How to Paint a Variety of Surfaces With Spray Paint

See how HGTV designer Brian Patrick Flynn updated a dull workspace by spray painting metal, plastic and even fabric.

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Finished Product

If your home office needs a fresh new look, it’s time to break out the spray paint. It’s easier than ever to paint a variety of surfaces thanks to new paint formulas. The biggest challenge will be choosing a color from dozens of on-trend hues. You can even paint fabrics with the right product!

Metal Makeover

Chances are you have some metal pieces in your home office that deserve a makeover. In addition to setting up a properly protected and ventilated space to paint, you’ll want to do some prep on the surfaces you plan to paint, like remove the hardware or tape it off. Give the furniture a good scrubbing with an all-purpose cleaner and remove any rust with fine-grit sandpaper. Once the surface is clean and dust-free, prime it. You can buy a primer and paint combination to save time, but if you’re priming with a separate product, let it fully dry before you spray paint with color. Always use a light sweeping motion about 12 inches from the surface when painting. It’s better to do multiple light coats than one heavy coat that will cause drips. In other words, patience is key.

Pretty Plastic

Many paints are formulated for use on plastics. This sculptural chair got a new lease on life when it was painted a pretty nautical blue. Just make sure if you’re painting a chair you allow PLENTY of dry time in a space that’s not too cold, too hot or too humid BEFORE you actually sit in it! And if you plan on using that chair outdoors, finish it off with a clear coat spray for extra protection.

Vibrant Veneers

When you’re painting furniture with moving parts, like drawers or casters, preparation is really important. Be sure to tape off casters and cover internal ball bearing glides so that they stay free and clear of paint overspray. No one wants to deal with "sticky" drawers all day long. If your piece has a wood or plastic veneer, give it a light sanding and wipe down before you paint.

Fun Fabric

Even cushions and upholstery can be painted using specially formulated spray paints. This is a LOT more affordable than paying an upholsterer. Keep in mind, you’ll want to allow a few DAYS for the paint to properly dry (and cure), but that’s a small price to pay for a totally new look.

Accentuated Accessories

Adding a few playful stripes into the mix is as easy as peeling off some painter’s tape. Whether it’s a lamp, desk organizer or corkboard, stripes instantly punch up any decor. Tape off the stripes making sure to keep the exposed areas evenly spaced (or not, it’s up to you!), then paint away. Remove the painter’s tape while the spray paint is still a bit tacky to get a crisp, clean line.

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