turning to the texture of orange peel. Never fun, but it can be fixed. I would suggest you sand away all the paint at least so the surface is smooth with no texture or crinkles on the painted surface. Clean it well with TSP or detergent and rinse with clear water and then let dry. Orange peel can happen in cold and hot temps. Crinkling can occur when you respray after an hour. All coats need to be sprayed on within an hour. If you can’t do that, you should wait 48 hours to add another coat.

      The best time to spray is when the temp is around 75 degrees and there is no humidity or wind. Spray in a shaded area and never in the full sun. If you can get the surface smooth, clean it well so there is no dirt or grease on the surface and then respray when the temp is around 75 degrees, you should have success. I have never used that paint you are using, just make sure you follow the re-coating times stated on the label.

  65. Hi, Diane,
    I used F1 Aerosol Spray Paint (Black Matte) to paint my gas tank of my motorcycle. before i could start of i did the wet sanding and cleaned it throughly. after applying primer and keeping it to dry i used the spray can to paint my tank. initially the paint came matte black but after it dried out it was glossy. i was shocked to see that again i applied the 2nd coat and the results were same. please do help me out in order to get the matte black look.

  66. Hi Diane,

    I’ve been working on very small wood organization projects 12″ wide 2″ deep and about 2″ high… (just want you to know what size I’m dealing with) I’m using poplar wood. I paint these in 4 different colors of spray paint. I was having a hard time getting the white to cover completely so I purchased the kiltz primer. I now prime all my small pieces but the white is still not covering completely unless I put about 4 coats on. Seems the wood is just sucking it up… any suggestions?
    Question 2: should these pieces be sealed with a spray sealant? I find as I’m traveling to different events that if the pieces touch each other at all, they seem to easily scuff and in some cases, the paint transfers from piece to piece. Also, some still seem to be tacky…I’m talking weeks after. I’d love your input and suggestions. Thank you!!

  67. Hi, I’m trying to “dust” a green metallic over a black base coat so it fades out, similar to the bottom half of this goalie mask.

    How would I accomplish an even coat like this from a spray can?

    Thanks!

  68. I spray-painted a 2′ x 3′ wooden tabletop with white paint (to change the previously green paint), using 2 different cans of spray paint, the first of which was bought at least 3 years ago. Now when I place hot microwaved containers of food on it, I’m getting a strange odor coming from the tabletop, that almost smells similar to rancid oils. To be sure a very annoying odor that I don’t think will go away since it’s been probably 2 weeks since I painted the tabletop.

    Any idea if this is common, if it could be from spray-paint gone bad, and what sort of brushed-on paint would be a cheap and better option for my tabletop?

    1. Hi Brian – Hmmmm….this is a new one for me. It could be the old paint or a reaction of the paint and the wood. Rancid oil is not a good smell. The way to get rid of it, would be to sand the paint off as best you can and then seal the table with an odor and stain blocking primer and then paint. Kilz and Zinsser brands are both good and come in quart sizes. It should stop take care of the smell. Make sure to get the formula that will take care of odors. I always use the Original Kilz. It is oil-based but dries in 30 mins and you can paint soon after over it.

      I would use a foam roller with rounded ends to paint the table to achieve a smooth finish or a high quality brush. Any brand of paint is good as long as you have at least 2 light coats of the primer on. I usually do two light coats of paint. Let each coat dry well, before applying the next. After the table is dry, let it sit unused for a few days so the paint has time to cure. If you want to protect the painted finish, you can use Minwax Polycrylic on top – one or two coats. It is water based and will not change the color of the paint.

  69. Hi,

    I’ve been working on a project that involves spray painting paint buckets (like the orange ones you get from Home Depot). Unfortunately, I neglected to do my research about prepping the surfaces before spraying and now they are susceptible to chipping (and masking tape was a completely lost cause as I attempted to frame a design). My question — Is there any way to salvage the painting I’ve done? Any type of sealant that could hold the paint? If possible, I would like to avoid starting all over on multiple buckets. Thanks!

    1. I’m already preparing for the possibility of doing this all over. I’m considering using Krylon Fusion, which says no surface prep is necessary, but I intend to do a light sanding anyway. The purpose of this painting – I am creating a bucket drum set of sorts, and would like to provide it a slick appearance. The drummer who will be using this plays all parts of the bucket – tops and sides and so the paint job will be subjected to much abuse. I expect that no matter what we do, paint will wear over time given this use. I just want to do everything in my power to make it as strong as possible. Should I use Fusion? and if so, should I seal it after the fact as well?

    2. Hi Adam – I saw both your comments and think you need to start again. There is nothing you can do now to keep the paint on the plastic bucket. Sealer won’t work, since what matters for adhesion is under the paint. To easily remove the paint, use spray on CitraStrip. They sell it at Walmart and home improvement stores. Spray it on, let sit for about 15 mins and the paint will literally come right off. CitraStrip is non toxic so it won’t smell or burn your skin.

      Clean the buckets and let dry. When dry, sand with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the smooth surface. Clean off the sanding grit with a tack cloth and then spray with Fusion or a spray paint specifically made for plastic. I know Rustoleum makes ones as does Valspar. Follow the directions on the can for painting and re-coating times. This is important, if you don’t follow the times in-between coats, you may end up with wrinkled paint. Recoating within an hour is the norm, but follow what the brand you are using recommends.

  70. Hi Diane,
    I am painting a piece of wood with chalkboard paint to use as a chalkboard in a wedding, but whenever I start spraying, the paint starts to splatter everywhere and it is leaving little spots all over the piece?

    Any advice?

