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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

08.27.2001

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say it with Spraypaint 
by Gretchen Schaefer |
1 2 3 4 
continued from page 1

But I donít have a workshop! Spray paint is messy, right? No workshop, no problem! Head outdoors. When you paint outside, you want to be cautious of the three Wís: Where, Weather, and Wind.

Where : Donít spray in the direction of any fixed object -- a house, car, fence, or tree for example. The farther away you are from a stationary object, the less the chance of spray residue getting where it shouldnít be. Also, be careful of the ground cover. For smaller objects, like the frames weíve worked on here, recycle a cardboard box and use it to protect your surroundings from paint. An empty box upside down makes a great table-like space to paint anything that has sides, while placing flat objects (in this case, glass, or easel backs) inside the box works great to limit the residue risk. For larger objects, a dropcloth will keep the ground paint free. Whatever you do, donít paint indoors. A well-ventilated workshop area would work okay, but your windowless bathroom would most definitely not.

Weather: If youíre painting outside, donít paint when itís raining. Thatís obvious, but if wet weather is predicted, make sure you have at least 45 minutes of dry weather to allow the paint to dry properly. Also, humidity can cause paint to dry more slowly.

Wind: Paint in the direction of the wind. Instead of walking around the object being painted, turn the object itself to reach all sides. If itís particularly windy, and there is a high content of dust or grass in the air, painting the object in the cardboard box will reduce the chances of all that unwanted debris getting dried into the paint.

As long as you follow the three Wís, the only thing you MIGHT inadvertently get paint on is your index finger. If thatís more messiness than you can handle, use some latex gloves, or pick up a spray can trigger at the home improvement store (about three dollars.) For larger projects, I like a trigger, but for frames, I go commando.

The best thing about spray paint is that when youíre done painting, there are no brushes to rinse, no paint to dispose of, no trays to clean. You donít even need to change into painting clothes, although I wouldnít recommend wearing your wedding dress to paint, just in case.

more great tips this way ...

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