Experimenting with the Paint Sprayer

A couple of weeks ago we bought a paint sprayer, and I wanted a simple project to get to know how to use it and see where it could help with other painting jobs. My planned painting of the cat room worked well for that, since the very last thing I care about is whether a converted attic closet full of litter boxes has a great paint job.

The cat room before

First I emptied the room. The cats were none too happy about that (that's Henry in the bottom of the picture there, crouched in front of me and scowling).

The floor in that room was disgusting. I don't know what cats get on their feet and I really don't want to know, but there was a thick layer of gunge on the plywood. I spent a couple of hours on the floor with the palm sander, getting that off. And another hour vacuuming up all the dust that made.

After I sanded the floor for two hours

Then we set up the paint sprayer and got to work. Now, granted the sprayer we bought was super cheap and from Harbor Freight, so we got what we paid for, but we had quite a lot of trouble getting it adjusted right. And once it was adjusted, I had a hard time getting the knack of making nice even movements that apply the paint evenly. Much like applying paint with a roller, it's not too hard to get some paint on there, but not nearly so easy to get it nice and even and clean. I ended up with a lot of drips.

Also, the process of thinning the paint, straining it, and filling the sprayer jar was quite messy, and I can definitely say we made more of a mess than we usually do painting with rollers.

However, some things can't be painted by rollers, like the ceiling of our attic. I was quite happy with how well painting that went with the sprayer.


The end result was everything I wanted it to be, though. We lightened the room up a lot so it'll be easier to see when I go in there to clean. And I put a layer of primer on the floor for the peel-n-stick floor tiles we have waiting to be installed (I decided not to stay up until midnight tonight installing them, in a fit of common sense). The floor tiles will be a lot easier to maintain than a plain plywood floor.

We still need to study the paint sprayer some more -- Noel thinks there's a missing spring in the flow adjustment -- but it could be a very useful tool for some of the more awkward places we have to paint.

posted by ayse on 01/29/12