    1. Hi Jessica – It sounds like the nozzle or spray tip is not allowing the paint to flow out correctly. What brand of paint are you using? Store bought spray chalk paint or are you using a spray gun?

  71. Hi Diane, I am attempting to spray paint an oak bathroom vanity. I removed., sanded a cabinet door. Shook and shook my can of grey paint that contains a primer in it. The paint on one section appears to have bubbled. How to fix?? Should I sand down the bubbled section and attempt to spray that section again?? Help! Thanks :)

    1. Hi Rebecca – To fix the bubbled area: Wait for the paint to dry A day or more. If you sand when the underside of the paint is not completely dry you will just make things worse. Once a few days have passed, use 220 very fine sandpaper over the area until smooth. You may have to sand past the area so there will be no ridge where the bad area was. Once smooth, clean well and let dry and then spray again. Make sure to use very light coats. Most brands say to re-coat every 5- 8 mins until you get the coverage you desire. Don’t recoat after an hour has passed or you will run the risk of bubbling again. IF you can’t get second or third coat on in an hour wait 24 hours before recoating.

      1. Thanks Diane. Used your tips and reapplied spray paint on a low humidity day. Looks good so far. About spray painting the base of the bathroom vanity, next to the toilet doesn’t appear to be wood but a veneer or faux wood covering of some kind. Have you ever experienced spray painting a bathroom vanity before? Should I try to remove the covering and get down to particle board? Any tips or advice?

        1. Hi Rebecca –

          I would not remove the veneer. It can be successfully painted. Particle board does not take paint well. You need to sand the veneer first to rough up the finish, clean it off and then paint. Light coats will adhere better.

  72. Do you have any advice on painting over spray paint? I have a prop, it’s plastic that I have spray painted white but there are detail parts I need to go in with other colours with a brush or sponge. Types of paint that will do well on top?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Lauren – Model airplane paint would work well. It is oil- based. You could also use as multi-surface craft paint enamel. You can find both of these at the crafts store.

  73. I too have had an issue with white spray paint having a pink tinge to it. This happened on 2 different pieces, neither of which were wood stained. The first was a potting bench that was already painted white. When I repainted it with Rustoleum Satin White (not sure of the exact name but it’s the one with primer in it) there were pinky splotches all over it. It’s definitely not stain bleed through. The other piece was a small shelf unit that’s made of 3 different materials..laminate, particle board, and real wood. There are the same pink splotches all over the shelf! I’m thinking it might be because the paint is a few years old. Or maybe because I painted both pieces outside on a hot day. There is no other common denominator with these 2 pieces..just the same batch (different cans) of paint from my garage and similar weather conditions.

    I paint a lot of old furniture and I’m very familiar with bleed through, but this is different. It looks like it’s on the surface rather than seeping through from the original finish of the pieces.

    1. Hi Lisa – I am sure you did this, but did you shake the can a lot? If so, then it sounds like it could be the paint itself. It could be a batch that was made wrong. I wonder if Heather the other reader who wrote about this used Rustoleum. If she did then I would say 100% it is the brand of paint.

      1. Yes I shook the cans really well before painting. The paint I used was the Rustoleum Universal line in white satin finish. I had several cans stored in my garage for about three years, so I’m guessing it was either the age of the paint, the temperature extremes in the garage, or like you said, a bad batch. I’ll be repainting the shelf with a different brand this week and will let you know how it goes!

  74. I tried to spray paint a black metal lantern with a glossy white and it has a slight pink color to it now. Is there a reason for this and a way to fix it?

    1. Hi Heather –

      Since the lantern was painted metal and not wood where tannins could change the color, it could be that the black paint had a red undertone in it. That red came through the new wet coat of paint. Did you use a spray formula with a primer in it? If not, you may want to use one.

      Here is what you need to do to fix the finish. First rub 160 – 220 grit sandpaper over the surface to rough it up a little and provide some tooth over the glossy white finish. Clean it off with a wet towel and detergent, rinse and let dry.

      Once dry, use a spray primer for metal or a paint and primer in one formula. If using paint and primer in one, spray on one light coat and then another a few mins after the first. Let dry.

      If using a can of spray primer and a can of glossy white, read the back of the primer spray can to see how long you have to wait before you can paint over the spray paint. Then spray on one light coat of paint and then after about 5 – 8 mins, apply another light coat. Let dry.

      The primer should block any underlying color from coming through the new coat of paint.

      1. I used a metal spray paint and primer already. I have 9 other lanterns to do. What should i do from start for this to not happen again. So confused. Never had this happen before and I spray paint alot.

        1. Hi Heather – Maybe change the brand of paint and primer, or use a separate primer and then a spray paint. I really think the new coat of paint is bringing out the red in the black and that is why the paint is turning pink. If the lanterns were made in China or India, a cheap paint was probably used and also not sealed.

          The only other thing you can do is try to remove the black paint with spray-on CitraStrip. You can buy it a Walmart. It would take time to do 10 lanterns, but would remove the black paint. Then you could prime and spray again.

  75. Hi! My question relates to #4 on your list. I am spray painting a lamp and the spray paint came out very rough like sand paper. It was hot today so I’m wondering if it was evaporating too quickly. How can I fix this? I don’t want my piece to be ruined. Thanks!

  76. Hi Diane! Im hoping you can help me out.

    I spray painted a metal shelf from Ikea with Krylon metallic paint and the metal is covered but the paint it almost dusty and it seems like a whole layer of paint comes off when i try to wipe it down. It’s not damaging the paint job but it’s doing a number on my carpet. Do you have any ideas of how to fix this (would a sealer work?) or how to avoid it?

