25 Spray Painting Tips

25 Spray Painting Tips

I wrote this post some time ago, it was included with my Best Gold Spray Paint.

Ive decided to move it into its own post. That post is a beast and needs its own spot! ha ha. I had no idea when posting that it would be my most popular post! LOL. I guess gold is all the rage, eh?


Want to know how to spray paint and be a spray painting boss? I know you do!

Learn from my mistakes and experience with certain paints. Ive literally used 500+ cans of spray paint in the past three years.

Spray Painting Tips


  • Always wear a mask and eye protection. Spray in a well ventilated area.
  • Always make sure what ever you paint is clean and dry. Specially free from oils.
  • Many surfaces that are painted can chip & scratch
  • Dirt, oil, hair, and water are not your friend! Make sure the area you use is free from dust and water. The spray can blow stuff around.
  • Most brands carry paint and primer in one now so no priming. Using a primer is going to depend on your surface, a little extra wont hurt a ‘beat up’ surface…
  • Using a cardboard box makes a great paint booth.
spray painting tips
This is acrylic paint but you get the picture…
  • Use tacks under some items like frames to get all areas and let dry. Anything to prop your item up. Painting a mason jar or a small vase or the like. Cut a paper towel/toilet paper roll and use it as a spray stand.
  • Humidity and temperatures can make drying times take longer.
  • Don’t forget over spray from the breeze outside, painting in the garage, etc. You don’t want paint all over your stuff… Spray paint will ‘dust’ over everything.

Rust-oleum metallic gold spray paint colors.

  • Light coats 10-12 inches distance is best. Doing lighter coats prevents any dripping. Up and down sweeps or side to side. Usually two- three coats of paint works if you use the better paints. Also surface depending, something ‘old and cruddy’ make take five coats.

Related: Rose Gold Spray Paint Colors

  • Shake your can well specially after the can has been sitting. If you don’t, it can have chunky or uneven paint spraying out. Always do a shake again between coats and long spraying time too.
  • Krylons colors Really shake, I have the most issues with chunks using their colors,(the Color Masters in particular) even with shaking till my arms are tired! LOL. The metallic are good though.
  • Valspar its more fool proof for dripping, perfect for a beginner with spray paint. The cans with no caps, the paint & primer in one and the Radiance colors like pictured below. It has a mist like spray, has a nicer smell too.

Best spray painting tips. Spray painting glass.

  • Krylon has some good colors but, its hit or miss, you’ll go through more paint for some colors. It can be a bit runny and chunky.

The Color Master line is the weakest. I swear Ive needed 5-10 coats to get coverage with some Color Master formulas!

The Dual formula is pretty good and I do like the metallic and Looking Glass.


Related: Krylons chalk paint.


  • Mattes and lighter colors seem to need a third or fourth coat no matter what the brand. Some items you paint will just need a few coats or more, partly depends on the surface.
  • Gloss colors tend to take longer to dry over matte and satin finishes. Enamel gloss finishes take much longer to dry but offer a more ‘hard’ super high gloss finish.

Rust-Oleum has some good colors and formulas for durable high gloss in the white cans & metallic finishes.


  • When you clear coat the shiny metal metallic finishes it dulls the finish, even with a high gloss top coat. With silver it totally ruins the finish, turns it into a gray muddy looking mess.

Silver seems to take longer to dry too.

  • Golds, silver, and copper can tarnish just like jewelry. The metal like finishes. Oils from your hand will leave fingerprints and water can leave spots. Dry quickly if you wash them.

Copper and the gold spot more easily over silver.


Related: Rust-oleum Metallic Spray Paints


I recommend Rust-Oleum metallic in this style can pictured below for painting things like door knobs and handles. Things used daily or in the kitchen & bathroom where there is moisture.

Spray paint tips.

Mercury-Mirror Finish Looking Glass Paint

  • Looking Glass paint is a mirror like finish. Mercury glass look. Rust-Oleum also offers a mirror finish. It can be sprayed on the outside and inside of glass. Shake the can, shake till you cant shake no more! This paint needs constant shaking.

Ive read tutorials on Looking Glass, my methods… Ive used plain ole water or Windex to get the aged look. Worked just fine for me. This paint is ‘toxic’ and must be sprayed in a well ventilated area. Its much stronger than traditional spray paint, IT Stinks! LOL.

Definitely keep 12-15 inches away with light sweeping strokes in light coats, build this paint, its VERY thin runny paint and will drip super fast! It dries almost instantly.

It will be more mirror like spraying on a super smooth surface like glass. It works best on glass, its really what its meant for.

Silver Mercury painted mason jars. Tips on using.

