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Spray Paint Guide - Fundamentals

This guide is intended to teach beginners the fundamentals of spray painting. It provides all of the information you need to attempt your first project.

1. Starting at the beginning, we will show you the inner workings of a can so you know the very basics of what you're dealing with. Knowing how a can functions can increase its longevity and ultimately save you money. The most important thing to remember before using a can is to realise that it contains a host of different ingredients that will separate while rested. Shaking the can with vigour for at least a minute or two is an essential step that remixes the contents making it suitable for use again. Skipping this step can and will end up in poor results, from blotchy finishes, waste paint and propellant, unwanted splatter and generally undesirable outcomes.

2. Before you approach a new project, it is important to consider what type of surface you are going to be applying the paint to. Spray paint comes in a variety of types including numerous basecoat options called primers, each suited to a specific application. For the most part, primers are usually only required for porous surfaces such as concrete, wood, and also plastics if a drastic colour change is required (black to white etc.) The role of a primer is simply to create a basecoat that fills in small, usually unnoticeable dimples and crevasses in a surface. This drastically improves finished results, especially with wood as several layers of paint can be necessary to completely obscure the wood grain and ensure even colour without primer. Also, if wood is exposed to moisture, a thin layer of paint will still be water permeable resulting in warped parts, mildew, and dry rot. Primer adds to the waterproofing effect of the paint and is available in a spray range from Montana for plastics, Styrofoam, metal, and general surfaces. Typically a can of 400 ml paint will cover 8 -10 sq. ft. of a non-porous surface if used correctly.

3. Here at Fat Buddha we stock a full range of Montana spray paint including the Black, Gold, White and Chalk series. Each range has its own benefits and advantages while all giving long lasting professional results. For example, the Black series of spray paint has a high pressure output which results in paint being ejected from the nozzle much quicker than the Gold range. The Black series comes in 170 colours and is favoured by painters and crafters for its flat, matt finish, Plus, if you are confident at working at a rapid pace, this is ideal for covering large areas at once but not recommended for small, home D.I.Y projects like painting picture frames or vases. 

The Gold range comes in 204 colours, has a flat, matt finish, and consists of low pressure cans that are a huge benefit to both beginners and to those wanting to paint smaller items (like the ones previously mentioned). The White range delivers a glossy finish for those that desire so, available in a variety of 51 colours and uses a high pressure system for faster application. 

The Chalk series is ideal for temporary outdoor marking as well as indoor studio artwork. It is made from a high quality eco-friendly chalk-based pigment that lasts between several days to several weeks depending on weather conditions and climate. Like the Black and Gold series, the colour is matte, high covering and can be made permanent if desired by sealing with a varnish. These chalk spray paints work well on canvas, wood and walls as well as many other primed grounds due to the wide coverage.

4. Another important aspect to think about when using spray paint is the cap that comes with each can. Each cap produces different results including widths and softness. We currently stock a full collection of Montana caps ranging from ultra-skinny level 1s that produce lines between 0.16" to 0.8", to level 6 ultra-fat caps that unleash an average spray width of 2" to a huge 9.8", best suited to huge areas. Each range comes with a standard cap that produces an average spray width of around .4” – 1” depending on distance from your project. 
When using fatter caps, especially with a high pressure can, it is important to remember that the rate at which the paint leaves the can is very high and will therefore last considerably less than a skinnier cap.
Pro tip: It is usually a good idea to create a sample patch before you begin your project to give you a better idea of the finished result. This also gives a first time user a better understanding about how the can operates.