    I cleaned the surface, didnt sand it as it was smooth, and spray painted the pieces individually and gave it a once over when assembled. It didnt seem very hot nor humid and I left it ample time to dry.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers,
    K

  77. Hello! I just spray painted an old window yesterday with chalkboard paint and had to touch up a couple of spots today that ripped off when I taped it to paint around the pane. It crinkled in a few spots. How do I fix this asap before tomorrow? Thank you!

    1. Hi Magen – It is fixable, but maybe not by tomorrow. One of the reasons spray paint crinkles is because the re-coating time is usually within an hour of the hour of the first coat or after 24 – 48 hours depending on the brand. The first coat may feel dry to the touch, but it has not cured underneath and when it get re-sprayed after the top is dry, it can crinkle. The hot temps in the summer can also lengthen the wait time. :-( If you have to have it done by tomorrow, then my best advise is to take the window into a cool place, let it get to room temp. Gently sand over the wrinkled areas with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth. Once it is smooth, clean off the grit with a damp towel and let dry. Shake the spray paint well and spray it into an empty tin can. Use a soft paint brush to apply it directly over the sanded areas. Dabbing lightly to smooth the paint with the rest of the painted finish. Apply very lightly. Within 5 mins, apply another light coat and then let it dry. Keep the window in the coolest place so it dries faster. The reason not to spray it again, is that it may just end up crinkling more of the surface. If you want to try to respray it, after sanding smooth and cleaning the surface, shake the can very well and then apply with light bursts. Very very lightly, Respray within 5 – 7 mins. Let dry. I hope this helps. If all else fails…you can simply run sandpaper over the crinkled areas so it looks like you intentionally distressed the piece to make it look aged. :-)

  78. Hi Diane,

    I spray painted an ikea Vittsjo desk using a primer and two coats of silver spray paint. All was well and dry so I sprayed a clearcoat semi gloss sealer on and a huge run went down the side of one of the legs and my instinct was to clean it up with a wet paper towel (bad idea I know) so there is a huge smear about 5 inches down, it only shows through the white primer, not the original black metal…everything else is OK, help!! What should I do now? Can I just fix that area or do I need to start all over? Thanks, any help would be so welcome!!

    1. Hi Robyn –

      No need to fret…you can easily fix this without having to redo the whole piece. Since there is a clearcoat over the paint already, it will be just a tad bit tricky, but doable.

      First, rub fine-220 grit sandpaper gently over the smeared area to smooth it out. Don’t scrub, just rub gently over the area and out around the area a little so when you respray, it will blend in. Remove the sanding grit. I would mask off the rest of the desk leg before respraying. Use painter’s tape or sheets of computer paper or newspaper. Spray one very light coat over the area, after 5 – 8 mins, spray another very light coat over the area. If the area is covered. Let dry. If not spray on one more very light coat. Reapply the clearcoat after 24 hours or whatever the brand label says on the can for time to wait before sealing. When you spray the sealer/clearcoat on, use light coats. It will blend right into the coat you already applied. Let it dry. If you still see any ridges in the finish, go over very lightly with super fine sandpaper to smooth and then reapply the clearcoat sealer.

      With a little bit of effort your desk will have a beautiful finish (all over) in no time. :-)

  79. Hi Diane, I’m wanting to spay paint a very rusted metal file cabinet. It has spots of rust all over it. I’ve tried to sand off the rust but its still there. What can I use to remove the rust that won’t be too expensive? I have one more question. I want to stain my kitchen table but it has paint on it. What can I but to remove the paint? Do you know any pointers on hot to stain a wood table? Thanks so much in advance! I love all your advice.

    1. Hi Trina –

      To remove the rust on your file cabinet use an SOS or Brillo Pad and water. Scrub over all the rusty spots. You may need to use a few, but they will remove most of the rust. Once you have it removed, use a brand name rust preventing primer and then paint.

      I wrote a few posts on how to remove paint or stain from a table. I highly recommend CitraStrip over the other paint strippers on the market. It is less toxic and still does the job.

      If you are going to stain the wood after stripping you may want to use a wood conditioner first on the wood before staining. It will help the stain go on evenly. I used it when I was staining the steps on a staircase.

      Thanks for reading my blog and connecting with me. :-)

      1. Hello! How do I fix the sandpaper feel? I used gloss spray paint and some parts are shiny, and other parts are dry/sand paper feel. It’s a diningroom table. Also, do I need to add a topcoat of something to the table now that it’s complete?

        1. Hi Shawnah – Some brands of glossy spray paint (Rustoleum) can do this especially when spraying in the summer heat. The paint coming out of the can dries before it hits the surface. To remedy, use 160 med-fine sandpaper over the table top, clean well and then spray again when the temp is around 78 degrees and no humidity. If you can’t wait, I would try top coating with a different brand of glossy spray paint. Have you tried Valspar? It is my fave. Another thing to remember is to shake the can well. You can never over shake. Re-coating – shake more. Use long sweeping motions about 8 inches away from the surface as you spray. Read can label for re-coating time. It is usually within 1 hour or after 48 hours.

  80. Hello.. I spray painted my first project of being an end table but I didn’t prime it first…I used cheap spray paint ( never again) and used 2 coats… I didn’t do a top coat finish or sealer so is that why my paint is fading off? The paint is fadingto its original color as soon as someone picks it up? The spot where it’s been handled fades.. Please help!

  81. Hey Diane!
    I need your help! I bought a used kitchen aid mixer and sanded it down to paint. I used rusteloum 2x ultra cover and it looked great ……until we added the first clear coat. Then it wrinkled in one spot and turned yellowy brown in the creases
    What do I do? Please help

    1. Hi Beth –

      I think what happened is the paint was not fully dried before you sprayed the clear sealer on. That is what causes wrinkling. Most spray paint needs a few days to start to cure before you can seal it or you have to seal it within an hour after the paint was sprayed on. If it is after an hour, then you need to wait 48 hours before spraying a clear sealer on. If you sprayed when it was humid, this time period may vary. Check what the label on the can says for wait time before sealing.

