First Experiences…something inside churned and asked to pick up that can of spray paint
Actually, my car’s paint job was rushed and a horrible one. I had to use my leftover black paint to complete it and add some luster to the surface. The feeling was rather good. You see, spray painting can be very liberating. You need to get the flow right to ensure that the hand movement is controlled. The flow should be from east coast to west coast or sideways, swaying like an enthusiastic pendulum rather than in jerks. Once mastered, spray painting is about rhythm. It is almost like a choreographed movement, given that the nearby neighbors aren’t ogling you. The results are almost immediate, as impressive as brush painting but there is something about the misting effect that is more fun than witnessing the strains created by the brushed strokes slowly dry. So, in the aftermath of spray painting my car’s bumper in lustrous Black, I was keen to explore more applications of spray painting. The immediate guinea pigs were the planters.
A few home objects had to be sacrificed to play the game…HHH Relax!
A couple of our planters were aging and one had not taken a liking to being brush painted. This bugger had started peeling away the layers of paint I had applied with such effort. Now, when I emphasize on the effort bit, you have to understand that for someone as anxious and knee-jerky as me, the amount of prepping needed to start and sanely wrap-up a DIY project is a big challenge…a HUGE one actually! The prepping is everywhere, whether you are spray painting, brush painting, or doing a mosaic tile project—yes, the latter has been a success. Now, coming back to the painting gig and the stories associated with it.
Learn from the spray painting crimes I continue to commit despite being playing Cop to my own Mind
As usual, my spray painting journey included some home supplies and stuff I bought from Amazon. The idea was to put together things humbly, without spending too much, without stepping over the reasonable man’s line. However, am not a reasonable man—a man for sure, am not your average handyman. The first three cans of spray paint I bought were branded and priced higher than the cheaper spray cans that are being kicked around in car accessory stores. My wife reminded me about checking the reckless tendencies and not overdoing it. However, as things unrolled, it was clear, that I had transgressed by quite a bit and my misdemeanors should be accounted for and shared with the world—not as a fuel for passing a judgment, but to correct any spray painting projects that are lined-up in someone’s mind.
There is Zit in the details, spray painting is about doing lesser, repeatedly…
The biggest rule of spray painting is being patient. Don’t try it on days you feel like punching someone. This is not the gymming haven and it is not about outright creativity. You need to bring some sanity to it and it happens at two levels. For starters, the pressure on the spraying knob has to be gentle. A strong spray means there are more chances of the paint being over applied and dripping. A weak spray means the paint might still drip and some paint might leak from the cavity around and inside the knob itself. You have to find that sweet middle spot. A pressure point that is easy to maintain. This needs practice. So, you shouldn’t start with the more expensive paint cans. Try the cheaper bit and get your technique right first. The spray patterns tell you a lot about how you are going about the job. You have to correct the spray pattern even if you are nearing the expert level. The next bit of patience lies within applying the first layer.
The layers of wisdom that the Donkey couldn’t understand!
This has to be the most critical bit. Actually, it is two layers but when done quickly, it seems like one, unified spray job. The first spraying has to be very controlled and minimal. The first few layers are a reality-check and the prepping rolled into one. This is not about 100% coverage. This is not about painting excellence. Here, you are basically prepping the surface. You are positioning it for more success as you apply more layers. And this is where the magic likes — LAYERS. Yes, the Donkey in Shrek did not understand the layers our beloved Ogre was talking about but take it from this ogre, who is keyboarding this wisdom — spray painting is about having the patience to apply thin, the minutest-ever layers and allowing each sprayed layer to dry-up.
Trigger happy habits? Try spray painting to regain control!
And this is where the mind-game lies in spray painting. The entire thing will seem like a small trigger to you that is hard to resist when you are doing it for the first time. Your spontaneity will take over. You will want to spray again and again, relentlessly, perhaps as unrelenting as Phelps. This is where the big pitfall in spray painting lies. You have to wait-out the first two layers for at least an hour. You have to move yourself away from the crime scene and return to it only when the evidence has dried. This is critical for prepping the surface for a good paint job and to ensure that the desired color contrast is created. Even when you have the freedom of applying more layers set apart by smaller periods, you have to overcome the urge to revisit that tiny, almost microscopic fracture-like line that only your eye can see. Trying to spot spray crevices can wreck everything!
I am a small, small MAN with a spray paint CAN…actually that rhymes!
For an anxious mind like me, spray painting opens this can of must-go-on instincts. For a few moments, I cannot help but keep spraying. I realize the downside of overdoing it but the entire game is so easy, there is so much momentum to it that I don’t want to take my finger off the trigger nozzle. This has been my learning experience and that is why I said that spray painting can be about challenging your mind. It needs you to do the minimal, break-away, revisit, repeat, and apply infinite layers with the perseverance of a monk!
Follow-up to this discussion will include:
Images of the objects that benefited from my over-zealousness
More from my world of exercising control when the natural instincts tell you to Let Go…