How to spray paint without making a mess

Spray painting without mess using a cardboard box

We found some great picture frames at a garage sale along with some monogram letters and needed to paint them all white for a decorating project we’re working on. We found out that it is actually possible to get through spray painting without mess.

We used cardboard boxes big enough to house our treasures so that we could paint everything all at once. If you attempt this project, make sure the bottom of the boxes are well taped so that the paint doesn’t spray out the bottoms — you certainly don’t want to paint your floor!

We spray painted our objects outside using quick drying flat white paint for exterior and/or interior projects. If you’re painting inside, make sure you do so in a well ventilated area or in a space with open windows.

Shake the can well before starting and test the color on the inside of the box before spraying your objects. This step will help you confirm that you have the right color. Getting the wrong shade isn’t so bad if you’re painting with white, but could be a different story if using bright colors.

If two coats are needed, do a light coat first, dry and then do the second coat — spraying a thick layer to avoid a second coat might ruin your project, as the paint might accumulate in some spots. Since the paint dries quickly, giving a second coat is not much more work and you’ll end up with better results.

In the box above, we had smaller frames that we were able to spray paint straight onto. The frame below was slightly larger than the other ones and needed to be propped up so we could catch all the nooks and crannies.

Spray paint - LT painting

Although we used quick-drying spray paint, we brought the boxes inside and used a fan to speed up to drying process. It worked extremely well.

Spray paint - fan drying frames

Ta-da! We love the frames all transformed in white and used them in a Shabby Chic DIY project.  Have a look; you’ll love it!

Spray paint feature image

Liette Tousignant

Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating


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