Spray Paint is My Friend

Inger Taylor

Posted on May 01 2018

With our most recent move, and our last rental home being so dark, I was desperate to lighten everything up!  I’m an artist and I love to paint.  I’ve always been drawn to white walls, so my artwork can pop.  The walls in our new rental… wait for it… builder brown.  No, not anything I’d personally select, but I wasn’t about to repaint an entire rental house, so I had to look for opportunity elsewhere. 

I started eyeing all the furniture from my grandparents we’d inherited over the years that I completely adored.  There was my opportunity.  I was confident I could breathe new life into each piece with white paint.  White spray paint.  What was I thinking?!  I know a lot about paint in relation to creating art… acrylics, oils, watercolors, but spray paint??  I didn’t know anything about spray paint other than don’t spend too much time in one spot. 

Off to my local home improvement store I went and started questioning the guy in charge of the paint department.  I’m pretty sure he was annoyed with all my questions, but I was desperate for help and he was there.  After grilling him, I moved on.  I knew I wanted to deal with doing as little work as possible.  I did not want to prime and then paint.  I also wanted a spray paint with a finish that would hold up to life in a house with four kids and two dogs.  Accidents happen, crafting happens, so a chip resistant surface I could easily clean was a must.  I finally found my product… Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Gloss White, paint and primer in one.  Hooray!  Next, a mask to protect the lungs and gloves.  I headed for the check out.

I knew I needed a well ventilated area away from dogs and children.  I settled on our courtyard area.  It was relatively breeze free and sort of clean, aside from some toys and scooters.  Temperature seemed ok… 70 degrees.  I threw down a drop cloth and grabbed my first piece.  Right… I needed to prep the surface.  I got a damp cloth and wiped it down.  Sanding?  Did I need to sand first?  Sometimes a wee bit, and then a quick wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust.  I put on my gloves and mask and started shaking the heck out of the can.  As I was shaking the can, I was preemptively apologizing to my late grandparents if my efforts breathe life happened to ruin something that completely loved.  I held my breath and pressed down the nozzle and kept it moving.  A light first coat and I stepped away and assessed the damage.  I let it dry for a bit, not as long as recommended on the can, and went in for my second coat.  And then a third.  If I kept it moving, I was in good shape.  I also found it useful to start spraying beside the piece and them move over the piece rather than start spraying right on the piece. 

Once I got started, I couldn’t stop.  I decided on a couple of accent colors for knobs, handles, lamps, etc. and went for it.  Mike was convinced if he stood still long enough, I’d paint him as well.  Even the girls loved the spray paint… yep.  That’s right, I think a skateboard and bike got painted.  Here’s what I didn’t count on… a fine layer of white spray paint everywhere… even my hair, my feet sticking to the drop cloth with every step and underestimating the cleanup involved.  I now have an appreciation for professionals using a spray booth.

The good news, I learned how to use spray paint.  The bad news, next go around I think I’ll go ahead and invest in a small job paint sprayer.  It was a nuisance to keep heading out to buy more spray paint or beg Mike to go.  I’d also like the opportunity to customize paint colors… can’t wait to spray again!



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