Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Buying spray paint

Q: How many bottles of spray paint do you usually use? And have you found better prices at a specific store or just wherever?

A: I have well exceeded my carbon footprint with spray paint. Brush painting is cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but...With kids tugging on my legs at all times, sometimes it's spray paint or no paint. Walmart has the best prices on spray paint. Finally, finally, the can contents are labeled for comparison!

  • Walmart's Colorplace can costs 97 cents and covers 10 square feet. It comes in basic colors--good for small projects.
  • Kilz Spraypaint costs $1.99 in the big can and $2.97 in the funny hair mousse can. Both cover 25 square feet. I like the Kilz brand of products and the more unusual colors in a can.
  • Rustoleum is my premium brand, but it is getting pricey! $2.97 for a non-specialty can which covers 25 square feet. Unusual colors like Anodized Bronze cost $3.57 a can (and up). Have you ever tried any of the hammered metallic finishes? A friend just sprayed a light fixture in Hammered Copper with amazing results.
When to use which spray paint:

  • If a piece is valuable and it might be left in the rain, you might splurge on Rustoleum.
  • If a piece will be touched often (like a table), opt for Colorplace in a gloss finish OR spring for a flat or semi-flat in a better brand. It will have a smoother feel.
  • If a piece is plain white, go for the Colorplace gloss white.
  • NEVER buy the flecked or faux-stone spray paints. They feel awful to the touch and look even worse.

How much spray paint to buy:

  • 2 cans more than you think you will need. Better to return them on your next trip than stop mid-project to refuel.
  • I use half as much spray paint as my mother does because I follow the can directions. Apply light coats with even pressure--no spurts, no windy days.
  • Chairs take more paint than tables, because there is more "air space" in a chair. I would recommend one can per chair.

Other posts about spray paint: Quick Color * Things To Do With Magnolia Leaves * How I Spray Painted My Dining Room Table * Rustoleum Anodized Bronze


Anonymous said...

Wow!! Such great tips!! Dani spray painted some old metal motel chairs we inherited a couple of summers ago. She used the Rustoleum because, in our ignorance, we figured it was the best bet. Now, thanks to you, I know that we bought the right paint for metal chairs that spend 365 days a year in the yard! Woo hoo! Thanks!

nancyr said...

Great tips. I also discovered it is worth the price to purchase the holder for spray paint that looks like a gun, and has a trigger. It sure save the tip of the finger when using a lot of cans of paint. I also felt like it was easier to control the spray.

It's a Mom Thing said...

I know what you mean about buy 2 more cans than you think you will need. Right now, I have several projects to complete. I think I should buy stock in spray paint!

Thanks for the helpful hints. Oh yeah, can you use Briwax on a particle board table that was previously spray painted? Or is best used on real wood?

Thanks for your expertise!

Anonymous said...

I agree about the sand finish type spray paint. I think the effect looks kind of neat on the cap of the spray paint, but I sure didn't like the results I got on the little project I used it on. It just didn't seem to look very pretty when I was finished with it.

Krista said...

What timely information! I am planning to paint my table this weekend or next and was wondering which brand of paint would be best.

How many cans did you use for your table? My table is similar so I would probably use close to what you did.

Thanks again for the great information!

DonnaB said...

What a great tutorial!

Mary Ann said...

Very helpful-thanks! I have a few projects waiting to begin and my sister suggested using spray paint this time. :-)

Amy said...

These are really helpful tips for the novice at spray painting. I am amazed at all the different kinds they carry now. It is just unreal all of the choices. I love your price breakdowns. Thanks a bunch!

Lenetta said...

Thanks for linking back to these posts (this & the quick color one) - I linked to both of them on my weekly roundup (here). Thanks for helping me think outside of the box on decorating thrifted stuff!

Michaelangelo said...

Just an Update. The Walmart stores around here are getting rid of all their $1 spray paint color except for White and Black and the $1 is now more like $1.50. I used to buy Gold and Silver for $1 and now it is $4 at Walmart for the next cheapest brand.