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Q&A: Spraying Paint

Paint sprayers have moved the needle in recent years and has meant that professionals and DIYers alike can finish jobs in record times.

This means a lot of time and effort can be saved but also customers can be billed less as the tradesman doesn’t need to take as long to complete the job at hand.

So how does paint spraying work? Where can you buy them from? When are they appropriate to use?

All these questions are frequently asked and there’s not a great deal of information out there to help answer them. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this helpful guide to answer all these questions as well as ones specifically submitted by our readers.

To learn more about paint spraying, keep reading.

How does paint spraying work?

Paint spraying is a relatively simple technique that allows you to finish jobs in record time. All you need to do is thin your paint to the right consistency, fill up your spray tank and pull the trigger. Of course, there’s a lot of technique to get the perfect finish but it isn’t too difficult to pick up.

What are the best brands to buy from?

Some of the more reputable brands include:

  • Wagner
  • Greco
  • VonHaus
  • RS
  • Bosch

What can you use paint sprayers on?

The great thing about paint sprayers is that you can use them on almost anything. We’ve used paint sprayers in the past for items such as:

  • Internal doors
  • Front doors
  • Fences
  • Sheds
  • Interior Walls
  • Garden furniture
  • Home furniture

What are some of the better spray shields on the market?

Fox’s Pro shield is a very nice piece of kit and comes in aluminium. If you’re not about spending lots of money, a piece of strong cardboard would suffice though.

How do you put together a quote to spray paint a house that’s heavily furnished?

A heavily furnished house is not a house that can appreciate a spray finish. My guess is they think it’ll be faster and therefore cheaper. They could not be more wrong with the amount of masking to do!

Unless they plan to empty totally each room at a time, I’d really be having more discussion with them about what it entails and how the costs are prohibitive against traditional methods. You could always put together 2 separate quotes: 1 for spraying and 1 for traditional methods.

What’s the best paint to apply to rattan garden furniture if you’re going to spray it?

Take a look at Andura’s satinwood. It’s water-based and has a nice consistency that doesn’t need to be thinned down too much for the paint sprayer.

I’m looking at buying a hand held paint spray gun to do some kitchen doors but also be used to do fresh plaster, whitewash and exterior roughcast stuff. Budget is about £250. Do you know of anything suitable?

I don’t think there’s going to be anything handheld at that cost. You can get an Apollo 1500 HVLP O suction cup turbine for about £350. It’s only a 3 stage machine but a good starter kit and it’s what I started out with (but only for woodwork). It very unlikely to be able to spray new plaster works or masonry and you’ll need an airless for that. There’s nothing professional on the market at your price range unfortunately.

Is it worth using a spray gun in domestic houses with different colours on the walls?

I personally wouldn’t, it’s easier just to cut and roll. If I’m spraying domestic houses it’ll only be for ceilings or timber.

Can you recommend a good entry level airless spray unit? I’ve been looking at the Graco GX 21.

The GX 21 is a solid sprayer but if you can afford a little bit extra I’d highly recommend the GX FF. It’s got a hopper which you’ll find is a great advantage. It’s also compact and easy to clean.

Do you need to take a course for using a paint sprayer or can you learn it yourself?

This all depends on your situation. If you’re a DIYer, I’d recommend checking out the Dulux Academy as they offer free courses on how to use them. If you’re a professional just getting into spraying, it’s worth taking a course just to get that advanced knowledge behind you.

Can you spray paint uPVC window frames?

I’ve done it but not to a massive scale. But like anything else; use the right gear & do it properly and you should do alright.

I’ve got a staircase to paint that’s bare wood. The client wants all spindles white then the handrails and bottoms in a grey. I’m going to spray them but just can’t decide on a paint system to use. Any advice?

You could go for Isomat which is very very good and leaves a real pearl like finish once cured. Scuff X is also top quality but the price point depends on if your customer is happy to budget for it? Another one which I also like is the Sherwin Williams ED0109 Primer and 0532 topcoat!

What’s good about it is that is has amazing stain blocking qualities which when you’re spraying, you’re thinking it’s not blocking the tannins but you find come top coat time it does a real good job.

What is the Wagner 350 like?

I’m told by a friend in the trade who has just bought a Wagner 350 airless sprayer that it takes some getting used to but is fantastic for mist coating fresh plaster on bigger jobs. Now, I’m not sure how it will compare when used in other situations but for the price you should be able to get good value out of it.

When spraying an interior wall how do you get crisp lines where the colour meets the skirting?

To get crisp lines you’ve got two options. You can either try to be as precise as you can be with masking or alternatively just cut in by hand as you usually would.

What’s the best paint to spray exterior metal cladding?

Check out Rust Oleum Noxyde – it looks great and is a dream to work with.

Can you spray paint exteriors in cold weather?

I’d advise against it. Not only does it not dry properly but in the colder months there tends to be more moisture in the air. If this moisture gets trapped whilst painting, it’ll cause you a big headache further down the line.

I’m thinking of buying a Q-Tech QT spray unit – is it worth the money?

One of the contractors I’ve worked with has this spray gun and he says it doesn’t miss a beat. It’s easy to use and easy to clean although apparently it’s not well suited for those with big hands (weird, I know).