5 Tips to Prepare for Spray Painting

Spray painting can be quite difficult at first. You will be surprised at just how quickly the paint will rush out of the can and discover the challenges in taming the drips and drabs left behind. However, with practice, spray painting becomes easier and there is certainly reward in mastering the art. Patience will help, but these techniques will prepare you to express your creativity safely and successfully. 

1. Plan to Paint

The first step is to look at your pallet. Do you have all the paint and colours you need for the art you have envisioned? To decide this, it is best to have a good idea of what you are trying to achieve. Will it be a large project or a relatively small one? You should have researched and gathered quality spray paints with a reputation for delivering expectations. Watch tutorials online and learn from the best so you can execute stunning murals, sketches, and designs.

2. Smooth Start

Having a smooth start when doing your spray painting can avoid imperfections, bumps, and grains in your art piece. Before you start painting make sure that you sand the surface and apply two coats of primer, ensuring that you sand between the two coats. Sanding the primer will flatten and lock the raised grains to reveal a smooth surface for you to apply the paint. You can use a sanding block to achieve this but be sure to wipe after to remove any dust before adding the next coat of primer. The key here is to make the smoothest canvas you can for the paint to go on. 

3. Do a Spray Test

Testing the paint is by far the most important step in your to-do list. Ensure you shake the can thoroughly before use, so you hear the ball bearing bouncing up and down. Take a piece of cardboard or wood and spray vertical lines and dots to see the quality of your paint. When you have done this you can see the quality of the paint and its colour before committing. Additionally, you can practice your technique and judge how far away you need to be when applying the paint. For example, some logos or pieces need to be an inch or two inches off the far edge depending on the can. Therefore, you should test this and practice maintaining a consistent distance throughout your movements. 

4. Ventilation

If you are painting indoors make sure you have plenty of ventilation before you start as the paint can be very toxic when inhaled. Without adequate ventilation, the paint from the fumes can seriously affect your health making it difficult to breathe. Putting in place the proper precautions such as having the doors and windows open will be much safer as the chemicals will not become trapped in the air. To increase ventilation, have one or more fans switched on so there is a flow of air for the fumes to escape. There are many practices you can put in place to ensure good ventilation so refer to official guidelines and advice before starting. 

5. Put on Your PPE

Although painting may initially seem like a harmless activity, the truth is it can be very damaging to the body if not done correctly. This is because the paint is made from various chemicals that should never be breathed in or put in contact with the skin. For example, when the paint lands on the skin or eyes it can cause severe irritation, as well as make its way into the body. Similarly, when inhaled the paint can cause respiratory issues, inducing nausea, and headaches. Having the right Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)  will give you safety and comfort while you paint. Invest in a respiratory mask, safety goggles, and disposable gloves to help protect you from any blowbacks from the paint. 


Spray painting is a skill and it can take a long time to truly perfect. Having the correct preparation in place before you start will increase your chances for success so you can create captivating artwork. Ensure that you take all the necessary steps to protect yourself as working with a spray paint can be toxic to the body if not performed correctly. With these 5 tips, you will be ready to paint and make something that you will be proud of.