How often do you buy a product and the only instructions on it are to ‘shake well’? Spray paint is one of those products. Some brands do give a little more detail by saying ‘shake for 1-2 minutes’? Definitely helpful.
But, do you really need to shake the can that long? And what is the ideal length of time to shake a can of spray paint?
I did a quick experiment to determine how long you really need to shake a can of spray paint in order to get the best quality coverage with the least amount of shaking.
Here is the set up for our unscientifically scientific experiment to determine how long you REALLY need to shake a can of spray paint for.
First, I purchased three different types of spray paint that are the combination paint and primer in one. The three brands were Krylon, Rust-oleum, and Ace, all very common brands that you can find at your local hardware store. In order to avoid any possible shaking or mixing of the paint either in the hardware store or on the ride home, I let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours before conducting our experiment.
Next, it was time to prepare the wood. Three pieces of wood were prepared, one for each brand of paint we purchased. The wood was then divided into six sections with painters tape in equal intervals across the board. Each of these sections represent one of the durations of times shaken. Two screws were drilled into the back of each piece of wood, one on either side of the board to help stabilize them as we painted.
Third, I prepared the workspace. I clamped the fourth board to the workbench on which I will be painting. The screws on the back of each of the test boards will hook onto the fourth board so they all will sit the exact same while being painted. The board clamped to the workbench was set back six inches off the edge to make sure the distance of the paint can was the same for each test.
Now, I am ready to paint! Two coats of paint were used for each of the time increments. Due to the short time span between coats, the cans were not re-shaken for the second coat. The time increments we will use is: not shaken at all, 5 seconds, 10 seconds (total of 15 seconds shaken), 15 seconds (total of 30 seconds shaken), 30 seconds (total of 60 seconds shaken or 1 minute), and 60 seconds (total of 120 seconds or 2 minutes shaken).
Instead of walking you through every single time increment for each brand of paint, I made a chart to show you the time increment and quality of the applied paint after two coats for each of the brands.
According to our unscientifically scientific experiment, 5 seconds appears to be plenty of time to get a quality coverage of paint for your project.
There was one surprise finding from the experiment. Though I personally tend to prefer Rust-oleum, the Ace brand actually had the most solid coverage with very few streaks.
I hope you enjoyed going on this spray paint adventure with me.