How to spray paint a box

Cardboard is all around us, and it’s a great alternative medium to work with. When you think of painting cardboard, spray paints and splatter paints are usually the kinds of paints you’re thinking of. You’re probably wondering how to paint cardboard with that old paint that’s dried on the lid, too.

This step by step guide will help you to spray paint box at your home with some basic tools and you will be able to achieve desired results with best finish. Beginners should follow each step explained in this guide in order to save themselves from making mistakes.

spray painting box

Everyone loves to save money. Cardboard is one of the most common household items. You can find it in your office or home. The reason why is that it is a very cheap and versatile material.

You can use it to pack up boxes, and you can also use it to make art pieces. If you really like working with cardboard, you can create a lot of stuff with it.

Prepare the work area

Spray paint can be difficult to get rid of depending on the surface it comes into contact with, but before you go all out on that old shelf to make it look brand new, a few considerations should be made beforehand.

First off, try and set up your spray-painting area as well as you can by laying down an old sheet so that you don’t paint the ground and clothes with any unwanted paint. Then wear protective clothing such as an apron for extra safety.

When it comes to spray-painting cardboard, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you need to be in a well-ventilated area with enough airflow (i.e. an open field or garage).

Secondly, the paint can get cold if exposed to the wind or dampness and moisture (which may affect the quality of your finished product so make sure that area is sheltered from all weather conditions).

Prime the surface

Cardboard boxes are meant to be used to ship items to a different location. Cardboard boxes need to be properly primed before you ship them out. If you prime the box, you will have a smooth surface to work with.

You will save time and effort because you won’t have to scrape or sand off any bumps. If you don’t prime the box, you will end up wasting time sanding and scraping the bumps off. If you prime the box, you will not have sizing issues.

To prime a box, follow these steps: Put primer on a sponge roller. Paint a light coat of primer on the box. Put a light coat of primer on the tape that will be used on the box. Put a second coat of primer on the box Put a second coat of primer on the tape.

Let the primer dry for one hour Put a third coat of primer on the box Put a third coat of primer on the tape. Let the primer dry for four hours. Enjoy your primed box.

spray painting box

Apply Gesso to cardboard surface

Like many other substances, gesso is available in a range of brands and grades. Of course, you’ll find one that suits your purposes in craft stores or online distributors such as Amazon. The nice thing about gesso is there are several different varieties made from different products like acrylic paints, depending on what effect you’re hoping to achieve when using it.

By altering the ratios, you can create a transparent thin coat that coats evenly on various surfaces without lumping upon application or become semi-opaque and leave granular textures when applied with more pressure.

Shake the spray can

It’s important to shake cans of spray paint for at least 3 minutes before use. The paint separates and dries in clumps if you don’t! You should also shake the can each hour during use for best results.

Start spray paint

Depending on the type of spray paint you have, you might need to apply a primer coat first. It prevents the paint from absorbing too much into the cardboard and generally improves durability. Make sure to hold the can at an optimal distance of around 12 inches away from the surface.

Hold it parallel to the cardboard moving back and forth in a pattern that suits your crafty needs. You can also experiment with other patterns such as swirls, zig-zags, and polka dots. Make sure not to spray any section more than twice as oversaturation will cause warping.

Make sure to let the first coat dry and then apply a second coat. If you don’t wait for a first coat to dry, it could warp. For the second, consider using a different color to spice things up! Spray using light sprays to create contrast.

You can also continue with more coats if you want a solid color. Also try touching-up areas that need some attention as needed at this stage (let the paint dry in between each additional coat). Wait at least two hours in between coats, though.


The key points to keep in mind while selecting a spray paint that is appropriate for use on cardboard are whether the paint is water-based, oil-based, or solvent-based.

I will provide you an easy step by step guide which will help you to spray paint your wooden box: 1. Using a screwdriver, pry out the edges of the lid. 2. Take enough painter’s tape (available at any hardware store) and place it over the joints of the lid. Make sure that it is tightly put in place. 3. Now spray paint the wooden box with your preferred color and let it dry for about 15 minutes. If you are satisfied with the spray painting, then take off the tape. If not, then you can reapply the tape and spray again. 4. Allow to dry and you are done!

Spray paint usually takes 5-10 minutes to dry on both porous materials like cardboard and non-porous surfaces like glass. The drying time depends on the amount of paint applied to the surface, the temperature, and the humidity. The paint will take less time to dry on hot and humid days. On the other hand, it will take more time to dry on cool and dry days. A cardboard box is a porous material that takes longer time to dry. The paint-soaked cardboard is vulnerable to smudging, so it needs to be left to dry for at least 20 minutes.

Gesso is a mix of pigment, glue, and chalk. It’s usually used for painting on a canvas. Gesso is used for two things: it’s applied as a primer to prime the canvas, and it’s also used as a base coat for the paint.


We have learned a lot about how to spray paint a box. We hope you have too! If you have any further questions about how to spray paint a box, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. We hope this article has helped you learn something new or at least provided you with some useful tips to make your next project go better.

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