Tips for primer and spraypaint?

Hey all, I've got a bucket (my first) that's just finished the filling and sanding stage. I'm ready to prime and paint (using AFFO$ RotJ spraypaint list, layered paint job w/ masking fluid method) I just wanted to know if anyone has any tips for a guy who's never used spraypaint before. All tips are welcome, no matter how basic. Especially tips/tricks that have been learned "the hard way." Thanks. (...and I swear to god, I see it coming a mile away... If anyone plans to say: "You need to shake the can," don't bother! ;))


Sr Hunter
Well, after you shake the can. . . . . . . . . .


There are some things to keep in mind, though. The first is to be patient. Don't try to get 100% coverage with your "first pass." If you spray too heavy on the first coat, you could wind up with runs/drips, or an "orange peel" effect. If you haven't worked with spray paint before, I'd recommend investing a dollar or so on one of those plastic "for sale" signs you can get at Wal Mart or hardware stores. Practice on that first. Vary the speed of your pass, and the distance you hold the can from the surface, and see what the results are.

Try to use "similar" paints. Enamels with enamels. Or acrylics with acrylics. Sometimes, depending on what specific colors you're using, this isn't possible, but definitely make sure your undercoat is dry before spraying the next color over the top. I've ruined several projects by just being impatient and not waiting for the paint to fully cure.

I'm sure some other folks will post with some tips too.


Active Hunter
like jedi said, practice on some scraps of some sort to get the feel of it. also start spraying off the project then make ur pass over it and continue to spray off the other side as well, this helps to avoid those big blotches that cause messy puddles. aslo ur first coat of primer put on solid and you will see holes and any other imperfections that may need filling/fixing/sanding. ~then what ill do is use 100-150 grit to sand any bumps or putty spots that need it, then ill move onto 400p (automotive grade sandpaper) and gently wet-sand the whole bucket b4 i put my second coat or primer. ~ then ill take 800p and gently wet-sand the second coat as well, this gives u a real smooth surface!. and id let ur primer set a good couple days b4 moving on!~ next is ur basecoat of chrome/aluminum etc.... id do 2 coates of this as well. after ur first coat , wet-sand it like b4 w/ 800p and ur bucket will have a real nice surface to paint on, as well as a SOLID base id again let this set-up a couple days b4 moving on...... this pic is the same process i gave u above. hope i could help as well (y) :cheers :)



Active Hunter
Another great investment for the spray can enthusiast is one of the snap on spray can handles. It snaps into (or around) the collar around the nozzle. Makes it into a spray gun.

This helps to avoid paint curtains which can be caused by uneven pressure on the nozzle, your finger slightly overcropping the head of the nozzle, etc. etc.

I've had one for years and was one of the best investments I made for spray can purposes.

Located at Wally World. Usually right in with the spray paint section.
That all sounds really good. Lots of basic info not found in most corners of this board. I picked up one of those spray can handles, looks like it will work out great, also got some scraps to practice with. Now I'm just waiting for the weather to even out. It's been mid to upper 90s recently with high humidity. Not so good for spray painting as I understand it. Thanks guys!


Sr Hunter
Yeah, the temperature won't affect your paint as much as humidity will.
Jeez, I hate painting when it's humid!!!
Ok, I got the primer on great and got a coat or two of the rustoleum aluminium on over that. My next question is, does anyone recommend a clear coat on top of the aluminium? I would assume a gloss clear coat to maintain the metal look?

Oh, and one more thing, I noticed the can of clear coat I picked up clearly says "acrylic" on it. I know mixing acrylic and enamels is to be avoided. The other Krylon paints I have are the "interior-exterior" line, and the "satin" line. Are these enamels or acrylics? Will they be ok to combine with the acrylic clear coats?
Thanks again fellas!
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Well, it seems the Krylon color rattlecans I have are enamels. So it probably would cause some type of problem if I sprayed the acrylic clearcoat over the aluminium, and then an enamel paint over the clearcoat right?
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Sr Hunter
Jedi Ben, that's a reeeaally broad question. . .
Are you looking for info on different kinds of paint? Or the paint scheme for helmets from different movies?
Or even different painting techniques?
I just got done spray painting a clone trooper blaster for my daughter--just took one that was on the shelf and painted it--no modifications. I'm posting the pics, but I agree to use similar paints! I used Krylon Fusion for plastics, however, one was a hammered finish (the silver) and the gloss black I sprayed second didn't want to work too well with the silver, and I probably didn't give enough drying time. But, it works out well because I was going for the distressed look.



I have more at my photobucket--close-ups. It's still fully-funtional, and total cost was about $20. I know it's not Boba's rifle, but it was as close as I could get for now.


Active Hunter
Always have about 3 good coats of primer on your helmet. Wet sand it if you want a nice smooth finish. I use a sanding sponge so that it still has a tooth but is smooth.

You want to make sure and let your silver paint dry for a few days if you can. Then give it a gloss coat using Gloss Clear Coat enamel if your using enamel or gloss clear coat acrylic if your using acrylic. That will help the paint stick. Then give a day or 2 to dry. Then your ready to go nuts!