  • Don’t want a gloss but, its the perfect color? Use a matte or satin finish clear coat. Do it the other way around if you want a gloss finish on a matte paint. I like Valspar clear coats the best.
  • Β I have found I can spray paint when its 35 degrees out with no issues as long as its not a windy. Ha ha. Ive pumped out 100’s of jars in 35 degree weather, I live in NY! LOL.

I spray outside on something portable so I can bring them inside to cure where its warmer. Ive even let them sit outside in the cold to dry with no issues either.


Just don’t let the paint can get too cold, take breaks.

Some colors are a funky when its cold… as well… they say you shouldn’t when its that cold.. (below 50) but, Ive pushed the limits. LOL. I wouldn’t paint a dresser but small items yes.

Most are Krylon because the colors are more runny so they are very weird in the cold. Valspar is a Champ in the cold, its that mist spray they have.

Metallic ombre painted mason jars. Gold, copper, silver.

  • Baking in the oven at 150-200 degrees for about 30 minutes really smooths the paint finish. Gives it a better curing too. Paint takes at least two months to really cure. The longer the better.

If you oven cure you should put them in the oven while the paint is wet. I only do this for some high gloss finishes SOMEtimes… Its not needed at all though.

Spray paint wrinkling and bubbling
Spray paint wrinkling and bubbling
  • If you painted a coat or two then let it sit for hours, a day or a week and need another coat or its time for top coat… Particularly with Krylon and Rust-Oleum, use light coat/s to finish the job.

If you coat heavier and its too ‘wet’ it can cause the paint you already applied to wrinkle and bubble.

As seen in the picture above… a jar to add to the casualty pile! ha ha. I actually covered it in glitter to hide it!

  • Cheap paint is just that, Cheap. You get what you pay for, you’ll have to do quadruple the coats to get any coverage. Spend the money on the better paint, its a night and day difference! Work smarter not harder! πŸ˜‰ Many great colors for less than $6 a can.

Best gold spray paint colors.

  • I top coat Everything even when the paint says you don’t have too, I find you Do have to! LOL. With the exceptions to, high gloss enamels like Rust-Oleum offers, it already has a great hard smooth finish, other glosses, and metallic colors. General colors I always top coat.
  • Certain surfaces may need prep work or be more porous sucking up the paint so you need more coats. When Ive painted wood furniture Ive had to do some light sanding between coats like you do with stain and use 3-5 coats.
  • You can paint just about anything on the planet with spray paint! lol You can paint glass of course. Any painted glass is best used as decor pieces, things not used regularly. It can chip and scratch more easily over most spray painted surfaces.

Rust-oleum silver and gray spray paint colors. Flat Iron and Raw Steel.

  • You can do a light hand washing’s with spray painted glass/goods or a wipe down with a damp cloth, just no soaking and scrubbing. Ive washed many spray painted surfaces and plenty of jars over the years with no issues.

Spray Paint Extras

In my area Lowes carries the Valspar brand and Rust-Oleum but, the Rust-Oleum selection is lacking there for color, mostly neutral and primary. I found Home Depot has Lots of Rust-Oleum colors.

Buying at the craft stores is almost double the price over the hardware store for the same exact can of paint! Use a coupon! LOL

Metallic ombre painted mason jars. Gold, copper, silver.

Don’t forget auto stores, they carry spray paints. More durable for bike parts and such. Also high heat paints and some cool colors you don’t find with traditional spray paints.

Spray paint is spray paint more or less if you know what I mean… You find a cool color at the auto store to paint your lamp, do it!


The craft stores do carry some other formulas I haven’t found at the hardware stores like the Looking Glass, stained glass formulas, and glitter sprays.

Ive spray painted anything and everything over the past 25 years! Dang, I be gettin’ old! Ha ha. Spray paint has some a long way specially with color choices and paint+primer in one.

Heck, paint in general has come a long way!


Overall, Valspar is my favorite. I just like their shades and finishes more, they are smoother.

Ive had many questions on where to get some of the colors like the US. UK- B&Q carries the Valspar UK brand. Rust-Oleum UK.

Don’t hesitate to post and ask other questions. I keep revising this post to keep it full of good tips. πŸ™‚ There is some Q&A in the comments when these tips were in the gold post if you want to check them out.

What paints have you tried and your favorite? I know there are other brands floating around.

More Spray Paint

Best Gold Spray Paint

Rose Gold Spray Paint

Rust-oleum Metallic Colors

Krylon Chalky Finish Spray Paint

Rust-oleum vs Krylon vs Valspar


25+ Spray painting tips. Learn how to spray paint like a pro!

Other Goodies to Check Out

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Creative Hustler here sharing some craftin’ goodies so you can rock some mason jar crafts, glitter, and be a spray paint pro! I’ll also build you a kick ass Wordpress site or chat about Pinterest and SEO , they are my jam.


