Kids’ new beds: painted!
If you read a lot of blogs, you’ve probably seen Homeright paint spraying paraphernalia here and there because Homeright works with bloggers quite a bit. We did not get our paint sprayer for free. Not because we’re above all that (and, of course, I am so pure and noble and honest that I would not lie to you about a paint sprayer whether I paid for it or not), but because we wanted our paint sprayer RIGHT NOW, so we went to the store and bought one instead of asking to see if I could get one free to check out. I spent awhile reading paint sprayer reviews before buying one, but it was kind of overwhelming. We’ve never used a paint sprayer before, so we didn’t really know what features we might be interested in or what things to watch out for. We knew we needed an airless one (as opposed to one that you need an air compressor to use, since we don’t have an air compressor), and we wanted to stay under $100. In the end, the new Ace Hardware down the street sent us a $10 off coupon, so we just went there and bought the one they had that looked good to us.
This turned out to be the HomeRight Medium Duty Paint Sprayer. (I don’t remember what we paid at Ace, but it was the same or a little more than the $80 it costs right now on Amazon, which is where that link will take you). We got medium because….umm, it was in the middle, so that seemed like the safest way to go.
I have a lot of plans for this little paint sprayer, but the kids’ new beds seemed like a good trial project. We broke open the box (weeks after we bought it; it turns out there wasn’t such a rush to get around to getting it after all) and took a look at the directions:
The directions were long, and there were a lot of parts in that box, but it was all relatively straightforward, especially if you don’t mess with that tube thing. I don’t know what that’s for. Dave probably does. He read more of the directions than I did. I have a short attention span.
There are two different nozzles, depending on what you’re painting, and the one we wanted was already attached. So, basically, we just needed to fill up that container that screws on to the bottom with paint and set to work.
We did primer first (water based), and we didn’t thin it at all:
The directions said you should use the sprayer when the humidity is under 50% and the temperature is between 45 and 85. In other words, if you live in Georgia, you have to wait for October. But we went for it anyway, because we like to live on the edge.
Well, kind of on the edge. But that doesn’t mean we don’t use safety goggles!
The rumors are true: paint sprayers are SO FAST. It took Dave precisely 0.2 seconds to prime this headboard. I might be exaggerating. A little. But, seriously, so fast. The box says it sprays a gallon in 9 minutes. I don’t think we could handle the heavy duty version. Dave says that, in retrospect, he would have gone with priming by hand since we didn’t need a smooth finish for the primer and since clean up is kind of a pain (more on that later). I think this is only because I’m usually the one priming by hand, though. Because so fast. Of course, Dave is the one who cleaned the thing, so who knows?
Then we ran out of primer and had to improvise by getting the dregs on with a brush and scrounging up a can of spray primer in the basement. I don’t know if sprayers really use more paint than brushing or rolling or if we just misjudged the surface area of these beds, but we did a really terrible job estimating how much paint and primer we would need:
You do have to thin latex paint or the sprayer will….clog? I guess? Or the paint will come out all clumpy? I don’t know, because I guess we did okay thinning, and it didn’t happen to us. We started off with a quart of paint and added about 2 ounces of water to it, and this seemed to work fine.
1. you need to hold the paint sprayer upright and move your whole arm back and forth when you paint.
2. Everyone talks about the overspray, but I felt like things stayed relatively contained (yes, we did paint the posts from our deck, but we’re hoping that deck won’t be around much longer).
3. Biggest problem we ran into was impatience. Dave tried to go back over places where the paint looked thin immediately instead of waiting and doing another coat, and this was a goopy mess:
We ended up realizing there were a lot of places that could have used a second coat and having to touch up with a brush a lot. We also didn’t buy enough paint for a full second coat, so our attempts to be conservative with paint backfired here. Anyway, one light coat, time to dry, and then a second coat would have worked great, I think.
Cleaning the sprayer was tedious but not difficult. Dave recommends doing a quick rinse first, then running a cycle of soapy water through, then plain water, then using the brush that’s included to clean all the pieces:
And as for using a paint sprayer vs. painting with a brush or roller? For a project like this, it saved so much time and gave me the kind of finish I wanted (or would have, if we hadn’t had to touch it up so much!). I definitely see it getting a ton of use in the future. I’m very excited to use it for stuff like my dining room chairs where doing it with a brush would take FOREVER (and not having to worry about brush marks is huge bonus). I have three bathrooms worth of cabinets to paint sometime, and the doors will be getting sprayed, but I probably won’t go as far as taping everything up so we can spray the cabinet boxes. I’d also like to spray sealant or stain on our fence and the playhouse sometime. So I’m quite certain we’ll be getting our money’s worth out of the sprayer.
After the paint dried, we did a coat of wipe on polyurethane on them (I’m not sure if you can (or if you should) use the sprayer for poly, but we opted to just do the wipe on and avoid any brush mark issues that way.)
And now Milo and Gus have red beds! I’m really happy with the red we picked out (Valspar’s Heirloom Red). I mentioned before that I wanted a nice deep red, not too bright, not too orange or brown or pink, and it was exactly what I had in mind.
And I’m really happy the bunk beds are gone! I hated the way they were just right there, this big visual obstruction, as soon as you opened the door. I know there’s actually less floor space in there now, but the room FEELS much more open. Kids are loving it so far.
I’ll talk more about this when we finish up the rest of our list for this room, but I think we’re going to put the two Ekorre chairs right in between the beds (so the other one will be rehung right next to the one that’s there now; it was hanging where the new bed is before). There’s really nowhere else for them to go. Eventually we’d like to finish a kid hang out space in the basement and then they might move down there. And as for the much loathed bunk beds? I had said before that I didn’t even want to donate them, so terrible were they. But I think I was speaking too rashly. They’re still in very good condition (they’re only about a year and a half old); they just weren’t that great to start with. Dave took them apart and labeled everything very carefully so someone could get them back together:
And then I stuck them on Craigslist cheap ($75) with the disclosure that they’re cheap and wobbly. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who don’t mind wobbly bunk beds (to be clear; I don’t think they were unsafe at all (or I wouldn’t have let my kids sleep in them for so long)….I just wished they were a little more solid and substantial feeling) because we had three calls about them within a few hours and they were gone by the end of the day.
Long time blog readers will note that this is the THIRD set of beds we’ve had in this room. I’m hoping these latest ones will keep everyone happy longer. But our indecision has, at least, been of the inexpensive variety. We started out with one loft bed that we’d bought many years earlier and moved with and one that we bought when we moved in. Then I sold those two loft beds on Craiglist for $15 more than I paid for the new bunk beds. THEN we paid $100 for the two new beds and sold the bunk beds for $75. So we’re only out of pocket $10 for all the bed changing. Plus paint for these new beds. But I’m not counting that, because I’m tired of doing math.
And the beds we’ve ended up with are solid wood and super sturdy, so I’m happy with where we’ve ended up. At least for now ;).
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