Some Tips and Tricks that Beginner Sprayers Should Know about Interior Painting

You could always spend some money to hire experts to do the paint jobs for you, but sometimes there are reasons why you can’t. Either if it is money or location issue, there always comes a time when you have to roll up the sleeves and get it done yourself.

Of course, it is not compulsory to know these tips, especially if you are painting your own furniture, but it sure as hell going to help you avoid a lot of troubles(i.e., clean up, material wastage, etc.). So, this article was written for beginners who can’t be bothered dealing with a huge pile of mess from the first time spray painting.

Different Type of Sprayer and Its Purposes

Compressed Air Sprayer

This is the classic type of paint sprayer which most people use even up to these days. These sprayers can cause quite a noise disturbance to the neighbor due to its mechanics; a compressor will push highly-compressed air through the hose and spray paint at a highly efficient rate.

Apart from the loud noise that would annoy your neighbor’s dogs, the compressed air sprayer can cause quite a material wastage. Paint being sprayed out might not reach the wall and will land on god-knows-where. So it might take a bit of practice to get the hang on controlling it to minimise wastage as well as shooting those paint where you want them to.

Airless Sprayer

It isn’t that much different from the compressed air sprayers, apart from, yes you guessed it, it is airless. With an airless sprayer, you could adjust the spraying tip to decide how much paint will come out depending on your job (i.e. maxed output for more coverage, or minimize it for a fine finish).

The airless sprayer does have one major drawback compared to the compressed air sprayer, it is the hand motion difficulty. Inconsistent hand movements would lead to uneven paint coverage on the surface. So you might want to practice a bit before using it if this is your first time.

High-volume Low-pressure Sprayer

It is quite a mouthful name so people usually call it HVLP sprayer for short. They have been gaining popularity in the past few years. Unlike the compressed air sprayer, HVLP sprayers are easier to control and usually comes with narrower spraying tips.

For these reasons, you should choose it for painting task that requires detailed finish. On the other hand, the coverage is pretty bad, so if the item you are painting has quite the surface to cover, I would not recommend using it.

Indoor Sprayer

Easy Interior Painting with a Sprayer

Step 1 Preparation Tips

1. Put the Furniture Away

Put the furniture awayIf you are painting an empty room, feel free to skip to other tips and advice. Otherwise, paint is bound to fly everywhere no matter how careful you are. A single droplet of paint might turn into a big mess if the legs of a table are dragged over it, and the list goes on for other incidents.

For furniture that has been nailed to the walls or the floor, cover it with some sort of blanket to avoid paint splash.

2. Power Sockets

Power socketsOnce you have moved your furniture elsewhere, you should be able to see clearly what other little things there are, one of them would be the power socket. This is extremely important. Here is why.

Furniture that gets stained with accidental paint splash will only have its look value decreased, but a splash of paint getting inside a power socket? That is a major problem. It rarely happens, but that doesn’t mean you can be reckless. Although, I do have to admit, many people just paint over them, nothing bad usually happens to them.

However, as a paranoid person, I always prefer removing the cover of the socket and cover it up. If this is too much effort and you don’t want to risk ripping the wall apart, simply sticky taping it would do.

3. Cover Up the Floor

Cover up the floorIf you are not planning to spray paint the whole room with one single color (if you are, it’s okay, not judging your sense of design at all), it is better to cover up the floor.
A plastic cover is typically the choice of everybody but canvas drop cloths are commended for people with carpeted rooms.

4. Ladder or Scaffold

Ladder or scaffoldPlease avoid using the sprayer like it is a gun and shoot the paint all the way up to the ceiling. Use a ladder or scaffold to avoid making a huge mess.

5. Use a Putty Knife

Use a putty knifeThere will be some parts in the room which you wouldn’t want to be stained with paint, such as the edge of a wood plank or similar things, The point is, you will use tape and cover them up, which is a decision that totally make sense, but you just have to make sure that it is airtight. Otherwise, the paint drip can leak inside pretty easily.

Hence after taping them, use a putty knife to press the tape and slide in whichever direction. That will ensure the tape adhered to the object as much as possible.

6. Respirator

RespiratorThe spray paint fumes are actually toxic, so I highly advise against not covering your face or at least your nose when spray painting. A surgical mask might offer some filtering, but it is not enough.

If you read every word of this article up to this point, then you are already aware that I am a paranoid person, so I prefer everything 100% safe. That’s why I would say a respirator is a must! Although there are people who don’t really care, refuse to use one at your own risk.

