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Spray Painting Tips and Techniques

Important Tips and Techniques of Spray Painting for Beginners

Spray painting is a technique in which a spray paint gun is used to paint through air onto any surface. This article throws light on the basics of this art and the different spray painting tips and techniques.
Kanika Khara
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Spray painting is used to coat any surface, like furniture, house, or trucks, with paint, varnish, ink, etc. A basic spray painting system comprises a particular type of gun, pressurized paint container, compressed air system, and flexible tubes. The most important equipment used in spray painting is the air spray gun. There are mainly two different methods of air gun spraying, viz., the manual operation and the automatic process. In the manual operation, the air spray gun is hand-held and moved all over the area to be painted. For a continuous and smooth coat, each stroke should overlap the previous one. In the automatic operation, the gun head is set on a mounting block from where the stream of paint is delivered. For painting large surfaces with an even coat of paint, air guns are the best equipment to use, but for detailed work, like photo retouching, painting nails, or fine art, air brushes are primarily used.
  • HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure):
    This technique is quite similar to a common spray gun, as it uses a compressor to supply the air. It requires a low pressure and higher volume of air to aerosolize and propel the paint from the gun onto the surface. This technique is usually applied in the automotive, furniture finishing, and cosmetic industry.
  • LVLP (Low Volume High Pressure):
    This technique uses a lower volume of air to atomize the paint. The spray guns, along with a small compressor, work at low pressure and also have a low volume of paint coating. It is mainly used in small shops.
  • Electrostatic:
    In this technique, an electrically charged powder is sprayed on the surface that already has an opposite electrical charge. The surface is then baked to attach the paint properly. This technique is eco-friendly, as there are no solvents that evaporate in the air or go down the drain. Electrostatic painting is more durable than the liquid painting and is used to paint vehicles and other office equipment.
  • Airless Spray:
    In this technique, spray guns are connected to a high pressure pump to atomize the coating by employing a variety of tip sizes to reach the desired atomization. Airless spray gun coatings are mainly used for industrial and chemical applications, as they penetrate better into pits and possess a thick wet coating.
  • Always begin by buying a few cans of paint, as it is an inexpensive way to determine how spray painting is different from the usual painting which is done with a brush or roller.
  • Make sure the surface you are painting is clean, dust free, and dry.
  • To have optimum results, avoid painting in extreme humidity. Also, paint when the temperature ranges between 50-90°F. Avoid painting if it is dusty and windy, as the dust may settle on the wet paint.
  • The most important point to be kept in mind while spray painting is to spray thin coats of paint and keep the spray nozzle moving. Don't stop your hand, as the paint will accumulate at one spot.
  • While painting, hold the spray paint can at a distance of 10-14 inches away from the surface.
  • Once you are done with the painting, hold the can upside down and press the nozzle until no paint comes out. This will clear the paint from the nozzle so that it can be used in future.
Some objects, such as wrought iron lawn furniture, screens, metal fencing, etc., that may be difficult to paint with a brush or roller can be conveniently painted by using this technique. I am sure that the above mentioned tips and techniques will be helpful to all those who are planning to try their hand at spray painting for the first time.
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