man installing plastic and drop cloths to prepare for spray painting
Photo: Reena Bammi
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Preparation

Mask off everything (windows, shrubs, cars) with taped drop cloths or plastic to shield from overspray, and protect yourself with a respirator, goggles, and hood. For the smoothest finish, thin down the coating. Painting contractor John Dee prefers quick-evaporating naphtha for oil-based finishes, which helps the paint dry before it sags, and latex paint thinner for water-based coatings.

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