Monday, January 16, 2017

DIY-ing With Spray Paint: The Do's and Don'ts

Being a crafter, I'm often experimenting with different ways to revamp anything old. I may not be an expert, nor have I done this for countless years, but I will say that I've picked up a few tips and tricks on my DIY journey.

If you've been around for any period of time, you've probably seen me do quite a few DIY's, some including spray paint: upcycling an old bike, and how to make your own customized desk. With these experiences, I realized that they should have a "what not to do" book on how to make anything look amazing with spray paint. Seeing how spray paint is one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to make something uniquely beautiful, I thought I'd make a list of some tips on how to create the perfect project.

1. Don't spray too long in one place. 
This tip is often redundant, as it's even on most spray paint bottles, but it's an important one to include. When you focus the spray too long in one place, it can create a pool of spray paint and if you lift up the object at all, it can drip. Also, it will be a noticeably thicker spot during the finished project. (If you make this mistake, the best thing to do is to let it completely dry, sand it down gently, and re-spray).

2. Don't spray too close.
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. If you spray too close, you maximize the risk of being able to create an evenly thin coat. 

3. Spray one thin coat at a time. 
In order to create an evenly finished product at the end, you'll want to do light/thin coats in sessions. First do one coat - even if it looks splotchy - just let it dry completely. Then go in with another thin coat and let it dry completely. Repeat this process as necessary, in order to achieve the perfect coverage. 

4. Do it near items that don't matter.
Spray painting can be MESSY. If you don't want your work area - or clothes for that matter - to be covered/sprinkled with paint, I suggest you move or create a complete covering. It doesn't matter how small or big the project is, you will get spray paint dust or blobs on something in the surrounding areas. Also, if you have a manicure that you desperately want to keep pretty, I suggest wearing gloves. Otherwise, you'll have a whole new colored hand. 

Again, quite redundant, because the warning is on the label. You need to make sure you're in a well ventilated area with plenty of fresh air to breath. After just a few minutes of poorly ventilated exposure can cause headaches, confusion, breathing problems, and dizziness. Please don't be one of those people that thinks "oh it's just a small object, I'll be quick about it". If it's that small, do it on your front porch. Don't make yourself sick. 

6. Test colors. 
I can't tell you how many bottles I had to spray at Home Depot. I literally took a piece of paper with me ti'll I found the exact shade of gold I wanted. Most bottle caps to the spray paint are relatively accurate, but when you're looking for a specific texture, shine, or finish, I suggest either being open minded to re-sanding your project or testing them. 

7. Patience.
If you try to speed through anything, 9 out of 10 times you're going to mess up. The key to spray painting is short "back and forth" sprays over your project. It will take time and your hand may - or may not - cramp up after a while. Just know that in the end, you'll have saved yourself the effort of redoing the entire thing. THAT would be horrible. 

8. Tape is your best friend. 
When it comes to mirrors, picture frames, or simply an area that you don't want to be spray painted, don't go cheap and try to just place a piece of paper over the area. TAPE IT. Getting paint off of glass is a pain in the patootie, but with a little bit of extra time and effort - and tape - you won't have to worry about scratching ti'll your ears bleed. Trust me on this one too, I've made this mistake and I paid for it ROYALLY. 

9. Have fun.
The most important part of DIY-ing, is that you're having fun. It's meant to be something that gives you joy during and after the fun has finished. If you're constantly upset or frustrated during your DIY project, you won't see it as this beautiful piece of work. You'll see it as this piece of crap that gave you a moment of hell. In the case that you are truly at your wits end, back away and either put it off for another day or stop altogether. You don't deserve something that's going to keep you worked up. 

And there you have it guys. My mini 9 tips of "do's and don'ts" on spray painting. Like I said in the beginning, I'm not a professional nor do I think that this is an extensive list of how to perfect...anything, but I do think they are truly helpful. Heck, I wish I knew them when I first dove into the world of artistic spray. One thing I'd also like to add as a warning of sorts, spray painting can be ADDICTING! I mean this in the lighthearted sense. Once you spray, you'll be opening a whole new Pandora's box. 

Happy Monday guys. Hopefully your weekend - which technically ends today, being that it's MLK Jr. Day - has been fantastic! As for today's post, I'd love to see any of your spray paint projects that you've done! Simply tag me or use #TWRC on Instagram or Twitter and show me! You never know, you might be featured! 

Much love Jedi's. May the force always be with you. 

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