How Do I Get an Even High-Gloss Finish When Painting With Cans of Spray Paint?

Getting an even finish when applying high-gloss paint requires preparing the surface properly and using the right painting technique. The surface should be clean and free from dust and oils. Sanding the material roughens the surface which helps the paint to adhere better. Choose the proper sandpaper grit for the material since wood requires a different grit than, for example, metal. Priming the surface before painting creates a smoother base and also helps the paint to coat evenly. The next step in achieving a professional high-gloss look involves using the proper painting technique.

  1. Put on protective gloves and shake the can well. Shaking the can mixes the pigment so that the color will be uniform throughout.

  2. Using a sweeping motion, spray some paint on a piece of newspaper or scrap cardboard. This will help you to get a feel for how much pressure to use when holding the button, also allowing you to see how much paint is dispersed.

  3. Follow the directions on the can for information on spraying distance. If you are too close, too much paint will be applied; too far, and paint will be wasted before it hits the surface.

  4. Spray a test area. Choose an inconspicuous area of the object to be painted and spray it to check for color and coverage.

  5. Apply paint by moving the can up and down and from side to side in a sweeping motion. Keep the can moving to avoid overspraying one section.

  6. Shake the can occasionally to keep the paint well-mixed. The instructions on the can will advise you on how often the can should be shaken.

  7. Spray one thin coat over the entire surface of the object and allow it to dry for the time recommended by the manufacturer before applying additional coats.


  • Use spray paint outdoors whenever possible. If painting indoors, make sure the area is well-ventilated and use a respirator mask.
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