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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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