Asked on Feb 06, 2016

How do I spray paint without the drips and heavy lines?

by Sharon
Why am I getting drips and heavy lines when I spray paint? It seems to be hit or miss (not with all projects). I feel like I am doing it the same as always.
  15 answers
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 07, 2016
    Hi Sharon- I feel your frustration! The trick to successful spray painting is standing far enough away and using light coats (2-3, depending on the color), sometimes with sanding in between. When you try to spray to cover with one coat, the paint is too heavy to adhere so it runs down or puddles on the surface. Have you tried the new Krylon Chalky Spray Paint? It's amazing- no running, smooth surface, great coverage. I have been buying mine at Michaels with a coupon. It is so worth the $5 per can!
  • Lynn Lynn on Feb 07, 2016
    I agree with Sue. You are probably spraying too close to your item. It is hard to have the patience, but things will turn out much better for you.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 07, 2016
    I am an awful spray painter...why? Because I have no patience with it. Get yourself one of those inexpensive devices that fits over the can that allows you to spray with a trigger (like that on a bottle of spray cleaner) so you do not tire out. Then stand back suggested distance and spray in quick fanning motion, stop...continue on in same direction...forward, not over where you have just painted. It may take several coats, letting each coat dry in between. You can google "spray painting techniques" and watch how they sort of wave the back and forth...never getting in a hurry!
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 07, 2016
    hi! one other issue may be a partially blocked sprayer nozzle on the can, if you do a light coat and wait for it to dry....the spray nozzle may get gummy and not spray correctly. a little paint thinner on an old rag may open it up or a pin to clean out the sprayer hole. always wear a painters mask when spraying paint whether it is from a can or spray gun. paint is not something you want to inhale.
  • Kimamart Kimamart on Feb 07, 2016
    shake can well. Then when you are spraying keep the can moving back- forth or up and down whatever need be. But keep it moving. Light coats. Then respray if needed.
  • Patty Patty on Feb 07, 2016
    Your definitely to close to your project, all the above suggestions are right on advice.
  • You have to make sure your project is clean! I know this sounds weird but especially with slicker metal or plastics if there is any kind of dirt, dust, grease, rust, etc the spray paint will not adhere. Everyone is right you could be too close or you are moving too slow when moving back and forth. Whenever you spray paint you should shake the can frequently and move back and forth fairly quickly! Light coats - it is nothing for me to have 3 light coats to finish a piece. good luck. and if you see a run right after you spray have a towel/rag handy and gently wipe the drip away (i often use my finger and then I am colored for a day or so).
  • Nat rostad Nat rostad on Feb 07, 2016
    Shake, shake, shake it! Then shake it again! Keep shaking throughout your work. Plus all the other great advise! :)
  • Bambi Stafirski Bambi Stafirski on Feb 07, 2016
    Start spray just before it hits project and stop it just after you pass the other side. Use side to side motion at all times
  • Jennie Herrick Jennie Herrick on Feb 07, 2016
    Don't hold the can so close to whatever it is that you are trying to paint. Also, instead of painting in long sprays, spray in short little "bursts" while quickly moving your can back and fourth, side to side, or up and down, depending on which direction you need to go to get the proper coverage. Another mistake most people make is thinking that they can get perfect coverage in just one coat of paint. Be prepared to do several light coats. By doing this you will avoid drips and runs and any heavy lines in your projects. Above all though, HAVE FUN!!
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 07, 2016
  • Debi53 Debi53 on Apr 19, 2016
    Everyone is telling you the right advice. Just one point of emphasis. Do NOT make the first or even second coat cover your piece completely. It is so tempting to want to see complete coverage right away. If you can't see the former paint color showing through after your first coat, you are spraying on too much and this will lead to drips. Don't be afraid to let it take 2-4 thin, thin coats for complete coverage. Also, never let your hand stop in one area. Always keeps your hand moving as you spray.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Apr 20, 2016
  • Tandra Harrison Tandra Harrison on Jun 23, 2018

    I think this thing will be done because of the thickness of the paint. For better result, you need to perfect mixture of the paint.

  • Janet Janet on Dec 30, 2019

    Fabulous advise everyone! I just sprayed painted a trunk & literally ruined it with drips, globs & lines. But thanks to all your advice I know how now lol. Happy New Year Everyone!