Where’d ya get that pretty little gun?

Can anyone name that movie? I got my pretty little gun from Home Depot, and it’s a paint sprayer!!

It’s a Husky Pro HVLP Gravity feed spray gun. I’ve always loved fixing up used furniture and transforming it into something new, and in the past few weeks I’ve purchased a lot of furniture in the hopes of repainting and selling it. But brushing or rolling the paint doesn’t always yield as professional a result and when you’re doing more than 1 item it’s just so time-consuming. I even told Andrew that I wanted a paint sprayer for our 3rd anniversary this month. Ah, the romance.

So Andrew did some research on paint sprayers to find the perfect one. I had been leaning toward a paint sprayer called Paint Zoom, which is the “easy consumer solution.”

Being that I am a consumer who also likes easy solutions, I was leaning toward this one. Unlike the professional spray guns, you don’t have to hook it up to a compressor (our compressor is particularly scary, so this was really appealing to me!). It has it’s own motor so it’s self-contained and fairly straightforward. BUT on the downside all the pieces are made of plastic instead of metal, the pieces aren’t replaceable like with a professional sprayer, and the spray is not nearly as customizable.

Andrew was skeptical (as he often is) so he looked up lots of reviews about both options. Lo and behold, the reviews for the Paint Zoom were terrible! Lots of people said the hose broke after just a few uses and that the motor gets really hot. We also read that the spray is uneven and it’s impossible to get a smooth finish. And it wasn’t any cheaper than the HVLP gun we ended up getting (though I suppose if you don’t already have a compressor, it’d be significantly cheaper.) I can’t say from experience, but the reviews were enough to convince me that a professional sprayer with interchangeable and replaceable parts would be the way to go. I know this gun is going to take a lot more practice and getting used to, but since I plan to be spraying a lot of furniture I figure it’d be worth it to learn.

Like with any paint sprayer, you first have to thin your paint to achieve the correct viscosity. You can buy a viscosity cup that measures the viscosity, or if you’re lazy you can just eyeball it. I also add a product called Floetrol that basically acts as a conditioner for your paint (use Penetrol for oil-based paints).

It makes the finish smoother and most importantly for me, extends the drying time of the paint so it doesn’t start to dry in the sprayer. This can also be helpful if you’re painting with a brush or roller to help eliminate brush marks.

Then you pour the paint through a filter to ensure there are no specks that could get caught in the gun or ruin your finish.

There’s also a second filter inside the gun that the paint will go through as you spray it. This gun allows you to change the amount of fluid that passes through the gun, the shape of the spray (cone, horizontal line, vertical line) and the air flow. You also have to set your compressor to the specified psi. Paint sprayers don’t require much pressure (hence the name HVLP: high volume, low pressure). Mine needs to be set between 40 and 60 psi.

Then I test the sprayer on a piece of scrap wood or cardboard before spraying my item to make sure it’s not too thin or thick. If it’s too thick it probably won’t spray or the spray might be inconsistent and “sputtery.” If it’s too thin, you’ll get poor coverage and lots of drips.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s confusing trying to figure out all these settings, but at the same time I’m really glad I’m able to adjust them depending on the item I’m spraying or the type of paint I’m spraying (you need different settings for oil vs latex, primers vs topcoats, etc). I think my husband was right that the easy consumer solution might not always be the best option.

And now on a less technical note, let’s talk about our garage. Remember a few weeks ago Andrew reorganized and cleaned the entire garage?

Well now after my new furniture purchases and paint spraying, it looks like this.

Haha! Poor Andrew and all his hard work. BUT if he hadn’t organized everything we wouldn’t have been able to fit so much furniture or set up a spray booth. I’ve already sprayed a few things as you can see in the picture, so I’ll share about my first few spraying experiences soon!

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