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A 'Real Simple' Way To Paint

Once reserved for only making graffiti art, spray paint is great tool to update fixtures or furniture with ease and on a budget.

Thanks to improvements in technology, a range of faux finishes such as spray-on leather, and an explosion of new colors to complement every hue in your decorating palette, you can now spray bold, new life onto your old plastic chair or doorknob. Spray painting is faster and lasts as long as brush paint and the finish is actually smoother than what you'd get with a brush.

On The Early Show, Real Simple magazine's Kris Connell showed how to do it.

Four ways to use spray paint on a variety of different surfaces, from Real Simple magazine.

Metal Doorknob: Spray paint is great for metal fixtures such as doorknobs, switch plates, file cabinets, etc. Spray paint creates the smoothest covering, and most brush paints don't come in metallic finishes. You should add primer or sand, depending on the object and the paint.

Plastic Chair: Yes, you can spray deck chairs, tables and planters. At one time spray paint would bead up on slick plastic surfaces, but now new paints are specially formulated to adhere to plastic items. Remember to shake the can often. A fine mist is better than a heavy one.

Wood Stool: You can use spray paint on stools, doors, coat racks, shelves, frames and ceiling fans. Remember that wood is porous and must be sealed before you paint it. Apply a coat of aerosol primer to any wood surface, even if it's varnished. Sanding a glossy or raw wood beforehand will result in a better finish.

Wicker Nightstand: You can spray paint most wicker surfaces from chairs, tables, and nightstands. Spray paint is great on wicker because brush paint tends to leave gobs of paint.

Real Simple's Spray Painting Tips

  • Protect yourself: Spray in a well-ventilated area, but one that is also sheltered, such as an open garage. Avoid windy days even if you're inside because the paint will end up everywhere!
  • Protect your house: Lay down a drop cloth, and cover nearby walls with newspaper or butcher paper using blue painter's tape. Spray small items inside a cardboard box.
  • Sand it: For optimal adhesion, use fine-grit sandpaper to scratch-up items that have a slick surface, such as wood veneers, plastic furniture, and metal filing cabinets.
  • Brush it: Scrape off flakes or rust with a wire brush. Wipe the object with a damp cloth.
  • Dismantle it: Remove any knobs or hardware. Make sure lamps and chandeliers are disconnected from their electrical sources, and take out the bulbs.
  • Prime it: Even when a paint says it doesn't need priming, you get a longer-lasting bond and a better finish using a spray primer.
  • Start with a full can
  • Wait 15 minutes between coats to get the smoothest coverage.
  • Clear the nozzle: After steady spraying, the nozzle can become clogged and cause the paint to splatter.
  • Keep your distance: To avoid drips, hold the can about a foot away from the object you're spraying.
  • Shake the can often: Pigments separate and need mixing.
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