I'm really bad at spray painting

I could use some tips. I bought a cheapie garden seat in white and I want to make it yellow, to match the trim on my drapes. It's ceramic. I think I'm supposed to use spray paint, right?

Unfortunately, every spray painting project I do turns out terribly. Sometimes, I have too heavy a hand and it drips. Sometimes, I go light and I never get the coverage I want. I know it's cold outside, so I've been keeping everything indoors, then moving outside quickly to put on a light coat of paint, then move everything back inside after the fumes go away and the paint dries a little bit.

Help me, paint gurus! Do you use spray paint? How many coats do you recommend? Do you use a different sort of paint with ceramic?


  1. I wouldn't consider myself an expert. But ever since I started reading blogs, I have done alot more spray painting as it seems everyone does it! I have had great success with Rustoleum Universal spray paint - it is supposed to stick to everything. I don't know if it comes in the yellow you are looking for. If you find a good primer, you may be able to use any kind of paint on it. Best advice, be patient (hard!) and do several light coats to avoid the drip. The cold weather is not your friend either. I find that reading ALL the directions on the can is helpful. Not my usual MO but it helped.
    Sorry, I said alot but probably didn't give you what you need! Hopefully a more expert spray painter will comment. :)

  2. I have found that the best way to spray paint just about anything is to place it in a box first. This you can do outside to avoid inhaling all the fumes. As your project is large, the bigger the box, the better! Michael's has a great selection of spray paints and I'm sure you will find one in the colour you need. Place your object in the box and use short bursts of spray. Rotate it slowly and make sure you keep the can at least 12 inches away from the object. This takes a bit of patience but it will be worth it in the end! The box acts as a barrier and stops all the paint from floating away, thus using much less paint. It will take a few coats for a good coverage but with this method you will avoid those awful drips. And don't forget to wear rubber gloves - spray paint is so hard to get out from under your nails! Good luck and I hope this helps.

  3. I mean the best thing when applying any type of paint to a non-wall surface, several light coats... I've done chairs that took 7 coats but now they don't chip, etc...

  4. What everyone else said is the method I use too. Short bursts, as many light coats as you can tolerate before your finger feels like its going to fall off.

    But every project Ive done has some drips too. Small ones but I've never been able to be perfect with it.

  5. When I spray a large item that will get a lot of 'touching' on it, I always use steel wool or fine sandpaper to rough it up, and a separate primer. BIN spray primer is great for odd surfaces like plastic, glass, tile, ceramic. Get yourself a 'trigger' for the spray paint, it is awesome. Several light coats is best, like the commenters have already said. Rustoleum Universal spray is the bomb, and it does come in yellow!

  6. I have spray painted a ceramic garden stool. I bought a black one, and used basic cream spray paint. The key for me is to spray lightly to avoid drips. Just takes maybe 3 or 4 coats. Worth it to go slow. It turned out great!


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