How to Spray Paint

A woman spray paints a chair.
What You'll Need
Spray Paint
300 Grit Sandpaper
Different Grit Wet Sandpaper
Rubbing Compound

Learning how to spray paint will enable you to do a lot of different projects from painting car parts to finishing wood projects. Spray painting can be done in several different ways. You can use an electric spray gun for large fences, or buildings. You can use spray guns that work with air power. Or, you can use a can of spray paint for smaller projects like outdoor equipment. Learning how to spray paint is not hard to do and with some practice, you can be a pro in no time.

Step 1 - Prepare the Piece You Will Paint

Before you begin to spray paint, you will need to make sure that the item you intend to paint is ready to receive the paint. If you are working on a car part, you may need to remove it beforehand. Tape off any areas that you do not want to have painted.

Step 2 - Use Sandpaper

Once the piece is prepared to paint, you will need to use some 300 grit sandpaper over the surface of the part. This is not to smooth out the part, but to rough up the surface a little. This is so that the primer will have something to bond to when it is applied. This is important for smooth metal pieces. After you have sanded the part a little, wipe it down with a soft cloth.

Step 3 - Spray with Primer

Use a quality primer and spray it over the part. It is important to spray a few different coats rather than one very heavy coat. Use a sweeping back and forth motion when spraying. Hold the can about 6 to 8 inches away from the piece and keep the can moving. Wait until the primer is dry before applying another coat.

Step 4 - Do Some Wet Sanding

Once the primer coats are dry, then you will need to do a little bit of wet sanding. Use some 800 grit wet sandpaper and go over the primed piece. After sanding it down, wipe it clean with a clean cloth.

Step 5 - Apply Spray Paint

Hold the spray paint can, or the spray gun, to the side of the piece that you are painting. Press the button and then sweep the paint across the work surface. Do not start on top of the piece or you will have a large glob of paint there. Work the can, or the gun, in a sweeping motion and do not stop in the middle of the piece. Let go of the button after the pass and then start again. Apply a few thin coats for a better finish.

Step 6 - Do More Wet Sanding for Clear-coat

Once the paint dries, use some more 800 grit wet sandpaper and go over the part. Wipe it down and apply two coats of clear-coat.

Step 7 - Do Progressive Wet Sanding

After the clear-coat has dried, then get some wet sanding paper ranging from 800 to 2000 grit. This will help get rid of the heavy spots and ready the piece for polishing. Wipe the item, or part, clean.

Step 8 - Apply Wax and Polish

Apply wax to the surface of the painted item and then buff it to a clear shine.