Good preparation – good results

There are a number of things to consider when painting with spray cans. Here we explain what you need to do even before you remove the safety lock from the can.

Thorough cleaning is the foundation stone

Painting before you’ve removed rust or flaking paint? An absolute nono, because if you paint over grease or dirt, peeling layers of old paint or similar, you’ll just be wasting your time. The coat of paint won’t be able to hold, or will exhibit imperfections in its surface finish, such as small blobs, dust inclusions and irregularities in finish and texture. So first sand down thoroughly, then remove grease and dirt using suitable materials, e.g. water and/or silicone remover. Because even the adhesive tape won’t be able to hold if it is applied to soiled surfaces.

Masking, masking and masking

Because spray mist by its very nature spreads really well, careful masking is nearly half the job in itself. The fine aerosol particles are borne far away in the air, especially outdoors when there’s a bit of wind. In order to protect the environment, you need to mask extensively and tightly. Because the masking paper or film doesn’t hold in place by itself, choosing the correct adhesive tape is an important part of your preparations. There are various adhesive grades, as well as widths ranging from narrow to very wide, as well as special designs for pros. For example, if you want to avoid sharp edges in your car paintwork repair (see tip on next page), or actually want sharp edges, as is the case with lines and contours, you will need to use a special tape designed for the purpose. It’s even possible to make mistakes when masking. For example, if painter’s masking tape is stretched too much, it loses flexibility, which results in ‘bridges’ occurring, under which the paint runs. You should also not overlook the correct point to remove the adhesive tape. If the paint is still too wet, it will run; if it’s already too dry, the paint film will tear and the edge won’t be neat. Furthermore, to avoid damage occurring it should be removed evenly and not too quickly.

Pro masking tip

When carrying out spot repairs, the transitions from the old to the new coats must have soft edges. Special joint tape is available for this purpose, or you can use this technique: simply affix the paper wrong side up and then gently fold it back on itself so that it has a curved edge. Then fix down the part that is folded back on itself. 

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