  1. Have you any tips on using the sea glass paint? I’ve just learned about it! Looking at the cornflower color of Krylon.

  2. I’d like to paint table numbers, using stencils, onto the glass sides of the lanterns that will be part of the centerpieces at my wedding, in rose gold/copper. 1) would you recommend spray paint for that? 2) is there a way to get the paint off after? My mom might like to keep the lanterns to line her walkway, but probably not if they’re numbered. Thank you!

    1. The spray paint will work and you could either scrape the paint off the glass or use Goof Off, it will remove it. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  3. Can you tell me the colors of the eight (8) mason jars in the last photo of this post. It’s the photo with the “25+ spray painting tips” text. These are my wedding colors!

    1. Check out my other post, its has all those colors. Hope this helps. πŸ™‚ http://kastyles.co/rustoleum-metallic-spray-paints/

  4. awesome tips thnks for sharng

    1. Thank you and youre welcome. πŸ™‚

  5. […] I talk about this in my Spray Paint Tips post. […]

  6. Can’t believe I found someone just as obsessed with spray paint as me! Also, you just saved me a ton of money! While I already own a lot of Metallic spray paints I was literally going to go to Home Depot this weekend and buy every kind of Metallic gold to see which one would end up being my favorite. I can’t thank you enough for your posts on gold and rose gold spray paints! I have a few questions:
    1. When you talk about curing the jars in the oven do I place the jars on a cookie sheet first or directly on the rack? And how long do I need to wait after spraying them before I put them in the oven?

    2. Do you know how to do ombrΓ© Metallic mason jars? I’ve seen some on Pinterest but none come with instructions as detailed as yours. I’m just dying to do a two color ombrΓ© mason jar!

    3. I’m looking for a light pink Metallic or light pink pearly finish spray paint. Ever come across one of those?

    4. You know the more expensive spray paint brands such as Montana and Liquitex? Ever have experience using those and if so do you think they are worth the price?

    5. My spray cans always get clogged. Some of my top coat sprays to the point I’ve thrown away only a ΒΌ empty can before because the nozzle gets clogged. Nothing I’ve done works. Any tips?

    Sorry I had so many questions! I’ve just never run across someone that knew so much about spray paint and figured if anyone knew it would be you! Haha! Thanks so much for your awesome posts! They are just fabulous!!!!

    1. 1) I use an old beat cookie sheet. You should put them in the oven while still wet but its really not needed.

      2) You may have come across my metallic ombre jars! haha. Here are some of my ombre jars. http://kastyles.co/ombre-painted-mason-jars/

      3) Check this post for a pink pearl finish. πŸ™‚ http://kastyles.co/rustoleum-metallic-spray-paints/

      4) I have not tried those paints yet.

      5) Try taking off the spray nozzle and clean it out. Many clogs happen in the nozzle. If its almost a full can and clogged beyond my fixing I take it back to the store and exchange it. Crap cans happen at times…

      Thank you! And you’re are welcome, I hope it helped! Dont hesitate to ask any other questions! πŸ™‚

  7. I’ve looked high and low for gold metallic taper spiral candles like the ones I’ve always bought. I found the cranberry ones. So I want to spray paint them gold. After the paint is dry, I don’t think there would be an issue with flammability, do you? I tried painting them with acrylic paint-on paint but they look awful. What do you think? Thanks!

    1. I would think it would be ok because its just the outside and the wax melts. But you may want to test it on some other candle first and see what happens! I think I’ll have to test the theory now too! ha ha.

  8. […] spray painting tips if you are a beginner and want to DIY your own pencil jar. […]

  9. […] There are other coppers out there I’ll try and update this post. If you are a beginner with spray paint you can check out my Spray Painting Tips post. […]

  10. well BLESS YOU for this post! After seeing all of your beautiful ideas on painting, I thought, “well those are perfect, but mine will never look like that!” And then this handy little post showed up! I love the gold shimmer one with the glitter snowflakes…that might have to be the first one I try! THANK YOU!

    1. You are welcome! You can become a spray paint pro! πŸ™‚ Make sure you share some pictures! OT but some fun makeup I did from back in the day. haha.

  11. […] 25+ Spray Painting Tips […]

    1. Hello!

      I am living abroad with very limited resources for creating the perfect thanksgiving centerpiece. I found mason jars but only spray paints. Is it possible to create the distressed chalky look with a white matte spray? Or will I need to find acrylic paint and use a brush?

