Thursday, April 23, 2015

Paint spraying 101

I have been fortunate enough to be around a few excellent paint teachers.  My husband and my Father in Law are both professional contractors who specialize in painting and coatings.  They mostly do industrial painting (water treatment plants, utilities, sewer treatments, airports.... Big jobs) I am pretty sure I talked about that before. 
Here is my hubby's truck, they are Orion Painting and Coatings.  Every day at home and every family holiday party I hear a little "shop talk." My husband has been painting over 15 years and my FIL over 20 with general construction before that.  They have painted homes, schools, businesses and everything in between.  I have always listened to the shop talk but only recently I have become fascinated by it. 
I just finished painting this desk and chair for my friends daughter.  It's still wet in the photo. 
I will post better photos later and show the before and after with all the steps.  This post I wanted to share a few paint tips I have learned about using an air compressor and a spray gun. 
For this one I used plaster of Paris and water to make a chalky base.  3tbs of dry mix and about 3tbs of water (mix well in cold water) then mixed into 8oz of paint makes a good chalk paint.  *not chalkboard paint*  I brushed it on and it made an excellent primer.  
You can see it's streaky on the chair which a first coat or primer will be.  I kinda wish I would have used regular primer (or tinted the primer) because I could have sprayed it on and not had the brush lines.  
The good thing about using the chalky primer is that it's super sandable,  so you can sand off the lines or paint drops before putting on a regular latex top coat.  I did have a few places to sand smooth before using the non-chalky finish coat. 
Chalk paint does not spray well, it's very thick and it clogs the sprayer easily.  I recommend straining all paint before putting it in the sprayer.  Disposable plastic cups are a great way to strain and keep paint in small workable quantities.  When you need a break, Glad Press and Seal Wrap makes a good lid. 
See the big paint chunks? These would clog the sprayer and slow progress way down.  All paint in sprayers needs to be watered down.  I like adding about a tablespoon of water at a time to the strainer to thin the paint.  The free at Home Depot paint can openers, make an excellent small stir stick. When the paint dries, it peels right off the metal and you can use it again. 
If you do get a clog,  the paint won't come out where it's supposed to. In this photo you can see it coming out the top valve.  I had to stop and clean out the sprayer and all its parts.  I have had several sprayers and this one is my favorite, it's a gravity fed cup gun.  I have used the kind that the paint is below and it pumps it to the top,  they work but this is easier and the cleanup is quicker.  If you can't afford an air compressor plus a cup gun,  you can get the electric spray gun for not very much. 
I think I got this one for under $20 at Harbor Freight with a coupon.  Now that I have the experience with both types, I definitely recommend the air sprayer.  When you get the right consistency of paint (when it is runny like milk) it sprays on nicely.  Several thin coats are the way to go.  Don't try to do it too thick or it will run, drip and cause more misery later.  On a warm day a thin coat will be dry to the touch in about 10-15 minutes.
When cleaning the sprayer I recommend using brushes to get in the little paint holes.  I picked these brushes up free at Harbor Freight with a coupon.  I love the freebies there.  I didn't show it in the photos but the tip also comes off & needs to be cleaned.  
When it's all cleaned out its good to fill up the cup gun with water and use the air just like you are painting to make sure it's completely clear for the next time. 
When closing up a paint can, place a drop cloth, rag, or paper towels on top of the can. This will keep the paint that gets trapped around the rim from flying everywhere.  
Then you can tap the hammer around the edge and save your floor or walls from unwanted splatter.  These might be simple tricks and tips that you may already know.  Some of you have never painted before.  If you have any good tips for me, please send them in!  I am so excited that I just got an airbrush set, I can't wait to try it out and tell you all about how that goes.

Have a good day and don't be afraid to try something new! 

Love Lori

No comments:

Post a Comment