*This is a sponsored post written by Hearts & Sharts on behalf of the HomeRight in exchange for free product. All creations, opinions and juvenile poop humor are my own.*
***UPDATE 09/22/2015 – I no longer use this sprayer and do not recommend it for those who are looking to paint furniture on a regular basis. The guessing game of thinning the paint is such a pain. Yes, you can get it free if you are a blogger, but you get what you pay for. I currently use a Wagner Flexio 570 – more paint output, wider spray area, a finer spray, larger paint cup, zero thinning and easy clean up.***
Last month after a lap around my local thrift store, I found a mid-century style desk. I didn’t have place to put it, so I left her there. It kept me up that night. Sad, I know. I ran back up there the very next day and bought it. She needed a serious makeover, so she sat in the basement for a few weeks while I tried to decide what to do with her.
Until this guy arrived.
So, I’ve read several reviews on this thing. They are all glowing, wonderful reviews, and I wanted to see for myself how this thing worked. The last piece of furniture I painted with a roller was our kitchen table, which wasn’t a huge pain, but it was a little challenging to get the roller marks to disappear. I have heard amazing things about this guy and was pretty pumped to get ‘er going on the desk makeover.
The desk is made of composite with a veneer, so I needed a primer to get the paint to stick.
I used my fav next-to-no-prep primer, Zinsser 1-2-3.
After I sanded ‘er down a tad and cleaner ‘er off, I flipped ‘er over and gave her a coat of the Zinsser.
I was pretty surprised that the little gold feet just popped right off. They were held in by a little thumbtack thingie.
Then I flipped ‘er back over and primed the top. To get her ready for paint, I put the desk up on top of a table, so I could get all angles without having to flip her over in between coats and risk messing up the finish.
I sanded her down a little bit more, wiped her down with a damp rag and then, once dry, wiped down again with a tack cloth. These things are awesome. Sticky, but awesome.
I grabbed my paint, basic bright white, and got ready.
Okay, when the paint comes out, the camera gets put up, so there aren’t any pictures of the set up process. I’m a professional mess-maker and accident-haver.
So, I read all of the instructions in the user manual for the paint sprayer and then gathered my materials. I filled a five gallon bucket halfway with warm water and a little bit of Dawn dish soap, grabbed two solo cups, (one empty, one full of water), a paint stick, paint strainers (4 for .98 at HD) , and a ladle.
I used the viscosity cup provided to check the paint’s “run-through” time to make sure it was good to go through the sprayer. It wasn’t. This was, by far, the most frustrating part of this whole thing. You want to thin the paint enough that it will go though the sprayer, but not so much that it changes the general make up of the paint. Never dilute the paint more than 10-20%. I searched and searched for a hard and fast rule on this and came up with nothing – It’s just a trial and error thing. I ladled my paint into the empty solo cup and then added some water, mixed it up and then strained it into the Finish Max paint cup. Screwed ‘er onto the Finish Max, plugged ‘er in and aimed ‘er at my drop cloth. Worked for about 3 seconds and then stopped.
I took it apart, threw the nozzle pieces into the soapy water (there aren’t many) and added a little more water to the paint cup, rinsed and dried the nozzle pieces and reassembled. Tried again. Same thing. I repeated the whole process and on third try, things seemed to be going well.
I spray paint everything, and am used to turning the can at all different angles to get into nooks and crannies. With the Finish Max, or any sprayer, I guess, you can’t do that. The manual says not to tip the sprayer more than 45 degrees in either direction, which was super hard to get used to. Also, lots of reviews talk about the small amount of over spray. Yeah, there was minimal over spray, but it seemed that the spray area was small to begin with. The spray pattern was much smaller than that of my usual Rustoleum.
This was after two coats of primer and one pass with the Finish Max.
I ended up doing three passes just to make sure there was good, even coverage. The user manual says that you shouldn’t leave the paint in the sprayer for more than thirty minutes without cleaning. I took the whole thing apart and cleaned it, thinking that the paint wouldn’t be dry in under thirty minutes. Wrong. The spray was so fine, that it dried super quick. Luckily, I had put my thinned paint in a solo cup and popped it in the fridge, so I just grabbed that and went back to work.
I also spray painted the drawer hardware and caps…
Here she is all done…
Even coverage, zero brush marks!
The whole process of getting the paint right was pretty frustrating, but after painting a piece of furniture start to finish, in a fraction of the time it takes to brush-paint it (including clean up time), you kinda forget that part.
By far, the BEST thing I did for myself during this project, was have the warm water bucket ready. I just tossed everything in there, when I needed and didn’t have to run through the house to the sink or run out to the yard and mess with the hose. Jenna at Rain on a Tin Roof has some good tips on cleaning this thing, but the bucket worked best for me. I’ve heard that the biggest pain in the butt with sprayers is the clean-up process, but this was really very easy.
So, I can’t say that I was incredibly impressed at first, but after the desk was all painted and I thought about how quickly it happened, I was definitely impressed. I am going to keep trying to perfect this whole paint consistency thing, and I have a line of furniture that needs paint, so this is far from the last time this guy gets some use.
Have you ever tried a paint sprayer? Was it a disaster or a dream?