In this article, I’m going to teach you, how to spray paint walls without hitting the ceiling with your paint
The most important part about spraying a wall is keeping a consistent distance between the nozzle and the surface of the wall/object being painted. Keeping this distance will allow for a clean, even coat of paint on the surface of the wall
Different techniques exist for different types of spray paint cans, but the most common method is to hold your hand out flat with your index finger and thumb extended, then aim the nozzle of the can at a 45 degree angle.
This will allow you to spray at an even distance from where you are pointing (the center of the “L” formed by your fingers). The distance will vary depending on how big or small of an area you are painting, but this method should give you a good idea of the correct distance for any sized project.
Also important here is not letting yourself get distracted! Dips in paint occur when you stop spraying the wall before it has completely dried leading to inconsistency in color coatings. If you are painting a large surface, don’t stop spraying until you are done with the whole project.
Techniques for different cans of spray paint vary, but one method that works is to hold the can in your dominant hand at arm’s length with your thumb on the nozzle and your index finger pinching down on top of it. The distance will depend on how large of an area you are painting, but this method is better for large projects where you will have to continually move, especially if your project is fragile.
This technique gives you more range of movement since the can is not directly in front of you, but it also requires a little bit of finesse because you are likely to get hit with overspray. Make sure that the nozzle of the can remains pointed away from anything that may get damaged by your ministrations!
Another way to get more range while spraying without getting yourself covered in paint is to use an articulated arm. Articulated arms work by allowing one end of them to rotate freely while extending straight out from another attached point on your body. Articulate arms are most commonly used on spray painters working on cars to give them the freedom to reach certain areas while also being able to keep an even distance between the nozzle and the object being painted.
Articulated arms are usually powered by pneumatics that run through the arm, so always keep your finger on the trigger of whatever you are using for this technique. Don’t let go prematurely or you will sacrifice good control over how much paint ends up on your wall!
Articulate arms are nice for large projects, but they can be a bit cumbersome. For smaller surfaces or more delicate objects, you may want to use a tripod as your paint platform. Tripods work by having three legs at equal distances from each other with one leg being attached to the object being painted and another leg being attached to the hose that is supplying your spray paint.
Another way to paint at a long distance (or get really close for small areas) is to hold the can far away from the surface and using a straw or regulator. By lengthening the can’s air supply, you will reduce the amount of force it has allowing you to be able to keep an even distance between the nozzle and object being painted while also maintaining good control over how much paint comes out of your can.
A great example of the usefulness of this technique is from Jack from MythBusters. In one episode, he was building a giant man that had to be painted grey so they would blend in with the background. He could have used a ladder and a paint roller but instead opted for a regulator and straw to get a consistent coat over the entire surface.
Another interesting idea thrown around by other painters is using an airbrush instead of spray paint! Airbrushing allows you to keep your nozzle constantly in contact with the object being painted because it utilizes compressed air which can cover objects up to their own diameter away. This is why airbrushes are also good for small surfaces or hard-to-reach areas.
The downside of airbrushes is that they are a bit tricky to use especially for beginners. They also require more maintenance so you can’t just pull your airbrush out of storage and be ready to paint! They have the added benefit over paint cans in that they do not produce as much overspray, but since there are no commercially available regulations on tif painting is for them and don’t want to take the time or money required to get an air compressor set up.
If you are using a paint can, make sure that your surface is clean and dry before beginning because any dirt, oil, or water on your object will prevent proper adhesion of the paint and may cause it to flake off much faster than expected! If you are unsure about whether something is clean enough just ask around at a local hardware store. Most people there have been doing this their entire lives so they will know how things should look before being painted!
In terms of primer, many painters recommend its use only after extensive testing by yourself has been done because primers can affect how well paint adheres to ahem, it’s hard to get an idea on how much each one works so you will probably have to experiment with different brands before settling on one model.
Many professional painters recommend using an air compressor as the preferred method of spraying paint because it gives them better control over their work and reduces overspray. However, this usually isn’t practical for those who are just trying to decide if they like the hobby or just want to improve their skills for an upcoming project.
Don’t start yet!
It is important that before beginning any painting project, you read your spray paints instructions very thoroughly. Different brands have different techniques for their cans and some may require certain precautions be taken during use to make sure your paint comes out the right way.
