Although electric paint sprayers are used largely outdoors, a paint sprayer can come in very handy for some indoor projects. Paint sprayers can be life savers when it comes to painting expanses of extremely complex structures like ceiling joists and pipes in a basement. They are also good for large indoor spaces which would otherwise take days to complete with a roller. Preparation and practice is key to avoiding paint disasters.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic tarps
- Duct tape
- Painter's disposable jumpsuit
- Rubber gloves
- Stocking cap
- Eye protection
- Paper respirator guard
- Water source
- Paint sprayer
- Dilution testing tool
Seal off the work area. The fine mist that comes out of a paint sprayer will travel everywhere, drifting as far as 6 feet away from the area you are painting. Take sheets of plastic and hermetically seal off doorways and passageways as well as floor coverings. If you can't remove everything from the room, gather items in the middle of the room and cover the pile with a plastic tarp. Whatever it is, if you do not want fine specks of paint on the item, seal it or remove if from the area.
Cover up. The spray paint droplets will cover you before the job is done. This paint mist is very difficult to remove after the paint dries without hard scrubbing. Wear a lightweight, disposable painter's jump suit over your clothing. Wear rubber gloves. Cover your head with a stocking cap, particularly your hair. Use a pair of safety glasses or goggles and a paper mouth and nose shield.
Dilute the paint to the proper "drip" rate. Most paint sprayers come with a tool to test the viscosity of the paint. If the paint is too thick it will clog the sprayer nozzle. Dilute the paint with water, gradually, until the testing tool indicates the proper viscosity has been reached. Don't over dilute the paint. Paint that is too wet will fail to stick and will flow down the walls and off the ceiling.
Practice with the gun before painting "for real." Take the gun outdoors or to a safe place. If you will be painting a ceiling, practice using the gun overhead. If you will be painting walls, practice on a wall target. Get the feeling for the operation of the gun. Most spray guns take a moment to get "primed" and will spit and sputter paint in all directions until a regular paint flow is achieved. You do not want to "sputter" all over your final project. Practice priming the gun with a few squeezes of the trigger while the spray head is pointed away from your project. Practice moving the paint gun as you press the trigger to achieve a smooth, even coating of paint.
Proceed cautiously. After painting in your project room for 5 minutes, stop and examine your work. If the paint is running off the walls, it is either too diluted or you are holding the gun too stationary. Look around: if paint mist is getting on something you missed, like an unwrapped light fixture, correct this before continuing.
Tips & Warnings
- Clean the nozzle parts thoroughly after every use. Do not allow a paint sprayer to sit unused for more than 15 minutes: the paint inside the parts will dry and ruin the sprayer.
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