By Amy Leigh Brown
Do you have old brass light fixtures in your home? Outdated cabinet hinges and drawer pulls? What about those boring plain light switch and outlet plates? Don’t blow hundred of dollars buying new pieces. Instead, give them a new life with a quick coat of spray paint!
Buying the Right Spray Paint
There are many different brands and colors of spray paint available. Check your local hardware store and I’m certain you will find a whole wall full of various options. One thing to do before making your purchase: read the label. Here you’ll find everything you need to see if this is the right paint for you.
Don’t just go by color alone! Do you need paint and primer? What are the temperature requirements when using this particular brand? Will it adhere to plastic or glass? How long must the paint dry? These are examples of some very important questions you need to answer before you begin your project, or else you risk ending up with cracked paint and making a frustrated trip back to the paint store.
Break It Down
Before you can get started with the fun stuff, you need to first decide what you want to spray paint and break the item down. Take the cabinets down and remove all parts of the hinge. (Yes, even the screws will be painted!)
Same with light fixtures and outlet and switch plates. Any item you want to paint be sure to take it fully apart before starting. If there’s a piece that can not be removed that you don’t want covered with the paint, simply cover it with a layer of painters tape, or a grocery bag taped on for larger areas to protect from the paint.
Clean Before You Spray
A major step that people seem to always forget when starting a new spray paint project: thoroughly clean the item to be painted. Think of all the grease, oils, and dust that have accumulated over time. If these are not properly removed, the paint could crack or not adhere to the surface, leaving you frustrated and having to sand down the entire project to start over. Not a fun time.
So, don’t forget to clean off your surfaces first. Using an old towel with mild soap and water usually does the trick, but for tougher spots try a multi-purpose cleaner or rubbing alcohol for more stubborn spots.
Time to Paint!
Now you’re ready to revive your items with a quick coat or two of paint. Be sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. If you can’t spray paint outside, try your garage or balcony. Have to spray paint inside? Take an old cardboard box to use as a guard and paint your items inside the box. A tarp or old shower curtain is ideal to use to protect your surface as well.
Once you have your work surface ready, it’s time to get down to the fun stuff! Work in smooth strokes and stop frequently to shake the can to keep the paint mixed well. Two coats are often recommended for the best coverage, but your project may require more. Be sure when coating that you cover all the areas, including the hardware pieces.
Follow the directions on the can for drying times, and allow extra time if it's particularly humid out. You can check to see if the paint has fully dried by touch. If the paint feels at all sticky, let it sit for a few more hours.
Once your project has finished drying completely, you may reassemble the items and put them back to use. When finished stand back and admire your new and improved project pieces! You just saved a ton of money, and your visitors will be none the wiser!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Amy Leigh Brown, Przemysław Kozieł, www.shutterstock.com, and www.dreamstime.com