Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spray Painting 101... How to restyle your classroom (Part 1)

Okay, so it is a well known fact that I am fairly.... thrifty.  My husband is as well, which means he supports my love of thrifting and redoing items.

So my following tutorial will come with a warning... I am totally not a 100% expert at this.  Just going to share what I know :)

Part 1- Getting Started (parts 2 and 3 will come later!). 

First, before painting, check the weather.  If it is too hot, too cold, too humid, or too windy,  you may want to rethink painting today.  Too hot, probably above 93.  Too cold, probably below 50.  Too humid- really, any humidity can make your project take longer to dry.  Too windy, just make sure you stand to where you aren't spraying into the breeze (or you will be covered in paint).

Second, you need to get prepared.  What supplies do you need?

1.  Newspaper, cardboard, drop cloths, or an old sheet to paint on.  Spray paint can also travel, so make sure you cover a large space. 

2.  Primer, paint, a mask, gloves, and old clothes (make sure to cover your feet as well).  Tie your hair back too. 

As far as primers go, here are the two I would buy:

 I usually go with Kilz because it is around $5-$6 a can.  It works great until you get to the end of the can & it will start to spray in spurts and will get drippy. 

 I have heard great things about Zinsser and I plan to try it with my next project.  It is usually around $7-$8 a can.

Yes, they are a little pricy, but they work.  A good oil based primer will adhere to your item better.  Then you can paint to your hearts content.  This will keep your item from getting scratched up as much and hopefully from peeling later.  Oil based will also allow you to paint something that isn't real wood.   Honestly, not priming is one of the BIG mistakes most people make.  It will cause your project to not look as "finished" in my opinion. 

Paints:  Here are some of the brands:
The biggest choice you need to make is between flat, satin,  and glossy.  I don't always care for the glossy look, so I usually go for flat. 

Krylon is sold at Walmart (and other places too)- but isn't always my first choice.  I haven't had the best luck with their spray nozzles (they sometimes break or get clogged) plus, they don't have a ton of assortment. 

 Valspar is sold at Lowes (I believe)- I have read great things about it, but haven't used it myself.   They have a ton of great colors to pick from. 

Rust-oleum is sold at Home Depot (I believe- as well as other places) and is my paint of choice most of the time.  I love the ultra cover in satin.  They have a ton of color choices (they also have a painters brand that I have read good things about).  They also have other finish choices (flat, semi-gloss, as well as satin and gloss).  I have also read great things about their primers, but haven't tried them for myself. 

This is the mask I use.  Trust me, you will want to wear one.  The paint will get into your lungs/throat/nose if you don't.  I have learned that lesson over time!.  

If you don't want to buy these, then please cover your face with something- like a cloth or bandana. 

You may want to pick out an old t-shirt & pants to wear.  I also usually paint in socks to cover my feet.   Don't forget to pull back your hair!   You will also need to wear gloves and cover your hands (unless you like the paint covered look).  Normally I just use dish gloves. 

3.  A sanding block or sand paper- you want something with a really fine grit- like 180 or 220.  When you get to the store, just look at the numbers. The larger the number, the finer the grit.  You will most likely need this!  

You can get the paper and use your hands, or you can get a block to sand with, or you can get the device you put the paper in.  Honestly, I usually use the paper and my hands.  

4. Cleaner- you will need to clean your item and let it dry for a little while before painting.  Usually I just use my kitchen cleaner to help make sure there isn't any grease or oil on the item before I paint.  If it has glass (like a frame) remove the glass if at all possible. 

So right now I am afraid people are thinking this is complicated or expensive.  I promise- it totally isn't.  I am a detail person and wanted to make sure you were prepared.  Also, once you buy these supplies, you can use them on multiple projects.  In fact, the one I will show in part 2 & 3 only cost me the primer because I was out. 

Does anyone have any questions so far?  Part 2 will be priming and part 3 will be painting.  I am going to a conference for a few days starting this evening, so I may be away until the weekend :)  Will miss blog-stalking! 


  1. Great tips. It's always so tempting for me to go ahead and paint in windy conditions or bad weather. I'm so impatient.

  2. Looking forward to this series, I have a couple pieces in my classroom that could stand a fresh coat of spray paint!
    Stories From Second

  3. Great start. Looking forward to the rest.

  4. I have all that stuff! I can't wait to see what your painting!


    How Cute Is This!

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