How to paint all sides of small wooden things
August 17, 2013 8:10 AM   Subscribe

I've got some small wooden pieces (from a board game) that I'd like to paint a different color. I'm unsure of how to accomplish this. There are too many to realistically hand-paint. The pieces don't weigh much and if I spray paint them, they're going to tumble around and end up with some paint on the bottom. (That means that they'll probably stick to whatever surface I try to dry them on). Same goes for dipping them in paint - I'm not sure how would I dry them afterwards. I feel like there has to be some ingenious solution that I'm just not thinking of. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
posted by chrisamiller to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Double sided tape or blu-tack on the bottom, affixed to a piece of cardboard. Then spraypaint. As with all spraypainting, light even strokes from 12-14" away. The pieces should stay put, and you should be able to give a nice even coat.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:15 AM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

I would suggest suggest supporting them by gently pushing them into a strip of clay or putty that will hold them upright and also protect the base from paint.
posted by drlith at 8:16 AM on August 17, 2013

I would stick a needle or pin in the bottom of each piece, suspend those from a string, dip and drip-dry.

(Spray paint never works out well for me; it always seems to go gloppy at the worst possible moment)
posted by ook at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: At first blush, the double-sided tape idea makes a lot of sense. Since we want all sides painted, it'll be a two-step process: Paint them, let them dry, then rotate for another coat on the bottom. The needle idea is good except that I worry it would take too much time to carefully impale each piece. If tape doesn't work out, that will probably be the next thing I try.

Still open to other suggestions, but I think the tape solution will be workable. Thanks, all!
posted by chrisamiller at 8:43 AM on August 17, 2013

Best answer: then rotate for another coat on the bottom

Do the bottom first: the tape might mar the paint in some small way when you are doing the second pass, it'll be easier to live with (instead of doing a third pass) if it's on the bottom.
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:56 AM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've used these dyes for a similar application. I made a mason jar with the dye solution and dropped all the pieces in and shook them around a bit. All sides colored, no mess.
posted by Lame_username at 10:00 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Depends on the size and shape of your pieces, but I've used this method successfully to paint fiddly little things: put on some latex or plastic gloves, then put on some fuzzy, absorbent gloves over that, or even an old sock. Then dunk your fingers in the paint and use your covered hands like paintbrushes. This is major FUN.
posted by Corvid at 10:35 AM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

You'll need:
  • Wire coat hanger
  • T-Pins
  • Thin wire, like florist wire. Thread will work too
Wrap the T-pins with wire on the T part. Impale your pieces on the sharp ends. Wrap the wire around the coat hanger. Repeat. Hang this someplace away from things that shouldn't be painty (a tree?), or inside a large cardboard box. This gives you access to spray all sides. Light even coats from far away (read the can) is the key to avoiding drips.
posted by fontophilic at 10:39 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do a test run with baking paper as a mat. It has a silicone (?) coating that stops most things sticking to it, and it may help you avoid pieces sticking as they dry.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:38 AM on August 18, 2013

Response by poster: Overdue update:

It turns out the pieces are just heavy enough to stay put while getting hit with the spray, so the tape was unnecessary. I have run into lots of problems with sticking though, when I flip them to paint the bottoms. (I tried that waxy baking paper, which didn't help much). I'm thinking that I'm probably succumbing to the temptation to lay down too much paint in one pass and allowing insufficient drying time between coats.

This is near the bottom of my priority list, but if I get back around to it, I'll try some of the other suggestions and report back. Thanks, all!
posted by chrisamiller at 5:44 PM on October 6, 2013

« Older It's a big, good, really big, good vocabulary.   |   Dating, touching, "sparks", and so on... what... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.