By the way, the side effects of spray paint fumes do not show symptoms straight away. The less significant ones might, such as irritation and itchy eyes, nose, skin, etc, the more deadly effects include cancer.

I guess the reason why most people don’t take these effects seriously is that it has not been directly proven that it is the cause of cancer. However, there have been studies which suggest there is a link between them. So as a super scaredy cat like myself, I don’t want to take any chances.

Step 1 Painting Tips

1. Use a Worklight

Use a worklightA lot of beginner painters often miss a spot or two especially when the colors are similar. A trick that a lot of veteran painters would use is the worklight. Shrine the light in areas such as edges or corners of the walls (which are the spots that people miss out a lot), and you will detect unpainted spot quite easily.

2. Spray Pattern

Spray patternAs mentioned above in different types of paint sprayer, you can adjust the nozzle of the sprayer to control paint output. Highest pressure to coverage, and low pressure for precision. However, you also have to pay attention to the spray pattern to pain the wall evenly, a fine finish and avoid wastage.

Get a piece of cardboard or basically anything disposable to practice until your spray pattern is similar to the one the left of the illustration.

Adjust the pressure and use the knob for control. It will be a bit awkward in the beginning but you will get the hang of it quickly enough. I would recommend starting with low-pressure setting first, and gradually increase the pressure until the spray pattern is good enough.

3. Even Coverage

Even coverageTo ensure that the painted wall doesn’t look “funny” with uneven paint here and there, keep the distance between the sprayer and the wall consistent throughout the painting process.

Although it doesn’t matter what the actual distance is, as long as the paint reaches the wall properly, I do have a personal preference. I prefer my sprayer to be about 12 inches away from the wall and at a perpendicular angle

Also, handle the sprayer like a camera, move it across with a consistent speed.

4. Avoid Material Wastage

Avoid material wastageIf you don’t want to waste your hard earned money on buying more paint, remember to move the sprayer before pulling the trigger. Afterward, keep going with your back and forth stroke until the paint pattern looks adequate enough and move on.

5. Tips on Spraying the Corner

Tips on spraying the cornerOf course, you could always in whatever way you casual attitude, which is spray it until it is covered with paint, but since we have been on the topic of avoiding material wastage, might as well spray the corner properly too.

So the way that veteran sprayers would use is, aim the spray at the corner you are about to paint first, then spray at the adjacent walls of the corners in one stroke.

Again, this might feel awkward so if you are new to painting and does not have steady hands, or not used to the movement yet, test it on a piece of paper cardboard, they usually form a corner just like that of a wall quite easily.

6. Pay Attention to the Weather

Pay attention to the weatherYou might think that if you are painting the walls and ceiling, why would you pay attention to the weather outside? Well, in a way, you are right and also wrong.

It is true that, being inside, the paint is exposed to limited impact from the outside, but the humidity is something that generally affects everyone and everywhere, regardless of being inside or outside. Unless your seal your house airtight and have filtered the airflow so perfectly that it feels like a different dimension.

It is recommended to avoid humid weather as much as possible. It is common knowledge among painters that sunlight and humidity cause bubbly finishes after the paint dries out. You can cover the windows to avoid sunlight, but with humid weather, it is a bit tricky.

Close the door and windows are what people usually do, but still completely avoiding them is the best method. Though that doesn’t mean you should absolutely not paint if it is humid outside, I am just saying it is best to avoid them.

Step 1 Clean Up

Removing Trim

Clean upSome beginner painters are quite impatient and remove the taping on the trim too quickly, thus ruining the hard work they spend on the painting part. Wait until the paint has completely dried out before removing the trim for perfect and clean lines.

Cleaning the Sprayer

Cleaning the sprayerYou didn’t think that you can just chuck the sprayer in the corner and use it again next time like nothing happened, did you?

If you want to keep the sprayer long-lasting, then it is best to clean it properly after each use. Properly how? I am sure the instruction manual will have most information you need on how to clean the sprayer properly.

Hence I should just tab on things that most manual instruction does not mention or people simply forget about it.

  • Power off! Before you do anything else, make sure the power is off.
  • Adjust the pressure to the lowest, then press the trigger to shoot out any leftover paint.
  • Most sprayers come with a trigger safety, so use it when you don’t want to press the trigger accidentally.
  • Filter must be flushed out and cleaned properly

Have Fun Spraying

Painting is fun, and using a sprayer to help increase efficiency is even better, and knowing how to do them properly is the best.

The above tips and advice are, of course, not everything but it should be enough for your first time painting to avoid any messes.

Combine that with the manual instruction for extra details on how to use the specific paint sprayer you have, you are ready my fellow renovation enthusiasts.