      As far as the color yellowing – any non-waterbased sealer will cause yellowing. I would use Polycrylic in a spray or the same Rustoleum 2X in clear. If you can’t find it at the home improvement store you can buy find it on Amazon.

      To fix the problem, you can see if the areas will sand smooth with some very fine sandpaper or steel wool. If not, I would remove all the paint and start again. Use the paint stripper, CitraStrip. It is not smelly and will not burn your skin. It does take longer, overnight usually. Once the paint is removed, then spray again. Use very light coats every 3 -5 mins or what the can says and then add the sealer within an hour or after 48 hours. Make sure it is not a humid day, wait for a nice moderate to low humidity day and you should be rewarded with a nice smooth painted and sealed finish for your mixer.

  82. I want to spray paint a old picture frame from a gold to a silver color. Do i need to use a primer before spray painting the frame with silver color?

    1. Hi Emily – If the gold is painted on wood, then no, you don’t have to use a primer. It never hurst to use one, but in this case I don’t think you need it since the surface is already painted. I would however go over the surface first with 100 grit sandpaper to provide some tooth for the silver color. Clean off the sanding grit well with a damp soapy cloth. Let dry and then spray the frame gold.

      If the frame is gold metal, I would sand and then prime it before painting it silver.

  83. hi,,,love the details on your site…I want to paint my patio chair set & the table…what is best spray paint to buy & how do I do it right the first time !!!

    1. Thanks Jan – I painted my outdoor dining set a few years ago and it still looks great. I a Rustoleum spray paint that was a paint + primer formula. I wrote a post on how I did it.

    1. Hi Beth – Yes you would need to seal the painted concrete and Sharpie. I would use Behr Concrete Brick and Tile Lo-Luster Sealer. It will not yellow the paint color. It is sold at Home Depot.

    1. Hi Rosie – Yes it will make the fabric stiff. If you want to paint fabric and still have it feel a little pliable, then use craft paint mixed with fabric or textile medium.

  84. Hi Diane, we made outdoor curtains using drop cloth fabric and I tried to put some colors so we spray painted them but ended up with some over spry in other areas of the fabric we didn’t want to, I would like to know is any way of fixing it?

  85. Hi Diane, I was wanting to spray paint a concrete step. I also wanted to add details to it using a Sharpie. Do you think this will work? Should I paint some sort of sealer on top of it all?

    Thanks,
    Beth

  86. Hi Nathan,
    About to embarass myself here. I got a little impatient and sloppy coating a new washer top with rustoleum appliance epoxy. Had a couple of runs on the other side of the washer top since i sprayed too thick.
    Embarassment comes here. Instead of waiting for it to cure, I opted to try to clean it up with a terry cloth (don’t ask….) with mineral spirits and then applied another coat without any clean up. I now have a furry washer top curing. Just wondering how long i should wait to wet sand it, properly prep, and apply some nice even coats. Trying to figure out if I have to wait the full week…..like i suspect. And maybe what grit?
    Thank you so much

  87. Hi, Is it possible to use spray paint to colour an old blazer i need for a fancy dress idea. I have tried dyeing the blazer with fabric dye but I’m just not getting the colour i want!

    1. Hi Nathan –

      Yes, you can paint the blazer. Head over to your local craft store and pick up a bottle of fabric medium. It is sold where the craft paints are. Mix this in with latex paint or acrylic craft paint. Directions for mixing are on the label. Adding the fabric medium will help the fabric from getting too stiff from the paint.

  88. Hi I have a question! I was trying to use the krylon clear acrylic indoor/outdoor spray paint to seal a painted cooler that I have been working on. The spray went on completely clear however once it completely dried it left a white milky residue. The residue can be wiped off with a wet washcloth however it continues to return after the surface dries again. Do you have any advice on how to permanently get rid of this white residue?

    1. Hi Kirstie –

      A cloudy or milky finish is usually caused when spray painting when it humid out. The humidity can cause clear sealer to not cure all the way. The milky residue may go away once the sealer is totally cured. The time for this may vary depending on the weather conditions in your area. If you don’t want to wait, you can put the cooler in the driest hottest room for a few days and you will see the sealer clear up. For a really fast fix. Use a hair blow dryer on the hottest setting and wave it back and forth over the cloudy areas. Just make sure that the hair dryer is not too hot as you don’t want to melt the cooler if it is made of plastic.

  89. I don’t know if you will have an answer or opinion but saw you do a lot spray painting so throw this question out there.
    I finally found the size I wanted in a plastic self watering planter box…but it was an ugly color so I used Krylon Maxx metallic spray paint…it looks wonderful BUT I am second guessing myself now as to whether or not it is safe for me to now plant edibles ie lettuce herbs in this painted pot??
    I suppose my alternate is to line with plastic clear liner inside or double pot?

    1. I am not sure it would effect what you planted if you only sprayed the outside, and even if you did spray the inside of the planter, I am not sure it would effect the plants. Like you stated, you could just line it with plastic or foil and not worry about it.

  90. Hi Diane,
    I’d like to spray paint a pair of silver heels matte black. The shoes are made of some type of plastic and I’m not sure whether spray paint will stay on them nicely without cracking or chipping when I wear them. Should I just forget it or give it a try and if so, any tips to help them be a success?

