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To the untrained, first-time eye, spray painting can sometimes be a little daunting.

But, if you’re a novice painter or simply looking to dip your toes into the spray painting world, you can take your painting skills from zero to hero with some helpful painting ticks.

10 Helpful Tricks

Why Spray Painting?

The are several benefits of spray painting. This type of painting is not only much faster than other methods but also gives a consistent and quality finish, even on rough surfaces.

If you are looking to enhance the look and feel of some much-loved space in your home, the good news is you can do it yourself. And, with some awesome tips and painting tricks of the trade, you can turn redecorating your living space into a remarkably easy and fun exercise where super efficiency beats hard work every single time.

So, if you’ve managed to get your hands on an awesome paint sprayer but don’t know how to use it like a pro, this article is for you. We’re sharing some helpful spray painting tricks to take all your painting escapades to the next level.

Ready to get started? Awesome! Let’s dive right in.

1. Have a Designated Painting Space


When you’re spray painting, you’re creating or recreating a thing of beauty.

That item – whether it’s a piece of furniture or a Christmas tree, is the only surface you want to paint.

The last thing you want is a painting mishap. You certainly don’t want speckles of paint on any of your other precious objects.

So, top of the line where painting tricks are concerned is a designated painting space.

If you can, make sure that you have a specific area of your home or garden where your spray painting can take place. And, always ensure that you’re doing your painting a safe distance away from surfaces you don’t want to spoil.

2. Have a Drop Cloth… Now and Forever


drop cloths

Once you have a designated area, the ground and the surrounding area will need to be protected from overspray.

Some people waste a lot of time and energy here taping newspapers together for what seems like an eternity. Then, after all that work, the newspapers fall apart in the middle of the job.

Avoid this trap by embracing a large drop cloth as your new painting tool best friend.

Not only will a quality drop cloth protect the ground underneath, it will also help to protect your finish by keeping debris from kicking up in your paint job.

3. Always Think Safety


Spray painting in and of itself is not remotely dangerous. But in any paint job, it’s important to remember that the paint itself may expose you to potentially dangerous chemicals.

Because of this, it’s essential to think paint safety at all times.

Here are some helpful tips:


  • Choose paint materials with safety in mind. Never use unlabeled materials and always follow the safety recommendations outlined by the manufacturer
  • Wear protective clothing. Use coveralls and gloves to ward off skin irritations, etc
  • Clean your gloves and wash your coveralls regularly to prevent chemicals from accumulating
  • Consider using barrier creams on your hands and face for added protection
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from paint materials and ensure that you cover your mouth with a safety mask too.

4. Setting Up Differently for Different Pieces


Painting tricks don’t have to be complex. Sometimes, they can super easy.

Just as one size does not fit all, one uniform approach does not fit all pieces either.

If the item you plan to paint is small to medium in size, don’t set up on the floor. Instead, set it up high. Think sawhorse, workbench or another suitable platform.

When the item is small, setting up on the floor won’t provide you with optimum, consistent access. And, it will have your back hunched over.

For other objects like chairs, setting up on the floor will be the best option.

5. Prepping Your Piece


In order to create a masterpiece, one of the painting tricks to embrace is the absolute importance of fundamentals. With spray painting, you have to get back to basics.

First, make sure that the surface to be painted is free of rust, dust, rough edges and debris.

You will need it to be smooth as any imperfections will show through the new paint.

Sand down the piece using sandpaper or steel wool and make sure that the surface is clean and smooth before you begin.

When you are finished sanding, wipe the piece down with a damp cloth and a dry one to get rid of any excess dirt.

clean walls

6. Setting Up Your Paint


Painting is often considered one of the cheapest ways to make some radical home improvements. But, just what do you do with the paint itself?

That’s where some painting tricks come in.

Just as you need to prep your specific item for your paint job, you need to prep your paint as well. The good news is this is a painless process.

To get your paint ready for spraying, all you need do is add a thinning agent. One of the best thinning agents for paint is actually water.

To do this effectively, follow theses simple steps:


  • Fill the paint container with the paint as far as the paint line or a little less
  • Add in about 10% of water
  • Mix well.

Adding water will allow for easy flow through the paint sprayer.

Now, you’re ready to paint!

get your paint ready for spraying

7. Ensuring Proper Coverage


High up on anyone’s list of painting tricks are tips to ensure proper coverage across the object you wish to paint.

The key to proper coverage is controlling the coating thickness. Get the thickness right, and the rest will follow.

Here some tips to ensure a quality finish:

If the coating is too thick or if it is running down the surface:


  • Move the spray gun quickly
  • Opt for a smaller tip orifice size
  • Choose a tip with a wider fan
  • Make sure the spray gun is far enough away from the surface – about 12 inches.

If the finish is not covering the surface:


  • Move the spray gun more slowly
  • Opt for a larger tip
  • Choose a tip with a narrower fan width
  • Make sure the spray gun is close enough to the surface – about 12 inches.

The temptation might be to crank up the pressure control to the maximum. But, for professional results, turn down the pressure as low as you can without getting fingers or tails.

8. Sweeping Motions


door spraying

The size of the object you are painting informs most spray painting tricks.

Your techniques will alter slightly depending on the object in front of you.

Smaller objects will require less flow, and will, therefore, need a closer spray.

Larger items will need more flow, and thus your spray will need to be further away.

For large and small projects, you might want to adopt a sweeping motion. Go from side to side or up and down.

Bear in mind that you may not acquire total coverage in the first round. Stay focused on your technique, and you will get complete coverage in the second.

9. Adjusting the Pressure


A good rule to follow is to always use the lowest pressure setting possible to achieve your aims.

If the spray pattern has fingers or tails, you can increase the pressure to your desired level.

If you find that the maximum pressure of the sprayer is not enough to achieve a
good spray pattern, you can use a spray tip with a smaller orifice.

Be sure to test out the quality of your spray pattern on pieces of cardboard, etc, before you attempt to paint your chosen object.

10. General Painting Tricks


To get a perfect finish, there are other painting tricks to keep in mind.

Here they are:
  • In most cases, the spray gun should be held approximately 12 inches from the surface of your object
  • You should aim straight at the surface
  • The larger the tip, the more you will need to move further away to get a good pattern
  • When spraying corners, the gun should be aimed right into the corner, with a focus on spraying along the corner. Don’t try to spray back and forth
  • Your sprayer will need to be cleaned to perform optimally across different jobs. Cleaning with warm, soapy water ensures the paint is washed away.

Closing Words on Paint Sprayer Painting Tricks

So, there you have it. Do you consider yourself to be an expert paint sprayer yet? Maybe not quite, but with these awesome tricks and tips, you are well and truly on your way.

To achieve perfection in spray painting, you need two essential things: A great paint sprayer and the right spray painting techniques.  Then, with a little practice, you can transform the most mundane household objects into awesome, like-new, prize attractions. Improving your home and adding the finishing touches to the beautiful pieces you love has never been easier.

Why not see what all the fuss is about and give spray painting a try?

If you’re anything like most of the people we see, chances are you will never look back. Got any questions or need some expert advice on airless paint sprayers and turbine sprayers and all things in between?

If you do, get in touch.

At Tool Nerds, we’re always happy to help.

spraying tricks

10 Helpful Paint Sprayer Painting Tricks

by Tyler Saunders time to read: 14 min
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