how to use a paint sprayer

For our beach house reno, our first task was to paint all the walls. Nothing had been painted for at least 30 years — when you removed any framed picture that was hanging on the wall, the square behind the picture was several shades lighter than the rest of the wall! Plus, the former owners had smoked inside, and the smell was ghastly. We thought some new paint might help with the odor.

First, we removed everything from inside the house. We donated what we could, but most of the furniture was very dated, broken, or mildewed. We kept a few of the dressers and the dining room table and chairs, but everything else went either to the curb or to the local donation center. The kids staged a garage sale one day, and they got to keep all the money they earned . . . but unfortunately for them the neighborhood is pretty quiet, and they didn’t get much business.

Choosing a color was tough! We bought a bunch of samples from Sherwin Williams and tried them out in various places with different lighting. In the photo above, moving clockwise from the top, we sampled Dover White, Simply White, Cloud White, Cloud Cover, and White Dove. I expected to like Simply White, but it felt a little too stark in the sunshine. We ended up going with Cloud White (the sample below the light switch). This is one of my all-time favorite paint colors — and it’s the same color we used in our cabin! Cloud White makes me feel calm and happy.

We bought several 5-gallon drums of Cloud White and bought a professional paint sprayer. We decided to paint everything — walls, moulding, and ceilings. The carpet was beyond saving (because of the years of smoking), so we didn’t need to protect the carpet and didn’t worry if we got paint on it.

Take it from me — cover your hair! Oh, how I wish I had done this. And wear eye protection. I got paint on my contacts, which was terribly uncomfortable. And a face mask is absolutely necessary, given how much of the paint gets in the air.

For paint sprayers, it’s worth it to go high end! We bought our own Wagner paint sprayer when we painted the exterior of our house last year, but that one was such a pain to use. There were lots of little parts that were easy to lose, and the paint clogged the lines over and over. Ugh. When it came time to paint the beach house, we invested in a much nicer sprayer. It wasn’t cheap, but it’s SO much easier to use and clean! I highly recommend it!

Once we started painting, the process was super fast. As you can see in the video below, we just swiped up and down the wall. Because the sprayer worked so well, we needed only one coat.

In the beginning we covered the windows with brown paper, but by the end of the project we were using a shortcut — while one of us sprayed paint, the other protected the window with a paint spray shield. Even with the shield, we didn’t want to spray too close to the uncovered windows, so we painted around them using a roller. Plus, we knew it wasn’t a big deal if we got some spray paint on the window moulding, as we were planning to paint all the trim the same color as the walls and ceilings.

A few weeks later, we cleaned the windows, using razor blades to scrape off any errant paint drops. Then we used glossy enamel paint in the same color for the window moulding and the floor moulding.

Whew! This was a very intense project, but we saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves. And once I get all of these paint flecks out of my hair, I think I’ll be much happier 🙂

Check in next week for more!

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