Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spray Painting Tutorial and Preventing Clogging Concerns

Since constructing dios (short term for diorama) mostly requires painting, I have decided to share the basics (and where I learn the whole spray painting techniques) and how to preserve the life of your spray cans!!!

Yup. Because I've read countless complaints and inquiries from blogsites about their spray cans getting clogged or doesn't spray anymore but are sure as hell that it still isn't empty (which can happen by the way, to either Tamiya, Bosny, Rj or whatever spray can brand you are using). Now, a single Bosny Spray can contains 400cc which is equivalent to more or less 400ml, and whether it's diorama painting or gunpla painting - WE NEED TO CONSERVE PAINT! and to prevent you from buying new ones every now and then from the hardware or at malls which costs too much and is such a hassle going in and out of the house buying spray cans after every few days -  I have come to make my share of how I preserve my cans.

First up, I'm going to share how I have come to learn to paint using spray cans.

There was this guy from a forum at gundamph (I do not know his name and whereabouts) who made a compilation of a set of videos from youtube about spray painting which I personally recommend to all newbies to watch as there are different techniques of how to use spray cans.

For a quick summary, he invented spray painting terms and called it Spray Can Jutsu (which by the way, he claims has Naruto influence in it; "Jutsu" means "Technique" so translated it means "Spray Can Technique"). 

He compiled 3 types of Spray Can Jutsu:

1. TAEJUTSU - which basically means Trial and Error Jutsu and will be the first stepping stone of all newbies to spray painting. What is important at this point is to learn and control 3 main things: Distance, Pressure and Time. Distance of the spray can from the object which I believe is 9-12cm, Pressure - You need to control how you're going to push the spray paint nozzle, do you need short bursts or few long touches - it will all depend on what you are painting and lastly Time - how long is your drying time, is it good to spray at 10am, 12 noon or 5pm? and let me add one last thing, Weather - it is very important to keep track of the weather (Do not paint on a rainy or cold day especially with topcoats as they tend to form foams on whatever you are spraying), a hot dry weather is very ideal for painting.

2. Veknique - Jutsu named from Vektar. The idea is to arrange the pieces in rows then spray on them, let dry then do the other side.

3. Gayflick or PisikJutsu - this where you skewer a piece using a barbecue stick then mildly spray on the piece until you get the desired result.

I recommend all to visit this site as it is very informative and funny, the language is in Filipino but if you are foreign then read my summary and ask me questions about the jutsus I'd be happy to answer your queries.

This is the site:

Assuming that you now know the techniques, we move on to:

Preserving the Life of a Spray Can

Please be aware that I will use industrial paints throughout this blog as I've intended this blog to be consumer-friendly, or for those who like spray painting but doesn't have much means to support it. 

Okay, so assuming you just finished painting some pieces or parts of crap that needed your godly attention and will not temporarily use your paint for a couple of hours.

Just turn the spray can upside down and spray for a few seconds just to let go of the paint left at the stem, clean the nozzle (while the can is upside down), put the cap back on and store for the meantime. 

I just saw this hilarious picture at the net, the person isn't even using a spray can but oh well, this is more or less how you'd do it and this picture is way better than mine. It's just that you have also the option of spraying paint at your beer. (I'm curious - is that insecticide he's spraying at the beer?)

So, just this type of treatment to my cans have ensured them of preservation. But others have other means which you might want to consider such as turning the can upside down, spraying for a few seconds, cleaning the nozzle, REMOVING THE NOZZLE, putting the cap back on and store.

As for myself, I'm all ok with the first 3 steps I've shown above, they've all worked for me, but if you'd want some more assurance of can preservation then you may also want to remove the nozzle then store.

Now, for Spray Can UNCLOGGING:

Many among us, I'm sure that we have all experienced spray can clogging and it's extremely frustrating especially if you have just bought a new can, sprayed it for a few minutes, left it somewhere and surprised that it doesn't work or is spraying too little paint.

A temporary solution for this if you are still painting and you can't leave it as is because some parts are already painted, just rotate the nozzle and spray for a few seconds, rotate and spray until you've found the spot where it turns back to normal.

Now if you have a harder problem than the one above then:
For this, just remove the nozzle and put some thinner on the back side of the nozzle for a few minutes, then brush the nozzle using an old toothbrush or your own - there might just be some dried paint inside the nozzle that needs to be removed.

If this still doesn't work or you know that there are dried paint at the spray stem just remove the nozzle and put some thinner inside the stem, leave for a few minutes then shake the can or if you have a stick which is thin enough to go far down the can then poke it. 

Spray Can Myths:

I've read quite a lot about others poking a hole at the bottom of the can - I haven't tried it yet but I may not recommend it as it might destroy the pressure inside the can. Besides, spray cans are made fully sealed with the nozzle being the only hole and if you poke a hole at the bottom that might destroy the function of the nozzle.

Putting the spray can on hot or boiling water - I don't know if I'd consider this a myth. There are people who puts their spray cans on hot water before spraying - especially with topcoats. The reason is that the paint molecules inside the can will disperse in a much more finer burst when sprayed - which might be critical when topcoating. I haven't tried this process yet, but many will come and make their own testimonies out of it. I'm not an all-out expert (I actually believe I am a newbie) on this but if this you have tried this process then please comment and share your story, I'd be happy to read it.

If you have other myths to share, suggestions or questions, just post a comment below and I'd be happy to read and answer all your shares.

Well, this concludes another part of my blog.
So, Until My NEXT POST!!!


  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial.I'm new to spray painting.

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