Can I Apply Spray Paint with a Brush? (With Pros & Cons)

applying spray paint with a brush?

Many times, DIYers wonder if they can use a paintbrush to apply the spray paint that comes in aerosol bottles or cans.

Why? This can be for many reasons. Maybe your spray can nozzle is not spraying the paint correctly, the paint in your old aerosol can has dried partially from the inside, or you are just trying to avoid oversprays and the mess it can create.

The simple answer is yes; you can use your natural bristles paintbrush to apply spray paint. This is, in fact, an excellent option for those who would need to have better control over the outcome without worrying about oversprays.

But there are a few things to consider when using this method. In this today’s blog, I will show you exactly how you should do that. And with that, I will follow up with some exciting tips on using spray paint efficiently with a paintbrush along with its pros and cons.

So, let’s dive into the steps with the first basic thing you need to do…

Decanting Spray Paint to Use with Brush

To apply the spray paint with a brush, you must first pour it out so that it can be used easily. There are several ways to decan or transfer the spray paint to another can.

The method you use will depend on:

  • the quantity of paint you require
  • the condition of the paint in the can
  • the working condition of the can’s nozzle

Firstly, to drain out the wet usable paint in small quantities (for a small craft or decorative project), you can simply open the can’s cap and spritz as much paint as required for the project inside of it.

Secondly, if the paint has partially dried inside or the nozzle is not working, you can use a small glass jar with a lid to decant the paint.

Cut the aerosol can from the middle (like shown in the video here) and pour the required amount of paint inside the jar, making sure not to overfill it. Doing so will make it difficult to tighten the lid back on the jar.

Third, if the nozzle of your spray paint can is in working condition and you need to pour enough paint into the bottle or container, you can use a straw method.

  1. Cut the drinking straw in half with a scissor.
  2. Using a hot glue gun, stick one end of the straw with the nozzle
  3. Shake the spray paint can and put the other open end of the straw inside the bottle
  4. Spray to empty the paint inside the bottle.

Here is a quick video for this decanting method if you want to refer.

TIP: Try using a syringe (instead of a straw) if you don’t find the straw working. It will also give you better control over the paint flow for decanting purposes.

Also, consider covering the work area with cardboard or a drop cloth to save it from spills if it happens accidentally.

Using the Spray Paint with Your Paintbrush

Now once the spray paint is ready in the cup or bottle, take a 2-inch or 3-inch brush and dip it into the paint and start painting the surface of the object from the middle, spreading the paint towards the outer area with even strokes.

If you are painting an object with intricate details, use a smaller brush, like 1 inch or so to get better control over your paint project.

Make sure to wipe off the excess paint from the brush before you start painting. Use even strokes while painting and avoid going over the same area multiple times, as it will cause the paint to build up and will also make the bristles splay out.

When using spray paint with a brush, it is best to work in small sections to ensure that the paint does not dry before you finish painting the entire object. Once you are done with one section, move on to the next and continue painting until the entire object is painted. Finally, let the paint dry before moving on to the next coat or proceeding with the project.

Remember working with spray paints can turn out to be extremely hazardous because of the VOCs it contains. So it’s good to work only in a well-ventilated area while wearing a face mask.

Using Spray Paint with A Brush – Pros and Cons

There are several compelling reasons why you should consider using a brush when applying spray paints. Some of them are:

  • It’s easier to control the brush than simply spraying it from the can.
  • Brushing evenly with the spray paint ensures exceptional adhesion on the substrate.
  • Brushes allow for more intricate detail work that would otherwise be impossible with spray cans alone.
  • Using a small brush helps you in applying the paint even on the trickiest areas and if used with a combination of the sprayer it helps achieve finer results.

Despite the manifold advantages of using your oil-based and latex-based spray paints with a brush, there are some drawbacks associated with this practice. Here are several of these potential issues to consider before you begin.

  • You will need to buy extra paintbrushes.
  • Not all types of spray paints can be used with brushes.
  • Brushing will require certain skills and if not done correctly can leave brush marks.

Above all, after you finish the painting project, a thorough cleanup is essential. This means removing any lingering spray paint from surfaces and cleaning the brushes (unless you used disposable brushes) which will take some extra time and effort.

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