  91. Hello!

    I’ve bought some copper spray paint which I love and have done a few items already. I want to spray my lamps (the metal desk lamp type ones) but they get very hot when they have been on for a while. Will this affect the finish or will the paint react to the heat at all?

    Thanks!

    1. If it gets too hot, the paint could crack eventually and then peel off. You can try spraying the lamps first with a high heat spray primer and then the copper paint. It is sold where spray paint is sold. It is made for outdoor grills and appliances. Use very light coats and build until you get the color coverage you want. You could also use engine paint. It is sold at the auto supply store.

  92. how do I fix crackle? Can I just sand and repaint? I think I just did it too thick but it only did it where I had done a coat and it had been over 24hrs between?!?!?

  93. I spray painted 2 baskets with chalk style spray paint 2 days ago and they still smell like spray paint. It is a very strong odor and I brought them inside and it reeks. Any advice?

    Also, I am spraying two old school chairs (the metal and plastic kind we had back in the 70’s and 80’s) and I am using Valspar paint + primer. I am afraid they are going to smell too.

    1. Hi Damiane – The smell will go away. If you can place the baskets in the coolest driest area of your home the smell should go away quickly. Some brands of spray paint have more odor – for me Krylon has the worst smell, but works great. It may take a little time, especially in the hot humid summer, but the smell will go away.

  94. so glad I found you! We started using spray paint to make “universes” on poster board and didn’t set up a contained area…yep, newbie problems! We have a fan sending the fumes to outside but there is dust over everything! especially on the linoleum floors – any suggestion on the best most effective way to clean it? We tried to sweep and it didn’t do much good. am afraid to use a mop next! HELP this poor newbie out. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Ginger – Don’t feel too bad, I got overspray on my husband’s car once. We removed it with Bug-OFf that you use to get rid of dead bugs on the hoods of cars. :-) It may work on your floor.

      I would first tackle it with hot sudsy water and a net style scouring pad. This type of pad won’t ruin the finish on the linoleum as it is not too abrasive, but abrasive enough to get the paint up. Let the water soak and then scrub over it. If this doesn’t get it all off, I would use Gunk-Off or a Citrus based cleaner that you buy to remove price stickers to remove the overspray. Rub it on the floor, let sit only for a few minutes and use a net style scouring pad to remove it. You may have to do this a few times to get all the overspray off. Don’t let the Citrus/Gunk Off cleaner sit on the floor as it could etch the floor if it sits on it too long.

  95. These tips are ok but you’re not answering the questions. These questions are asking how to fix and problem and you’re answers explain how to avoid them.. Not helpful.

    1. Hi Lienna – I am answering the questions so readers can learn what happened and how to keep it from happening again. If you have a spray paint fail, the only way to fix it is to sand or strip it and start again.

  96. Diane,
    Thank you so much for your reply.
    The thought that the paint would just sit on top of the fabric, was the reason I held off.
    I am so glad I did, now I will try the brush option, do you have a particular brand in mind?
    Antoinette.

    1. Hi Antoinette – I am not sure it will work. It may not penetrate the fabric enough and just sit on top if the fabric is a tight weave. I have always used fabric medium and brush on paint so I could push the paint into the weave. If you want to try it, I would make sure the fabric is free of dust and spray many light coats until you get coverage.

  97. I have been trying (with great difficulty) to find information on Valspar Paint+Primer (or really any paint+primer in one). I looked at some reviews and a lot of people commented that they were having problems with excessive drying times (more than 3 days).

    I am wanting to paint over a wooden head and baseboard I bought from a thrift store that is in excellent condition. It is older, clean, and is a bit shiny, but doesn’t seem to be sealed. I bought Valspar Paint+Primer hoping to skip sanding and priming. Do I need to buy Kilz primer, or are there steps I can take to obtain a smooth, hard finish without waiting days?

    Thanks! It is so great to have such informative people!

  98. Hello!

    I spray painted 2 wooden tables last year. I put 2 coats of navy paint+primer spray paint and then a coat of clear paint. I let them dry outside and brought them my house. A few months later I bought lamps for the table and after being left on the table, they were stuck. I had to pry them of and it also took off the spray paint. Dust is also stuck on the tables. Is there any way I can fix this??

    1. Hi Kaci – It sounds like the paint never cured. Do you live in a very humid climate? If not the coats of paint may have been applied too heavy and it never cured, hence the tackiness and the dust getting embedded.

      To remedy the situation, you should go over the area with 100 grit sandpaper, but be gentle. If the paint smoothes out without getting tacky, then keep sanding until the area is smooth and there is no ridge between the problem area and the rest of the table. Sand all around the area and out past the problem area to create an even surface all around. Once it is pretty smooth, use 220 or super fine grit sandpaper over the area to smooth the surface even more. Clean the surface and let dry. Once dry, respray on a cool day and use very light coats every 5-7 minutes. Shake the can well every time you add another coat. Spray about 8-12″ away from the surface.(Read on the can what the brand suggests for spraying distance, they do vary) Let dry for a week in a room where it is dry and the temp around 78 degrees if possible. If the paint feels gummy after this, it could be the spray paint formula. You may want to try a different brand.

  99. Hi,

    I have the wrinkling problem in question #2. How does one go about remedying this?

    Thanks David

    1. Hi David – You will have to smooth out the wrinkles with sandpaper. Start with 100 grit on a hand sanding block and then 220 to smooth. Clean the surface well. Make sure there are no oils on the surface. Let dry.

      Make sure the temp in the space you are spraying is around 76 degrees. Shake the can very well. Spray one light coat, wait 3 – 5 mins. Shake can again and reapply another light coat. Repeat with light coats every 5 mins for no longer than 20 -30 mins. Let dry. You have to use very light coats, keep the can about 8-12 inches away from the surface while spraying. This should prevent wrinkling.

