A Spray Paint Pick-Me-Up

With lots of projects in motion, do you ever feel like you just aren’t accomplishing anything? “That’s me, that’s me!” I admit… I love lists and crossing things off. But, with the Aging Forest walls in our office, the Master bedroom folding door & two furniture pieces, nothing is coming of my list. I need something to finish and fast! Sounds like a perfect Spray Paint Pick-Me-Up moment!

Don’t forget the small stuff

spray paint room accessories light swtiches light fixutres
Original room accessories in need of a makeover

When renovating a space, there’s always those little things that go back into the room but don’t necessarily belong anymore. I like to put light fixtures and electrical face-plates in this category. You have to cover back up your electrical outlets, but what if they clash with your new design? And what about those light fixtures? While you can always buy new ones or make your own, with so many simultaneous projects, why not just spruce up what you already have? I took my own advice & decided to do a little ‘fast-refinish’ to complete these finishing touches and cross something off my list!

Spray ’em!

I know what you’re thinking… “How can you spray paint something when you’re supposed to be a faux finish artist?” Let’s be honest here. Not everything needs to be revolutionized with stone or plaster to make it awesome. Simple accessories can receive a quick once-over and look amazing. Not every project needs to take a lot of time to be worthy of your design. Light fixtures and outlet covers are the perfect pieces for a little effort and some spray paint. While I’m not completing a complex treatment on these, I still follow a strict process for prep. Regardless of your final look, NEVER skip the prep!

It all starts with prep

I decided to spray paint two light fixtures and all the outlet covers. They are all different surfaces with some metal, others plastic and even a few wood pieces. Don’t think for a second they don’t ALL need prep before spraying. What is most important is to ensure the surfaces will allow maximum adhesion of the spray paint so you don’t have any chipping later on. These are going to get touched a lot, so the better the prep – the better you’re chances of no knicks! I have more steps for prepping than even the painting part, but they are easy so NO skipping them.

  1. spray paint primetch primer tooth for painting prep
    Worried about adhesion? Prep with PrimEtch.

    Clean all surfaces so there is no grime or grease present. I always try soap & water first, but if that doesn’t work, you can try something stronger like mineral spirits or denatured alcohol.

  2. After drying, a little sandpaper can help create some ‘tooth’ on the surface especially if there is some sort of shiny top coat. I scuff the wood, metal and plastic pieces all the same.
  3. Since I am always worried about adhesion (and I don’t want to be ‘so careful’ with these when they’re installed), I apply a single coat of PrimEtch™ to everything just to be safe. PrimEtch™ is a great water-based coating designed for hard to paint surfaces like ceramic tile and glass. You can really paint it on anything you are unsure about to give you that extra grit needed when re-finishing. Don’t get impatient… always follow dry time recommendations.

Let’s get painting

  1. spray paint primer painting prep
    Dark primer helps even the finish

    Since the spray paint color I chose is a dark-brown speckled stone finish, I painted all the items with a dark brown primer first so I can better control the consistency of the outcome. With some pieces starting out white, others metal and some wood, I want everything on the same color spectrum before spraying. One coat of primer will do wonders for that final spray coat. Consider adding this step to your project. You’ll appreciate it.

  2. After the primer is dry, it’s time to spray! I never spray paint in my studio so I picked a nice sunny day to set up outside. Since everything is primed a darker color, I only need two coats for full, even coverage. I used Rust-oleum® Multicolor textured spray as I love the feel and depth it creates.
  3. Once everything is dry, you’re done! If you want a more shiny look or just an additional protective layer, I’ve used a Minwax Polycrylic Satin finish over spray paint in other projects. If you remember, I did this for the carpet transitions and it really added a nice finished look. It’s up to you!

Install & enjoy!

There’s only one thing left to do… install and enjoy! What started out as dated, ugly room accessories now compliment the spaces with that finishing touch. I may someday switch them out for something else, but for now, reusing what we already had is just what our design needed for the next step in our renovation progress.

spray paint finished fixtures light swtiches outlet plugs

We say it all the time – at nluv Finish and Design Studio we love to reuse those things we already have. Before you decide to throw something away, give it a chance with a makeover and see if it can work for you too!

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