For example, Rust-Oleum’s enamel spray paint requires that you do not hold the can more than 8 inches away from the object and that you should only use one back and forth motion when painting surfaces. These rules will help prevent wrinkling of your work which could be a disaster if it is something large like a banner! The same instruction also state that you should shake your cans for at least three minutes to ensure proper mixing before use!
The next best thing is to keep your spray paint can in one hand at all times by supporting it with your wrist and keeping an even distance between the nozzle and the object being painted. This way, you can move your arm freely while still keeping control over how much paint comes out of the can. Remember not to point it at anyone because there is no telling what will happen if you do!
Tips during painting
To guarantee clean and consistent coats of paint on your walls, follow these tips: do not distract yourself while painting maintain a constant distance between the nozzle and your object follow the lines you want to cover with one continuous motion don’t go too fast when painting corners do not double-dip your brush paint in the same direction as your spray paint
Remember to prime your walls before starting to make sure that any dirt, grime, or other things on the surface do not cause problems after you finish applying the first coat of paint. Also, never rush yourself during any aspect of this process because otherwise, you might end up with something substandard! If there are areas that don’t look like they match well, go back and apply more primer before continuing. Remember that even pros need primers, so it is nothing for you to be ashamed about if you decide to follow their example.
If you want your results to last longer than normal without getting too much attention away from what’s inside them, consider adding an extra coat of clear gloss over the final paint job. This will give your object a nice shiny appearance that doesn’t attract too many eyes towards it while still being durable enough to keep up for decades or more if you are lucky!
The easiest way to do this is to buy spray paint with the clear gloss already mixed in, but other products require an extra coat of clear gloss after they have been applied. There are special paints designed specifically for the top layer so be careful not to use something else which could affect how well everything adheres together later on down the road.
Never use regular paint thinner because it will ruin whatever you apply it to by eating away at your layers and leaving them looking uneven no matter how hard you try. You should get special thinners made for spraying paints to prevent damage, but other than that there is nothing else you need to worry about because the system is easy! Now go out there and show off your skills to friends, family, or anyone else who will care!
The most important part of this process is to maintain a constant distance between the nozzle and your object. If you move closer, then more paint will come out of the can creating what looks like heavier coats! Moving away will cause less paint to be released so it will probably take much longer than expected. Either way, remember that if you are spraying indoors, make sure there’s plenty of ventilation or your surroundings may end up very smoky!
When trying to avoid getting extra paint on final surfaces like windows or fixtures, try holding spray cans slightly off-center (from any direction) since they are most likely to be hit in one of these locations if you try spraying with them dead center. If your nozzle isn’t hitting the wall in any particular spot, then there is no way that it can possibly affect lights or other objects!
While using a brush, remember not to try and create too many layers by doubling-dipping because you might end up getting paint on everything else around it. If this happens to you, just clean it up as good as possible before moving ahead with anything else so nothing will stick out after you finish painting your walls!
As mentioned before, if an area doesn’t look right after your first coat has dried, don’t hesitate to go back and fix what needs fixed instead of trying to move forward. This is especially true when it comes to corners because if you don’t get them just right, the final result will not look as nice and it might even be noticeable from a distance!
Don’t paint too fast or you’ll create an uneven surface. There’s no need to rush since everyone has all day for this type of project so go at your own pace and try to stay within the lines each time before you move on to another area. Otherwise, your work will look messy and unprofessional which may cause you to start over again!
While keeping a consistent distance from where you’re pointing (the center of the “L” formed by your fingers) and not letting yourself get distracted (dips in paint occur when you stop spraying before it has completely dried leading to inconsistency in color coatings), move the nozzle back and forth across the wall as if making small random marks
I usually do this by following the spray can nozzle with my finger while using the edge of the can to gauge where I should be. Doing it this way gives me a consistent distance between the wall and the nozzle, let’s say 2 inches give or take.
However, if you’re painting in your house, chances are every surface is not flat against the ceiling/walls, which means you will have to raise your arm slightly more to compensate for the height. At this point it gets really hard to judge where that 2-inch distance should be. You may end up applying too little or too much paint if you’re not careful.
You’re now ready to go tackle your next painting project. Good luck!