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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I'm looking to paint a pretty large house (4000 sqft). Walls are currently latex. Trim (baseboards, crown molding, cases, doors, window sills, cabinets, etc) are all oil based paint.

With this big of a job (local painting contractors are estimating $20k), I figure that I can afford to invest in some quality equipment, and I don't mind getting a bit more hands on. I am a landlord, so acquiring some painting skills is probably in my best interest.

The first thought in my head is whether or not I should spray. I am not confident in my ability to consistently cut straight lines, nor roll/brush without leaving marks. I've painted some scraps while I was testing colors, and was not impressed with my quality of work. For trim, close enough is probably close enough, but I'm more concerned with producing a quality finish on doors and kitchen cabinets. The home is on the higher-end, so I need that near-factory level finish.

I've got it in my head that it'll be easier for me to figure out how to spray a nice finish versus practicing with a roller and brush until I can get a nice finish.

My other line of thinking is that, if I try to roll/brush baseboards, door cases, etc -- I fear that I'm going to end up needing to tape anyway (again, because I can't seem to cut straight lines by hand). If I'm resigned to taping, why not spray? I assume that putting down tape versus putting down tape + 9" paper (especially with a hand masker) is about the same effort. The only additional work I'd probably have to do is to roll rosin paper over the floors and throw plastic/cloth over whatever little furniture/countertops there are. I might even invest in some zipwalls to control overspray in small sections at a time -- that way I can avoid masking an entire room.

The next question is what kind of paint should I use (on the trim and cabinets). My understanding is that in order to paint latex over oil, I'd have to put on an oil-based primer. Alternatively, I've read some mixed success about using a hybrid waterbourne alkyd paint like Benjamin Moore Advance (all my colors are Benjamin Moore, and I'd prefer to stick with them) directly on oil-based paint after a scuff sand. Or, can I just stick to oil, which I can also apply after just sanding.

While I don't directly care about what type of paint to use, it does seem to matter in terms of what kind of a sprayer I need to buy/rent. My understanding is that an HVLP would have a hard time spraying latex, and I would be better served with an airless sprayer (regular tip for trim, FFLP tip for doors & cabinets). But, if I spray oil-based paint, I might be able to get away with an HVLP. I've also read that Benjamin Moore Advance is pretty thin, and I might be able to get away with minimal thinning with an HVLP sprayer.

It also begs the question -- if I were to spray trim in anything but latex, do I care about masking walls? Is there a concern that the latex that will be rolled on the walls (no spray here) will not cover any oil-based paint or hybrid paint that I happen to get on the walls from spraying? Do I need to be concerned about paint not adhering to any parts that I may have gotten some oil based paint on? Or that it would have a different sheen?

Finally, if I am doing all this spraying, should I also attempt to spray the ceiling? My understanding is that walls are typically rolled to give it better paint coverage and also to produce a good sheen and help hide defects. But given that ceiling are dead flat and are not eye-level, it is still a good candidate for spraying -- as long as you are willing to deal with the masking?

So far, I am leaning towards something like this:

1. Get an 4 or 5 stage turbine HVLP (Something like the Fuji Q5). Pick up a full-face respirator and coveralls.
2. Remove and number all doors, cabinet doors, and drawers
3. Mask floors with rosin paper. Throw plastic over furniture, countertops, and appliances. Mask windows and fireplace. Leave trim, doors, walls, window sills, anything that will be painted again alone.
4. Prep (clean, repair, and sand) & spray 2 coats on baseboards, crown molding, door casings, window sills, etc with BM Advance, BM Waterborne Satin Impervo, or BM Oil-based Satin Impervo). Do not be concerned with getting paint on walls or ceiling.
5. Prep (clean, repair, and sand) cabinet boxes & spray 2 coats of same paint (different color).
6. Mask baseboards, crown molding, door casings, window sills, etc. Throw plastic over cabinet boxes where they are close to walls.
7. Thin and spray BM Ultra-Flat Waterborne Ceiling Paint on the ceilings. This part may be a little challenging for HVLP sprayer and may require more than 2 coats.
8. Clean and repair walls, then cut in with an angled brush (mask is still there because I can't cut straight lines) and roll walls with BM Regal Select Matte. Consider using BM Aura Bath & Spa Matte for bathrooms.

Somewhere in there, I'll spray doors & drawers out in the garage -- again with the Advance, WB Impervo, or Oil-based Impervo.

Lastly -- am I crazy for wanting to spray because I'm afraid of brushing & rolling? Is it easier to get brush/roll technique down than to master spraying? Should I really consider buying/renting an airless instead of an HVLP? Something like the Graco Magnum x5? My understanding is that I can do all of this with an airless as well, but it involves more cleanup and I'm just a little bit wary of the much higher psis in an airless gun.

What haven't I thought of?

Thanks in advance.
 

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While I have an assortment of spray equipment I rarely spray inside of a finished house. Over spray can and will go everywhere and the extra prep and cleanup normally negates any time savings. Good paint and quality brushes/roller go a long ways towards doing a good job. Practice makes perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While I have an assortment of spray equipment I rarely spray inside of a finished house. Over spray can and will go everywhere and the extra prep and cleanup normally negates any time savings. Good paint and quality brushes/roller go a long ways towards doing a good job. Practice makes perfect!
Thanks for the advice Mark. Its post after post like this from experienced painters that makes me wonder if I'm just off in the wrong direction.

