Asked on Sep 13, 2016

How many cans of spray paint do I need?

Jackie Byrd
by Jackie Byrd
I want to spray paint an inexpensive MDF wall unit similar to this one. How many cans of Rust-oleum Painters Touch 2X would I need to paint it? It measure 6' wide x 5' tall and numerous shelves, there are also 2 doors that cover a single shelf area. There is a back cover that I would need to paint the room facing side also. And the upper shelves are just as deep as the lower ones (not shallow like in this unit). . . . Do you have a cheap source for the paint?
  11 answers
  • Barbara Ann Barbara Ann on Sep 13, 2016
    This is a large piece to use spray paint. Although the Painters Touch is my go-to brand. Is this laminate at all? You'll have a problem if it is. Test on a small space either in the back or bottom. And then depending on your color? I'd guess 5-8 cans. If you paint the back a different color I'd suggest count on 2 of those 5-8 for this. Good luck. Show us your finished piece.
  • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 13, 2016
    Hi Barbara, I think I need the Ultra Cover version by Rust-oleum. The surface is the very thin paper/plastic stuff. It is not wood or wood veneer. Don't you think the Ultra Cover version would be a better choice?
  • William William on Sep 13, 2016
    Why would you want to spray paint such a large unit?! Paint it using a foam roller and paint brush. Was it down. Lightly sand to remove any gloss. Prime with BIN or KILZ primer, then paint with your color.
    • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 13, 2016
      Physical disabilities keep me from using a paint brush or roller on this thing.
  • William William on Sep 13, 2016
    To spray paint the whole piece properly, you could easily go through 8 - 12+ cans of paint. If you choose to prime, add another 8 - 12+ cans of paint. You would need several light coats to get proper coverage and finish. You still would need to wash it down, lightly sand the piece to remove any gloss and create a tooth for paint. Start with 6 cans of paint and see how far they go.
  • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 13, 2016
    Looks like Rust-oleum has a paint & primer combined into 1 can. " Rust-Oleum® Universal® Matte Spray Paint is a paint and primer in one that provides superior coverage and durability on any surface and at any angle—with the unmatched comfort of our patented trigger technology." And, "...is specifically formulated to work on diverse surfaces including wood, plastic, metal, wood, concrete and even vinyl. The Rust-Oleum® Universal® advanced spray system can spray from any angle — even upside down." So if I wash it down with a deglosser then use this product applying several light coats, then a couple of coats of Clear that should do it. I think I'll use this smaller bathroom hutch as a warm up project.
    comment photo
  • Sam Sam on Sep 13, 2016
    Only use spray paint if you want it to look like a cheap make-over. If it is worth refinishing, do it right and consult a good cabinet/refinishing man. He has all the tricks and experience. Have you ever heard, "You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear"? This directly applies to what you want to do. To start, you need to seal the wood, use a filler, sand, sand, sand. You are now at the starting point of where you would be if you made it out of real wood. You can't beat real wood construction using proper fastening devices and proper finishing techniques.
  • Heidi Heidi on Sep 13, 2016
    I hate to say it since I love painting furniture, but for the price of the good spray paint (12 cans X $4/can = $50 with tax) you might just want to save a little more money and purchase another TV unit in the color you want, try Craiglists for used ones is another option.
    • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 13, 2016
      Thanks for the idea. I'm not sure I could find one this large for $50. Plus, I won't be able to move it by myself. It's something to consider though. I using this in my home office (not living room) and the only reason I'm painting it is because the finish attracts dust like a magnet. It is impossible to keep it clean now. Drives me nuts.
  • Thalia Kottke Thalia Kottke on Sep 13, 2016
    If the real issue is dust this may work. Get some Static Guard (in the laundry section at the supermarket) spray it onto your dust rag and wipe while it is still damp, keep the rag damp with the spray and it should help keep the dust off of the shelves and easier to get off when you do dust. Good Luck.
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Sep 15, 2016
    Make your own chalk paint and redo the piece in any color you make. It is easy to make and covers great even MDF pieces.
  • Ian Bateman Ian Bateman on Nov 05, 2017

    How many cans would I need to spray 7 small kitchen cupboard doors approx


  • Esther Esther on Nov 24, 2018

    How many cans of spray pain do i need for 4 Doble french doors and to regular doors