Spray Painting (Almost) Anything!

I love, love, love spray painting! It's a quick and easy way to transform (nearly) anything to fit your color/theme and create something fabulous. I really like using Rust-oleum 2X Extra Coat. Rust-oleum offers great colors (along with other items, like glitter spray), the nozzle head is wider and more comfortable to use than some others, the coverage is really great, and a can is generally under $4 at Home Depot. Just follow the directions provided, and you're sure to get great results in about 20 minutes (such quick drying time!). Generally, I like to use two thin coats on items to get the best coverage.

Apart from the spray paint, invest in a canvas/painters tarp, a box of disposable gloves, and a mask meant to protect you from spray-paint fumes. More than once, I've mistakenly spray painted my feet or shoes, so you might also think about getting painter's shoe covers. Then, all you need to do is find something to paint!

I love to buy old and/or ugly frames from second-hand shops like Good Will or Salvation Army (or just pillage the old ones hiding in my garage). For about $5-$10, you're sure to find some large and/or ornate frames that you can turn from ugly to fabulous in minutes! You can put aside the glass, backing, etc. and simply use the painted frames for decor or photo opportunities. But save the glass/backing in case you'd like to use the frame to actually frame photos, etc. in the future. You could also paint the glass with chalkboard spray paint (yes, that exists!) and create a framed feature board for the party (more on this to come).

Aqua is my favorite color to use on frames and other items I paint.  It coordinates with pink or purple for a more girly party or red or orange for a more boyish party. I use frames this color (including with chalkboards) for almost every party!

Aqua is my favorite color to use on frames and other items I paint.  It coordinates with pink or purple for a more girly party or red or orange for a more boyish party. I use frames this color (including with chalkboards) for almost every party!

Here's an example of painted frames being used as decor for the  Arty Party !

Here's an example of painted frames being used as decor for the Arty Party!

Spray paint also easily transforms larger items -- like carboard boxes.  While a good old paint bucket and brush would also do the job, I like using spray paint and find it to be fairly affordable for big jobs too.  It also easily gets into nooks and crannies -- like on the robots below!

I used spray paint to make the blue and black buildings. These were large, sturdy boxes I found on the side of the road. With a little spray paint and some Post-It Notes, they were transformed for the  Superhero Party .

I used spray paint to make the blue and black buildings. These were large, sturdy boxes I found on the side of the road. With a little spray paint and some Post-It Notes, they were transformed for the Superhero Party.

Making these robots was a blast. I purchased some large moving boxes from Home Depot and then added some smaller boxes we had saved, along with some dryer duct.  Some silver metallic spray paint, colored paper, and other bits and bobs were all this robot needed for the  Robot Party !

Making these robots was a blast. I purchased some large moving boxes from Home Depot and then added some smaller boxes we had saved, along with some dryer duct.  Some silver metallic spray paint, colored paper, and other bits and bobs were all this robot needed for the Robot Party!

The benefits of spray paint really come through when you need to paint tricky pieces or a bunch of smaller items. I generally use spray paint, for example, when I need to paint containers for a party (for candles, centerpieces, etc.) or dowels (for signs, etc.).

For Kate's upcoming Pokemon party, I decided to paint ping pong balls to look like Pokeballs (which are half white and, usually, half red), an idea I had seen on Pinterest. I purchased 144 balls for about $8 on Amazon and then felt the need to paint them all! I started by using a brush and some acrylic paint and just painted away without any taping. This worked fine until I put the ball down, it rolled over, and the paint smudged. Once I realized that I'd probably need to use some painter's tape regardless of the type of painting method I used (just so the ball would stay upright), I decided that I would spray paint the balls in one big bunch. So I taped half of each ball, stuck it to my tarp, and spray painted away! The painting part was easy and the coverage was better than with a brush. Once of the great pluses about spray paint is that there are no brush stroke lines.

Here are my ping pong balls -- all ready for paint!

Here are my ping pong balls -- all ready for paint!

Here I am painting the balls (and trying not to get paint on my feet). The balls needed a couple of coats, and I tried to view/spray them on all sides to ensure great coverage.

Here I am painting the balls (and trying not to get paint on my feet). The balls needed a couple of coats, and I tried to view/spray them on all sides to ensure great coverage.

Here's the finished product!! After removing the tape, I added a black line and button with a black Sharpie.

Here's the finished product!! After removing the tape, I added a black line and button with a black Sharpie.

All of this taping, painting, un-taping, marking the center line and dot with a Sharpie, etc., took about three hours total for all 144 balls! But that wasn't because I chose the spray paint route. If anything, that saved time.

At this point, my plan is to use these super cute Pokeballs for a game where the kids throw the balls into some container, like a pail, and I intend to call it something like "train your pokemon." We'll see -- if the kids love it, it will have been worth it.  And it wasn't costly, so that's good.

One last look!

One last look!

I love spray paint so much that, in addition to spray painting items for parties, I spray things around my home.  Recently, I spruced up our old patio chairs with some blue spray paint (this took about a 1/2 hour instead of the much longer amount of time this would have taken if I was using a brush) and our old metal screen door with some purple spray paint. I love the results! I hope they inspire you as well.

Here are the chairs! I painted them about three years ago and then recently gave them an extra coat to spruce them up.

Here are the chairs! I painted them about three years ago and then recently gave them an extra coat to spruce them up.

And finally, here's the old metal screen door made new again!

And finally, here's the old metal screen door made new again!

Happy spray painting, all!