    2. Hi! Yes you can distress spray paint just like any other paint. πŸ™‚ And yes a matte finish spray paint will be more like the matte chalky finishes. I hope that helps, good luck! πŸ™‚

  12. Hello,

    I have an old wooden vanity I was hoping to re-do. I have a small sander, I was going to sand it down, use a spray paint primer, then spray paint in a metallic silver, lightly spray over with krylon’s dimond blast glitter and then add a clear coat. You said in your post that clear coats muck up the silver color? What do you suggest I do? I’ve looked into chalk paint as well as regular silvers and modpodge and real glitter instead of spray paint glitter. I’m not sure which is the best direction to go. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. If I were you Id just paint it a gray, glitter blast, then clear coat. πŸ™‚ Dont bother with the silver metallic. I hope that helps. Edit to add: if you are looking for a more ‘glittery’ look use glue and loose glitter, works better than the spray for a glitter coat. I have this glitter post. πŸ™‚ http://kastyles.co/spray-glitter-vs-loose-glitter/

    2. Thank you that helps! Is there a difference between Valspar 2360N Spray Any Way Machinery Light Gray Enamel Spray Paint which says Enamel and regular spray paint? Glitter post is helpful too!


    3. Enamel paints are high gloss and have a ‘harder’ finish. Its just like any other spray paint, it will take much longer to dry over other sprays though. I would just use any gray you like for the base. πŸ™‚ You have to share a picture when you are done! πŸ™‚

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  19. Hi, I have an outdoor table with a stainless steel look frame (glass top), the frame has quite a bit of surface rust on it. I plan to clean with a rust removing product and would like to spray paint it white. What would you recommend? I live in Australia and have easy access to the Rust-Oleum products but not the other brands. Thank you.

    1. Perfect, just use the Rustoleum products for rust, etc. Id sand it a bit too. Id extra coat those rust spots, rust is rust, nothing is rust proof! haha. In NY, Id have to redo by the second season, dang rust… LOL. Good luck. πŸ™‚

  20. Hi Kelly,
    I see you’ve mentioned quite a number of times about top coating your jars but no top coat for metallics. I am a lil confused the difference between clear coat and top coat. When do you use clear coat and top coat? Can you advise, please?
    Your works are beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your tips! πŸ™‚

    1. Clear coat-Top coat are the same thing. πŸ™‚ I use a top-clear coat on basic colors that are not a high gloss enamel like Rustoleum carries. Rust-Oleum 284678 Stops Rust Protective Enamel Spray Paint, Light Turquoise” target=”_blank”>Like this kind. It doesnt need a top coat. Metallic the top coat ruins the finish.

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  22. Wood Toy Chest: I made a chest & covered it with wainscoating that came pre-painted white. I read online that I should lightly sand the wainscoating before painting. I used wood trim on the box that I have sanded & but a base coat of paint.
    QUESTION: For the final coat should we brush on with a fine brush a semi-gloss paint OR should we buy a spray paint? What paints would you recommend?
    WOOD LETTERS: I bought wood letters & I have sanded and primed. I would like to paint them with a light pink or after reading your blog maybe use your technique of using Elmer’s glue and glitter. Any thoughts on this since the letters are going on a white semi-gloss wainscoting toy chest? My first thought is just to use a light semi-gloss pink but I thought about your glitter technique also. Thanks

    1. Id do a light sanding, the paint will stick better.

      Heck yeah do the glitter. πŸ™‚ You can go both ways, paint pink first and apply glitter over the pink or just do it with the white. Both will work, its really a personal preference. A good glitter coat will cover it.

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  26. Hello Kelly, I am spray painting multiple jars for flower and candle decor for my daughters 1st birthday, I am using Valspar rose gold and Rust-oleum rose gold & copper metallic – do you recommend a top coat?

    1. No top coat for metallics. πŸ™‚

  27. I love to read about someone even more obsessed with spray paint than me! (I didn’t know that was possible…lol)

    Can you please share the blue automotive brand and color you have in the picture with all the Rust-Oleum grays? I’ve been searching for a blue like that for months now. I love it!

    Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your tips and finds. I learn a lot from reading you!

    1. Ha ha I am! πŸ™‚

      The brand is Dupli Color.

  28. I love spray paint!! I do wish there were a wider range of colors. I’ve learned to do several very light coats to avoid drips.

    1. Yes. Valspar just put out some new colors and so has Rustoleum.

  29. Kelly, I love what you do! Your jars are beautiful. I am getting married in August and am spray pInting some ball jelly jars rose gold to tie in my rose gold theme. I see you have a link for that but the website isn’t working. Do you have some favorites for rose gold spray paint? The lowes does not carry the Valspar rose gold near me πŸ™ bummer. Anyway, thanks a million for inspiring me!

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ Here is some rose gold-copper goods. http://kastyles.co/rose-gold-spray-paint/

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