Spray Paint Tips for Graffiti

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Spray painting is usually not the first paint method option for a graffiti artist, according to the website Libcom, yet it has advantages. Although spray paint can be toxic and harmful to your health over long periods if no safety precautions are applied, spray paint is also great for a quick, even first coat of paint and is ideal for stencils. Don't graffiti in places that are considered illegal, however. Try out spray painting on safe surfaces, such as the walls of a well-ventilated house or a large canvas.

Brands

  • Although you can use just about any brand of spray paint out there, there are a few specialty brands preferred by graffiti artists. Brands found in Walmart or hardware stores are good for someone just starting out, despite a cheaper brand's tendency to be runny or blotchy. Once you get into more expert graffiti projects, such as stenciling, the need for higher-end, specialized paints may be necessary. The three top graffiti brands are Spanish Montana, Montana Gold and Belton. There is little difference between the brands and are they are often chosen based on personal preference, according to the Romanian Graffiti website; although the values and pressure system of Montana Gold is deemed better than Spanish Montana, the latter is considered better quality paint and is cheaper. Belton and Montana Gold are more expensive brands, yet may be preferred by some graffiti artists.

Safety

  • The major problems with using spray paint are toxic paint fumes and a bottle that can't be recycled after use. Wear a mask to protect your nose and mouth, especially if you plan on graffiting for long periods of time. A suitable face mask will have a dual filter -- the outside filter for dust contaminants, the inner filter to block noxious fumes. These masks are usually made of rubber, latex or plastic and should wrap around your head tightly enough that you can breath only through the mask itself. The inner filters may need to be changed once a year, depending on the frequency of use.

Nozzles / Caps

  • Having the right nozzles for your spray can is vital for graffiti; otherwise, you can't use the spray can at all. The two basic types of nozzles for graffiti are coined "fat" and "skinny." Have several of each kind on you while graffiting. Try on the nozzles on the spray can before going out to graffiti, as certain types of nozzles may only work on certain types of spray bottles. Clean a nozzle out by holding the bottle upside down and spraying until only gas comes out. You may prefer blowing through the nozzle, but the paint will end up on your lips, which can be hazardous to your health.

Stenciling

  • If stenciling on a wall or upright surface, use masking tape or bring along a can of adhesive spray to keep the stencil on. Use a light coat of adhesive spray on the back of the stencil and leave on to dry for three minutes before sticking the stencil on the wall. To paint, hold the can about 9 inches away and apply a light coat. Avoid a heavy coat at first, as it can make the paint run. Make sure the spray doesn't go around the stencil. If the spray goes under the stencil, it means the stencil is not adhered well enough.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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