I am assuming that you have never spray painted before. If there is anything that I have missed or that I have not described clearly then please contact me, I am always happy to help.
The first thing you will need is a space to paint in, a shed is ideal. You can spray paint outside but if you do then you are at the mercy of the wind. You can lose a lot of paint on a breezy day, but if its sunny and still then outside is a great place to paint.
Holding and Preparation
You will need to find a way to hold your work piece. This can be tricky as some things are not easily held. You can suspend your work piece from a wire or place it on a bench. If you use a wire make sure that you do not let it touch any part where you want paint to land. If you do it will mask that part and leave a line. Do If you place it on a bench put a soft blanket down to stop any scratches from occurring. You will need to wait until any paint you have applied is fully dry before you turn the piece over and spray the bottom.
So, you have applied some thought to your work piece and have come up with a way to hold it, so that it can get a complete coating, so now what? The answer is that you need to prepare the surface for paint. Use a fine sand paper to "key" the original surface. What this does is increase the surface area of the work piece allowing paint to grip well. A totally flat and smooth surface can cause the paint to peel or bubble.
I recommend that you spray the piece with a grey primer. It is specifically designed to grip very well to surfaces and when dry it will give a wonderful surface for your paint to settle on. Using it will give very good results, but it will double the time that your project will take. My advice is use it, but it is up to you.
Actually spraying the paint is the hardest part, it will take some practice. The golden rule is to move the can as you spray. Getting used to doing this is like learning a kung fu move. You will find it best if you start moving then press the button. Start by using your grey primer. Apply the paint in parallel overlapping lines and don't apply too much. Applying too much will cause runs, where the liquid paint is dribbled down by gravity. If you get runs don't worry, I will tell you how to get rid of them in part 2. For the primer I would say that 2 or 3 coats is ample.
Now we Play a Waiting Game
Allow the paint to dry after each coat. This means leave it alone, the longer the better. thin coats take less time to dry but I would give it at least 24 hours. especially for the coloured paint.
Come back for part 2 where I will tell you how to get out of trouble with runs, and how to make your paint job shine. I will also describe how to paint a seamless patch into an already painted surface in order to repair a blemish.