Spray Painting Tips For Graffiti Artists – Let Art Speak

pexels felicity tai 7951969 Spray Painting Tips For Graffiti Artists - Let Art Speak

Tired of applying the same solid paint coats each year? So was I. That is exactly when I decided to flip off the brush and the rollers and pick up cans of spray paints in my favorite color. This spontaneous decision was one of my best painting decisions. I couldn’t believe my hands were capable of the magic my walls carry today.

Here are some essential tips: Choose high-quality spray paint cans with a variety of colors. Shake the can vigorously before use and test the nozzle’s spray pattern. Maintain a consistent distance from the surface for even coverage, usually around 8-12 inches. Control the pressure on the nozzle to adjust the line thickness. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area, wear protective gear, and respect local laws and property.

Even since then, I’ve been getting compliments on how the exterior walls look. Many people inquired about the artist I hired to get such a wonderful job done. If you want your graffiti to turn out just perfect, here are a few tips you can benefit from. They all come from my personal experience and work like a charm.

Let’s get started!

The DosThe Don,ts
Plan before you startDo not paint if it’s hot outside
Cover your surroundings before you beginDon’t forget to shake the can
Spray beyond the edgesDon’t forget to prep and prime
Keep your distance maintained from the wallDo not graffiti indoors
Hold the can firmlyDon’t restrict your movement to the hands
Spray lightlyDo not break the laws
Use a skinny cap if you’re not so confidentDon’t forget to wear your safety gear
The Dos and Don’ts for Graffiti

Plan before you start

Having a rough draft drawn out on paper can help you execute your design better. Even though graffiti is freestyle, planning what you want to do will help you achieve the output you have in mind.

1. Cover your surroundings before you begin

Spray paints spread out in all directions. It can be challenging to remove the stains. Therefore, it becomes essential to cover out the surroundings which you don’t want the paint to ruin. This will also help you achieve finer edges effortlessly.

2. Change your plans if it is a hot day

The ideal temperature for graffiti is 50 F to 90 F. If you see the temperature going above the range, you’ll notice spray paint shrinking, resulting in unpainted patches or crack-like appearances. Check for weather forecasts to ensure the temperature doesn’t fluctuate later in the day.

Moreover, I wouldn’t like to be out all day in the scorching heat, with the sun shining to its fullest just above my head. Would you?

3. Don’t forget to shake the can

Don’t miss out on the basics in excitement. Every time you want to use your spray paint, shake it for a good two minutes. Your arms might feel heavy, but I suggest you keep going. Shaking the can is essential to mix all the particles and ensure a constant stream flows out as soon as you press the nozzle. Compromised shaking in thinner paint, which doesn’t give a professional look.

4. Spray beyond the edges

A steady back-and-forth motion of the can held approximately 10 inches away from the surface and slight overlapping in strokes is the ideal way to graffiti using your spray paint. However, one mistake most beginners make is stopping right at the edges, which can cause paint build up and run off and eventually an uneven finish. Make sure you’re going just beyond the ends for a flawless finish.

5. Don’t forget to prep and prime

Priming the surface before spray painting is essential to ensure that the paint adheres properly to the surface. Skipping this important step can lead to issues such as cracking, flaking, and uneven coverage. 

The primer acts as a bonding agent, allowing the paint to stick better and create a smoother finish. By taking the time to prime, you can ensure that your graffiti has a longer-lasting and more professional appearance. Wanna know which primer to use? Read out our take on the topic.

6. Do not graffiti indoors

How will people appreciate your art if you’re going to graffiti indoors? That is logical; however, the main reason you shouldn’t graffiti indoors is due to the toxic fumes the spray paints release. They cannot diffuse into the surrounding easily in indoor spaces and thus can cause allergies and risks to your respiratory health. However, paint takes more time to dry indoors, increasing the chances of runoff, and ruining your designs.

7. Keep your distance maintained from the wall

Do you know how your paint sets and appears on the wall depending on the distance you keep while doing graffiti? If you paint from too far, the paint will appear thin and runny with unstable adhesion, whereas painting too close makes the paint appear thick and clumpy.

Start off with a 10-inch distance and see if that works for you.

8. Hold the can firmly

To achieve a smooth, professional-looking finish for your graffiti, it is important to have a good grip on the can. Hold the can firmly with your dominant hand and use the thumb to apply pressure to the trigger. With this, you can create precise lines and shapes without causing splatters or drips. 

9. Don’t restrict your movement to the arm only

When you’re out there spray painting graffiti, it’s important to move your whole body instead of just relying on your arms. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and guide the can with your torso. This will help you create smooth and consistent lines for your art. 

By moving your entire body, you can effectively control the direction and flow of the spray paint, along with maintaining a consistent distance from the wall. 

10. Spray lightly

Using too much force or spraying excessively can result in drips, smears, and an inconsistent finish, which is why it is important to control the pressure of your spray paint. Keep the can about 5 inches from the surface and apply consistent light pressure to the trigger. Use a sweeping motion to evenly cover the painting surface and ensure a smooth finish.  

11. Do not break the laws

Is graffiti legal? Nothing to worry about if you’re doing so in your personal space, but states like California have strict laws against graffiti. Proper research is mandatory if you wanna keep yourself out of unwanted trouble and protect your artwork.

PS: You can read about the Spray Painting Laws in California and Arizona for more information

12. Don’t forget to wear your safety gear

Spray paints can be toxic if inhaled. As we grew up, hearing precaution is better than cure; make sure you have your gloves and goggles on before lifting off the can’s lid. If inhaled, spray paints can cause respiratory illnesses, and it’s also best to put on a mask.

Spray can also be cancerous and you must take a look at our articles “Can Spray Paint Cause Cancer – 5 Ways to Avoid It” and “How to Clear Lungs of Spray Paint – 12 Useful & Handy Tips.”


Graffiti is illegal. Isn’t it what we grew up listening to? It doesn’t have to be illegal if you don’t use offensive symbols and paint your walls. Make sure you give it extra time to dry before trying to apply more, or follow these tips to make it dry faster.

This is your sign to give graffiti a shot and try something new. Hope these tips help! If you’re new to spray painting, also check out some spray painting techniques for beginners to help you out.

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