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Spraying the Primer on the Wainscoting

Posted by on July 24th, 2012

I think this is going to be the last progress post I write on the wainscoting until we’re finished.  I’ll probably do one more post on how we replaced the window sill, but that will be it.  We’re that close. Over the weekend we were finally able to prime the panels.  Instead of brushing on all the required coats of paint, I thought we’d get a better result if we sprayed on the first two coats, which are the primer coats.

Before I get into the why’s and what’s of spray painting, I thought I’d post the last few photos of the dining room unpainted.  Makes for a solid ‘before.’

There, that should do it.

Now, if you paint unfinished wood like this wainscoting, you typically need to apply several coats of paint to hide the darkness of the wood and to achieve your desired finish.  Painting unfinished wood with a brush for all of those coats can end up giving you a goopy look with a lot of visible brush marks.  After four coats of latex paint, it tends to do that.  To avoid that look, you can spray paint the primer AND the paint or just spray on the primer and then brush on two coats of the finish paint.  Get it?  By reducing the amount of brushed on coats, you can get a smoother, more professional looking result.  Why would you even bother to brush on any coats if you can spray them all?  It’s useful if you want to match some existing paint in your home like trim or crown molding.  It’s a perfect approach for built-ins.

For larger projects like our wainscoting, it’s a little impractical to use cans of spray paint.  Not sure how many cans it would take, but I’m pretty sure it’d be a lot.  Instead, we’re using an HVLP (high volume, low pressure) paint gun.  You’ll also need an air source.  You can use a large compressor, smaller pancake compressors don’t provide enough air.  We’re using a turbine system, which provides air like a large compressor, but it’s very compact.  They’re available used on ebay or craigslist for reasonable prices and they may be worth it if you’re planning on doing a LOT of spray painting.  We picked our’s up when we built our first home’s kitchen cabinets. The paint guns are fairly inexpensive and there are a ton of used guns available.

I’ll get into more of the pro’s and con’s of spray painting in another post.  For now, just trust me that it works pretty well.  I used a Bulls Eye brand water based, low odor primer.  I only bought a quart and was able to get one solid coat done.

We still have to do some light sanding after this primer coat and then we can actually apply the finish paint coats.

Here’s how spraying the primer on the wainscoting came out…

We’re hoping we can finally get this done soon!

What’s been keeping you busy lately?  Any projects dragging on?

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Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,, , ,

  • http://www.alittlebiteofeverything.com Ainhoa@ALittleBite

    We used a paint gun for all our trim and doors, too. They turned out very smooth! Way better than using a brush or roller.

  • http://www.mailboxjourney.com Melanie

    Looking good, can't wait to see the room all finished!
    I could so use one of those paint guns though.

  • Kristen

    So exciting! It's really coming along nicely! Are you going to paint the walls the same color or change it up?

    • http://www.ourhomefromscratch.com/members/john/ John

      Thanks! Right now the plan is to keep the walls the same color as before.

  • http://www.drabtofabdesign.com Whitney@drabtofab

    I've always wondered about paint guns, thanks for all the tips. We you able to tuck the paper covering the floor up under the baseboards? I'd be freaking out about getting paint on the hardwood….but that's probably b/c of what's currently going on at my house!

    • http://www.ourhomefromscratch.com/members/john/ John

      Thanks! Yes, we were able to tick the paper under the baseboards and we\’ll leave it in place until we\’re completely done painting.

  • http://www.casa-de-christine.blogspot.com Christine @ Casa

    Wow! It looks great already!! You must be getting excited to see it finished. A paint gun sounds like a great idea!!

  • http://www.attemptsatdomestication.com Ashley@AAD

    It's really looking good John! I'd love to figure out someway to paint our kitchen cabinets with a sprayer! It seems so much easier!

  • http://www.decorandthedog.blogspot.com decorandthedog

    I can always imagine how much of a mess I'd make with a sprayer. Can't wait to see it done….I'm guessing you all feel the same way!

  • http://www.buffalo-roam.com Amy@BuffaloRoam

    woooo! Getting close!