That being said, I am of the opinion that masking and cleanup -- while slow and tedious -- is not skilled effort. And if time is not really the priority, which is easier to master (or rather, become passably proficient): learning how to operate a spray (whether HVLP or airless) alongside any fiddling with paint thinning, or learning how to handle a brush and roller well enough to paint cabinets.

From a complete beginner's point of view, the task of knowing how to roll seems daunting; whereas, the basic mechanical motion of moving a spray gun seems fairly simple. Am I completely underestimating the difficulty in spraying?
 

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Some take to spraying right off while some never master it. It's not as easy as it looks. It's real easy to apply the paint too thin or too heavy [runs]
 

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I did a whole-house two story renovation and painted every single room including all ceilings and replaced all interior doors and trim.
It’s a lot of work and now hate painting. I contemplated spraying the walls because house was empty. However I stuck to rolling the ceilings first then the walls.
I rolled all the trim but sprayed the doors. I think I had about 26 doors to spray. I set them up 8 at a time in the garage and sprayed away. I used to paint cars so I had the technique.
I used three brands of paint. One was for garage so I didn’t care as I just wanted to spruce it up. Another brand I will never use again. Four coats and it still looked terrible. I will use nothing but BM paint now. It goes on nice and looks good.
As far as cabinets, I have a friend who builds cabinets. I replaced kitchen cabinets and now have him painting our kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. I’ll roll the cabinets themselves.

Retired guy from Southern Manitoba, Canada.
 

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When you spray walls, you still need to backroll, and use a brush. Granted its a lot easier if the walls and ceilings are going the same color. Then you could mask off the trim and spray, but usually the procedure is to spray ceilings, spray trim and doors, then cut and roll the walls (providing they are different colors)

Advance is VERY hard to spray properly, btw. You can put Durapoxy from Kelly Moore on oid oil after a clean and scuff, btw. And, its a pretty user friendly product to work with. Its not super thin, it dries rock hard really fast, and looks surprisingly like oil. Scuff-X from BM is very similar, but doesnt have the adhesion of Durapoxy. It is a lot easier to work with than cabinet coat or advance though.

If you try to do all that trim by hand in that big of a house, its gonna take you a month, and its isnt gonna look good. I would at the very least, hire a pro to spray the trim and doors, then do the walls (by cut and roll) yourself if you want to save a few bucks.
 

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trim and cabinets: Clean with mild detergent and light suff with 150-220grit paper, vacuum dust. Prime with stix. Top coat with cabinetcoat, advance, scuffx etc. scuffx unknown how it holds of to hand oil and cleaning chemical over time, but fine for trim.



graco 9.5 hvlp is great for spraying cabinecoat thinned ~15-20% with #3 tip but only moving 1 quart at a time.
 

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My suggestion is to rent a quality spray rig for a day. Do a room or two, a basement, some closets to get a feel for spraying. Once you have a feel for it, you can invest in buying a quality unit or continue the rental route if you want.

Keep in mind that spraying doesn't necessarily speed things up as much as you might think. By the time you set up, mask, cover, clean up the rig, etc. you could have had some rooms done with a brush and roller.

Truth be told, I've seen guys that could really spray with some serious skill. They could spray out a big house in a day or two, sometimes without backrolling. Those guys are rare. I am not one of those guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My suggestion is to rent a quality spray rig for a day. Do a room or two, a basement, some closets to get a feel for spraying. Once you have a feel for it, you can invest in buying a quality unit or continue the rental route if you want.

Keep in mind that spraying doesn't necessarily speed things up as much as you might think. By the time you set up, mask, cover, clean up the rig, etc. you could have had some rooms done with a brush and roller.

Truth be told, I've seen guys that could really spray with some serious skill. They could spray out a big house in a day or two, sometimes without backrolling. Those guys are rare. I am not one of those guys!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I will go rent a sprayer and try spraying some doors to get a feel for it.


A lot of my reasoning for spray isn't about speed at all. Rather, I have an opinion that masking -- while time consuming -- is not skill-based labor. What's really hoping of doing is to compensate lack of skill with a brush and a roller with the (assumed) relative ease of spraying.


My understanding is that getting the right sprayer will play a big factor in getting good results. Trying to spray latex through an HVLP, for example, will require messing around and thinning paint -- which a beginner may make a mess of. An experienced sprayer may pull it off just fine; but as a beginner, I would probably be better served by getting an airless and spraying it without thinning.


That being said, I don't think I'm spraying latex. Most likely, I'll be spraying BM Advanced, or BM waterbourne satin impervo. My understanding is that I might be able to get away with an HVLP here without thinning the paint, or thinning it minimally (no more than 10%).
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I will go rent a sprayer and try spraying some doors to get a feel for it.


A lot of my reasoning for spray isn't about speed at all. Rather, I have an opinion that masking -- while time consuming -- is not skill-based labor. What's really hoping of doing is to compensate lack of skill with a brush and a roller with the (assumed) relative ease of spraying.


My understanding is that getting the right sprayer will play a big factor in getting good results. Trying to spray latex through an HVLP, for example, will require messing around and thinning paint -- which a beginner may make a mess of. An experienced sprayer may pull it off just fine; but as a beginner, I would probably be better served by getting an airless and spraying it without thinning.


That being said, I don't think I'm spraying latex. Most likely, I'll be spraying BM Advanced, or BM waterbourne satin impervo. My understanding is that I might be able to get away with an HVLP here without thinning the paint, or thinning it minimally (no more than 10%).

Cabinetcoat has largely replaced waterborne impervo and in general is superior.
 
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