  100. I tried spray painting a clear matte spray paint over some chalk board art to make it perminant and it left a powder like dust all over it. When I tried to “dust” it off after it dried it pulled the chalk with it. Do you happen to know what I did wrong or what I could use so that this doesn’t happen?

    1. Hi Stephanie – What brand of sealer did you use? Was it Matte finish for spraying over paper art? That would have given it the powdery finish. The best thing to seal a chalkboard with is old fashioned hair spray or Bulls Eye clear spray shellac. It will hold your design on for as long time.

        1. Hi Marcia- I recently wrote a post on how I spray painted a vase a matte white. You should follow the same steps as I did in this post, but use semi-gloss or gloss spray paint instead of the matte sheen I used: Here is a link to the post to show you how: https://bit.ly/3bM12J7

  101. Hello!
    I’m wondering if I can spray paint into a container and then apply it with a brush? Thank you!
    wendy

  102. Hello Diane,

    I applied my first coat of spray paint to a wooden surface yesterday, and was planning to complete the second coat the same day but had something come up. How long is “too long” to wait before I can apply the second coat without worrying about mismatched colors/uneven finishing? Thank you! :)

    1. Hi Caitlyn – Is it OK to wait for a while. You just don’t want to respray after the initial spraying, you need to wait for 24 hours at least. After this amount of time you should be fine to respray at any time. If it is going to be a very long time before you respray, just be sure the surface is free of dust and dirt before respraying. Clean it well and dry. If using high gloss make sure to spray when the temp is around 75 degrees. If it gets too hot, the paint may dry before hitting the surface and not look shiny.

  103. I spray painted some mason jars a coral color and when they dried i added a clear coat to one but it made it white-ish when it was drying. what do i do?

  104. So to the point and exactly what I needed. I kept getting the crinkle when I added an extra layer to the paint, and I thought it might be because of the temperature ,but wasn’t sure. So glad you cleared that up for me, and with such detail. :-) Thanks!

  105. Hi
    Im painting a China cabinet with Annie s paint. Old white. It’s taking many coats. So far I’m just working on the top part. It’s a two piece unit. Seems like it’s bleeding through some. Should I just kilz the bottom section of the cabinet and then paint two coats of Anne s instead of four?

    Also want to paint some cane back wooden chairs to match the old white but I do not like the chalk paint. Any suggestions what to use that would match the old white. Also how much spray paint does it take to paint a chair?

    Love your site

    1. Hi Phyllis – If you plan to distress the chalk paint in areas with sandpaper, you will see the stark white of the Kilz against the warmer white of the Old White. It may not be noticeable, but you may see it. Kilz will work to get rid of the bleed through. Annie Sloan recommends using clear shellac so you won’t see a white primer layer when distressing to age the finish.

      If your chairs are from the same set, the wood tannins may bleed through. I would give them a quick going over with 100 grit sandpaper using a hand sanding block. Clean off the grit well and wipe down with a damp rag. When dry, use Kilz spray primer. One or two light coats will be plenty. Then use spray paint. Follow the directions on the can for the amount of time you need to wait for re-coating. One can of spray paint for one – three chairs depending on how big the chairs are and the amount of detail you have to cover.

  106. Hi – you mentioned in the faq occasionally the spray paint can dry before reaching and so the surface of the furniture ends up feeling like sandpaper, mine is also still leaving a chalky dust each time I touch the surfaces. Thinking I may need to start from scratch again. Would you recommend sanding it back completely, using the primer and then going with paint to get the softer glossy feel? Thanks so much for your time.

    1. Hi Eleanore – I would sand it to smooth it, then reapply the paint. What is the temperature in the space you are spraying? That could be causing the dust like surface.If it is too hot or dry. Shake the can well, often. Also, when spraying, try holding the nozzle a little closer to the surface as you spray. Add another coat by respraying within 5 mins of the last coat. If you are doing all of this and still getting the same result, it could just be the paint. I would sand to smooth, prime and then use brush on paint using a high quality brush. Apply the paint using very light coats. More light coats are better for adhesion than fewer thicker ones.

  107. Hi, thank you for your help here; its so great to have you as a resource! I have a problem with the spray paint dripping from the seam at the top of the can toward the last 1/3 of the can. Then the drips fall on the bottom part of my project, gets all over my hands and the can, just a mess. Is the can at fault? Do I throw that can away? Can I fix it somehow?
    Please lend me your expertise!

    Wendy

  108. Hi Diane,

    Thank you for all of your helpful tips and tricks!

    I spray painted some metal dining chairs using a mat black paint and have left them to dry for 24 hours, however if I run my finger or cloth over the chairs it comes away with a faint black chalky sort of residue. It was rather warm when I painted them and since they are black the metal did heat up. Do you have any tip on how to fix this problem or does the paint just require more time to dry?

    Thanks,
    Kristen

    1. Hi Kristen – Matte can have a chalky finish and this could be what you can wipe away with your finger, but I think that they just need to dry longer. It could take a few days to a week or longer for the paint to cure depending on the temp and humidity.

  109. Hi Dianne,

    I spray painted my melamine kitchen cabinet doors last weekend with Valspar paint/primer and they looked wonderful, except after rehanging I noticed some needed a second coat. At the time that I bought the spray paint, the associate at the home improvement store had recommended a different product, so I bought that too – it’s an acrylic – to do the drawer fronts. For various reasons, I decided to give the doors a coat of the acrylic product I’d used on the drawers, instead of a second coat of spray paint. Once they dried, most, if not all, developed some crackling. It was also raining buckets when I did the acrylic coat, so I’m not sure if the crackling was caused by the acrylic coat over the Valspar, the humidity, or both. In any event, can you suggest the best steps for fixing it? Also, should I wait a month or so to insure it’s completely cured before I do so? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I wish I’d just waited and added a second coat of Valspar when I had the time to do it right…they were looking SO good!! Thanks for your input. Tracy.

