Thanks to Wagner Spraytech for sponsoring this post!
This little campaign chest has been waiting for its moment in the spotlight for a long time. It made its first blog appearance way back in August…of 2014:
I’ve always liked it, but I had the hardest time finding the right spot for it. And then we decided to move Abe’s play tent out of his room and suddenly there was an empty wall in a room that could use some more storage space!
Back when I originally posted the dresser, a lot of people said they liked the original yellow color. I did, too, but it was in pretty sorry shape:
And yellow wouldn’t work in Abe’s room, anyway. Strike two, yellow paint!
So when I got the chance to try out Wagner’s Home Decor paint sprayer, I knew immediately that this was the project for it. There are two big reasons, in my mind, for going with a paint sprayer over a brush for some projects. One of them is speed, and the other is wanting a really smooth finish with no brush marks. The smooth finish was my main motivator in deciding on a sprayer for this. Campaign furniture usually has a very shiny, lacquer-y finish, and I wanted to replicate that as much as I could.
I went with Behr’s Indigo Ink for my color, in a semi-gloss enamel.
But before I could get to the fun paint spraying part, I had to suffer through the prep work. I think I must have had a premonition of some sort that this was going to be a pain in the butt, and that’s why I put it off for so long. That’s why I posted that nice after picture first, to remind myself that it was all worth it in the end. Anyway, here’s how it went down:
Remove the hardware: This was the really tedious part. The handles just unscrew, so that was no problem. But the little brackets on the edges? Those are actually screwed in, but with screws that just have nail heads on them. So I had to wedge a knife under each one and wiggle it back and forth and hammer on the end of it and whatever else I could think of until I finally managed to pry them off.
Polish the hardware? You can test if your brass is solid brass or brass plate by sticking a magnet on it. Magnets stick to brass plated stuff but not to solid brass. And if you have brass plate on your hands, you have to be careful not to strip the plating off. My dresser decided to be difficult by having solid brass handles but brass plated brackets. Sigh. So the only thing I felt safe doing was dumping everything in a bowl of soapy water to clean it a bit….and I still seem to have lost a fair amount of brass from the brackets. I briefly considered spray painting everything with a metallic spray paint, but I’ve had bad luck with that holding up well in the past, so I decided to just embrace the patina instead.
Sand: The yellow paint was super glossy, so I broke out the circular sander and sanded it until the the shiny was gone. And until the sander broke. Oops.
Prime: I used Kilz latex
Paint: Woot! Finally! I have a confession to make: while “we” have used a paint sprayer for several projects in the past, that “we” has always actually been Dave. This was my very first time using a sprayer myself. And….uhh, it was really easy. I’m not sure why I’ve never done it before. Also fun. Like a pressure washer, only you put stuff on instead of taking it off.
I appreciated that the Wagner Home Decor sprayer came in a colorful, approachable, friendly-looking box:
As the box suggests, this sprayer is most appropriate for smaller projects: from decorative items up to furniture pieces. The paint comes out relatively slowly, which is what you want for these small projects, because a higher volume paint sprayer can cause a big mess (ask me how I know). My back up project, incidentally, in case something had gone horribly wrong with the campaign chest, was a little wicker mirror I have. Because I would like to add one more to my list of reasons to use a paint sprayer: when painting wicker. Ugh.
Using the sprayer is very straightforward and intuitive. You fill up the paint cup and thin down the paint if needed. There’s even a plastic guide that shows you exactly how much water to add:
The box also included a big old poster to practice on before you start spraying something real. I liked that. The only things to adjust are how fast the paint comes out (I kept mine nice and low, because I’m a timid painter) and the direction of the air flow. You set those things up and then you get to painting!
Unlike prying hardware off, painting the campaign chest was trauma-free. Here’s what it looked like after I’d made one pass at it:
The whole thing took me maybe half an hour, I’m guessing? My paint sprayer tips, now that I’m an expert are as follows: get close! The instructions said to spray from 3-6 inches away. This feels really close, but it’s true: the closer I got, the better the paint went on. And go back and forth in wide swaths, not little jerky movements. I moved the sprayer from one end of the drawer to the other before going back the other way.
I couldn’t remember at first why I took this picture, and then I realized it was to show you how much overspray there was. I.e. not much at all. I tilted the dresser back to get to some of the areas better, but you can see the blue ring from when it was upright and being painted. A dropcloth on the driveway was more than enough to keep the paint from making a mess:
Clean up was easy and took maybe five minutes. Now that I know it’s actually not at all scary, I’m itching to paint something else. If you want your very own Wagner Home Decor paint sprayer, you can get one at Home Depots in the Atlanta and Boston areas or click here to find out how you can order one or find one near you.
Top Coat? Umm…I tried putting a coat of polycrylic on this, and it was being hard to deal with and making me unhappy, so I stopped with one coat. I’m hoping that will be enough since the semi-gloss enamel paint should hold up fairly well on its own.
Hardware back on: This was still a pain, but not as bad as taking it off had been. I needed to hammer most of the screws disguised as nails back in, so I put a cloth in between the hammer and the chest, lest I mess up my brand new pretty paint job.
And then up to Abe’s room it went!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wagner SprayTech. The opinions and text are all mine.