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Old 01-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Small project painting technique

Hi all,

I occasionally build a small widget (maybe a picture frame, shelf, box, etc). I find it quite annoying to paint such things. I usually stand the piece on some scrap blocks on top of a tarp. When I paint the first coat, seemingly no matter how hard I try, there will be "drips" that sneak around the edges onto the unpainted surfaces. Then when I come back to flip the piece and do the next coat, there are dried drips that are impossible to remove.

Is a trick to doing this? Or is it a "practice makes perfect" type of thing where I am doing it right just using too much paint or something like that?

Also, would a little spray booth be helpful? Would I just make a 5 sided box out of plywood and get one of those little $100 ryobi paint sprayers? Would that fix my issues? Or introduce a whole new set of issues ?




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Old 01-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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spraying several light coats would be a solution.
never used a wagner or the ryobi you mention. I have an automotive spray pot and a compressor.
trial and error to learn what works best for you, but sprayed on finish looks much nicer to me.


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Old 01-13-2010, 03:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jlhaslip View Post
spraying several light coats would be a solution.
never used a wagner or the ryobi you mention. I have an automotive spray pot and a compressor.
trial and error to learn what works best for you, but sprayed on finish looks much nicer to me.

Also some place to maybe hang the piece up might help
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:17 AM   #4
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Those Wagner type toys are a real, noisy, waste of money and they are a mess. If you are doing small things and really want spray equipment for them think about one of the larger air brushes and some sort of compressor with air filter. This approach will cost about the same or not much more. An art supply store or a paint store that serves the auto industry will have the best selection and advice I suspect. Like any spray equipment, airbrushes take a little getting used to but you can do a lot with them. I haven't really used them since when in art school. The two I used most could draw hairlines if I wanted them too. The bigger ones are used a lot in custom auto painting and I should think would be great for picture frames?

Spray cans will work if you are patient. Most people tend to want to put the paint on thicker than they should and ignore that...

As mentioned, you have to resolve yourself to several or even many light coats. The paint is thin so the aeresols will propel it and it will sag and drip if you put it on too thick.

If you are painting with a brush? I know it sound contrary to the task at hand but you will have a lot more control over things with the edge of a quality 2.5 inch sash brush than you ever will with a crappy 1" craft brush.

Finding a way to hang things will help with your drips. Put a temporary hanger in the back of your piece if you have to do so. Nobody will see it.

One alternative to building a booth, especially if you don't have room for it on a regular basis, is to join a couple of large cardboard boxes together. For some ridiculous reason, most states will not let moving companies resell perfectly good boxes they remove from moves. Many stack them in a trailer out back for others to claim for free. The wardrobe boxes are extremely sturdy. Buy one of the hanger bars and you will have a workable system you can break down when you don't need it.

Last edited by user1007; 01-13-2010 at 04:21 AM.
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