  110. Hi Diane,
    I am spray painting some aluminum items.
    I used self etching primer, then flat black paint.
    My question is, should I let the paint fully cure before applying clear coat? Or should I clear coat when items are dry to the touch?
    Thank you, Matt

    1. Hi Matthew – When applying a sealer over spray paint, it is best to read what the brand of paint you are using says in it’s label about time between coats and then sealing. I have found you need to wait at least 24 hours or longer after the last coat of paint is dry or you can run the risk of the paint wrinkling.

  111. Hey there Diane! I am most appreciative for all the great spray painting tips! However, I think I got a little anxious and tried to rush my project (after tons of prepping/sanding/cleaning) and painted when it was still a bit too cold. I have used about every paint method know to man, and I was really eager to try spray paint because I LOATHE brush strokes! After priming and sanding, I let my table sit for a few days and today was the warmest opportunity I was going to have to paint (about 53ish degrees.. My paint looks like a crackled spider web mess! Should I just sand and wait for a a warm up to re-apply, or bring that monster in and brush paint :( BOO! Any tips on how I should proceed? how long to wait, etc? (I should note this was garage painting. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Tina – I thought I responded to you, but don’t see it. If I did already, just ignore this email. :-) The temp is a huge factor when you spray paint. The perfect temp is around 75 degrees. Being cold is probably the main reason it cracked. The other reason is that you may have applied it too thick or recoated coat after 30 mins. Most brands tell you to respray every 3 – 7 mins for up to 30 mins. Once you past the 30 min mark. Let the paint cure at least for 24 hours or whatever the brand states on the can before adding another coat. Every formula is a bit different in this, but you have to wait for it to cure. Spraying after 30 mins could have caused the wrinkles. To remedy the situation wait until the paint is very dry and then sand it smooth with 100 grit sandpaper, followed by 220 grit. Then wait till it is a bit warmer to spray or coat with a brush. to lessen brush strokes use a hight quality brush. I used Purdy 1″ or 2″ angled brushes and rarely see a brush stroke. They are pricey but worth every cent, plus if you take care of them you will have them for years.

  112. Hi!

    I came across your site whilst looking for an answer to my spraypainting problem.

    I have a piece of flat pack furniture, it’s melamine fake wood coated, like a mid brown/orange colour.

    I tried spraying a test piece (an internal shelf) grey, two coats, Valspar paint & primer, grey.

    The finish was brilliant, yet it still seems soft (after a week), easily scratched with the back of a finger nail, however, it only scratches the paint, i.e., it doesn’t scratch down to the melamine – what did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Nathan – I don’t think you did anything wrong. Usually the problem is adhering. Sounds like you rocked this by using the right primer/paint formula. The reason why the paint is still soft, could be that the paint has not cured yet. Depending on the humidity in the room and the thickness of the coat, it could take up to 30 days to harden. After about a month – re-check you may be pleasantly surprised.

  113. I painted a steel swing recently and I realised the paint doesn’t last long I can even use my nails to remove it,what can I use to keep the paint adhesive to the material and stay strong for long

  114. Like a fool, I just spray painted a couple of chairs on a very humid day. After almost 48 hours, the chairs are still sticky in places. If I just wait, will they eventually dry or do I need to do something drastic?

    And, I know, never again in humid weather.

    Thanks in advance,

    Christopher

  115. Hi – what a great website! I bought a costume jewelry ring and sprayed it with Krylon clear acrylic spray and now it’s sticky/tacky. Is there something else I can coat it with so it’s hard and smooth?
    Thanks for your help!

  116. I recently painted 3 different old furniture pieces in Annie Sloan Old White and never worried about tannin bleed, although each piece is pine and hand-made, because all 3 had been previously painted white. One piece is a night stand from 1960’s, another a plant stand from the 1950’s and a charming wall cupboard from about 1910.
    Stay with me here. I sanded all 3 lightly before the first coat. I put a second coat on one piece- the wall cupboard that been painted 3 weeks ago, and when dry, decided it needed a bit more paint. Then moved them all, after they were dry, from inside the house to the enclosed garage. I then decided that the third coat was a little too much in places, and sanded a bit off here and there. Imagine my surprise several days later when I found that each had pink bleeding through! My guy at Lowes thinks that putting them in a garage with moisture might be a factor. The A S gal says told me to apply Zinnser shellac and then repaint. She wasn’t surprised. I really like Annie Sloan paint although I am experimenting with your calcium carbonate/P of P recipe, but the primary reason I use A S is because of the simple prep before painting. Do you have any ideas regarding why this happened?
    If I distress an older painted piece of furniture a bit here and there, and add a touch of paint, am I always taking the chance of bleed though?
    Thanks for your help. Am dreading shellac and repainting. Grrrrr…..
    Happy Easter!
    Jane Fletcher

    1. Hi Jane –

      Old furniture is always prone to bleed through – it happens all the time. It could have been the moisture in the garage, but I doubt it. Old furniture – wood and stain just bleed through, that is why primer was invented. Wood tannins are more brown. Stain bleed through tends to be more pink. It is most noticeable with lighter colors. Sanding can bring the tannins out even more. I just know when I am redoing something old – that bleed through can happen. I always look for it. If I am using white paint and the piece is really smelly and old, I brush on one coat of Kilz original. It is a shellac based primer. No more bleed through. I had bleed through on the back of my vintage file cabinet. To remedy it, I made up my DIY mix with more Plaster of Paris. This did the trick – no more bleed through. Since you already painted, the clear shellac will keep any future coats of paint from turning pink. With a little more effort – you will have 3 very nice pieces :)

  117. Thank you for taking your time out to help me Diane…I do work with metal more so then any other medium so yes, I really would love to see a sealant not tarnish. If you look at my web site, I design doll clothing made from metal, so it’s important that what I use looks like a show piece. You have been such a great help and if you have any other ideas, I am ALL ears, HUGE HUGS fro Vegas, Kat

  118. I have never even heard of this Diane, does it also spray well for metals??? I love that is it great for wood furniture and stuff but I am curious if it works good for metal. I also use a lot of metal objects in my projects and a I would also be looking for the perfect clear – non yellowing – non 6 ft under, spray, lol. Sorry, I just had to say that again, all that I have heard on spray cans it can get really bad. Any ideas would as always be greatly appreciated, Blessing, Kat

    1. I believe it works on any surface. Almost all spray cans of paint and sealers are going to have some smell associated with them. Some more than others. ARe you trying to seal the metal so it will not tarnish? or another reason.

  119. I am so confused over spray cans of Clear Lacquer, like which one is the best that will NOT yellow and hold up to anything and never chip, also which one will prevent you from being placed 6 feet under from all the fumes if you live in a small condo place. I don’t have a problem with the actual spray paints because I use my over head oven fan, kind of a unique trick and it works well, but not with the Clear Lacquer. Any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it very much, thank you! Kat

    1. Have you ever tried the spray version of Minwax Polycrylic? It comes in an aerosol crystal clear semi-gloss or stain finish. It hardly has any smell to it at all. Almost all spray lacquers -solvent or oil based will smell or will darken or turn what you are working on yellow right away. Polycrylic is water-based.

  120. What is the best surface to paint chalk board backing I used an old picture and painted over the glass. Needed something quick and it was handy . Love your blog thank you Tami

    1. Thanks Tami – You can paint it over any smooth surface. Painting on the glass works, and like you said is quick and handy, but if it gets a lot of handling – you may see the paint come off since glass is very smooth. The paint has nothing to adhere to. If it does come off (it may not) – run some sandpaper over the glass to rough it up and then repaint. I have painted right over fake oil paintings in frames that I find in thrift shops to create my chalkboards.

  121. Hi, I’m actually preparing my daughter’s beach themed wedding, and she wants to have candles along the aisle as she walks in. She is actually getting married on the beach in Laguna and at sunset, so I thought some candle light would be lovely. What do you think would be a good idea for candlelight on the beach that won’t either blow over or blow out? I also wanted to ask you, have you ever painted metal. I saw a silver metal tree that I would love to use for a wishing tree, but it’s the wrong color. Do you know if it would be possible for me to maybe spray paint it gold, because it is silver at the moment. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, it would be much appreciated. =)

    1. Hi Nury – You can definitely spray the silver to gold. Make sure the piece is clean and dry. Then spray the gold over the surface, wait a few minutes then repeat until you have the coverage you desire. Let it dry. If it is after an hour and you see it needs more paint – wait 24 hours before applying another coat. This will lessen the chance of wrinkling.

  122. Where can I purchase ( walk in retail store ) the champion sterling silver spray paint? I’m in Plano Texas. Thank you!

  123. Hello,

    Instead of buying a new bedroom set, i would like to spray paint the one i have. But i want to use the “stone” spray paint.The set has a dark cherry finish. Is this a good idea? Do I have to sand it? Please help.

    1. Keria, I love your idea of spray painting your existing bedroom set. Paint is always a great savings if the piece(s) your painting is still sturdy and useful. But I wouldn’t suggest the “stone” paint. Even though bedroom furniture is in a room less used than, say a family room, that rough surface wouldn’t be fun to rub up against while your putting on bedding, or if you happen to be wearing a sheer fabric item that accidentally gets caught on the rough/stone finish. If you love the stone look, I’d suggest using it on some accessories (lamps, vases, etc.) in the room and using a smooth finish on the furniture in some color that appeals to your design.

      Depending on what your furniture’s finish is, you may not need to sand it. My hubby and I have spray painted several pianos with Krylon made for plastic spray paint. It worked exceptionally well! We used satin black for most but did one piano in creamy white. Just make sure the surface is really clean (wash with TSP), dry and dust free before you paint.

      Good luck :-) (Sorry I’m just chiming in now…I just got Diane’s blog back.)

      1. Hello-

        I painted a small desk and every place came out fine except the top. Some places on the top are fine but some feel grainy and now that it’s dry has a dry powder that wipes off when you touch it. We used a glossy paint and it’s glossy everywhere except the certain places on the top and they have a powdery residue. I think The top may have been laminate and not wood. We did sand the piece but maybe we missed spots? Can we just seal the top with something and be done?

        1. Hi Shelley – What happened to the top of your desk can happen with gloss paint especially when it is hot outside or is not shaken well enough. The hot air dries the paint before it even gets to the surface – that is one reason why it feels powdery. It can be fixed. You can seal it with a water-based sealer and be done. I would use Minwax Polycrylic. It comes in a few different sheens. Choose the sheen you want and use a good quality brush or microfoam roller with round edges to apply it to the top of the desk.

          If you want to repaint it, go over the top of the desk with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface a bit. Remove all the grit with a tack cloth, then repaint when it when it is not so hot outside. Remember to wait at least 48 hours before respraying or you may get a wrinkled surface. Also shake the can very well and shake as you spray. It is very important so the paint mixes well.