Spray Paint!

After all the mudding & sanding was done, it was finally time to paint! Well, first the ice chipper/murder weapon was found. THEN it was time to paint.


Since the entire room – floors included – were getting painted, it was the perfect opportunity to try out a randomly acquired toy.


Wagner 505 Paint Sprayer, meet my boobs.


I spent more hours than I care to admit calling and shopping around for a paint sprayer to rent. I figured with the entire basement to paint, why not just spray it? I was also thinking ahead to the living room {hopefully the next project}.

The living room ceilings are 10′ tall with multiple layers of molding. The thought of using a brush to get primer & paint in all those nooks & crevices – enough to fully cover every speck of that revolting blue – make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. {Dramatic much?}

The garden unit would be a perfect opportunity to test out a paint sprayer and see if they’re really all their cracked up to be or if the brush method was the more logical choice.


But with quotes from rental places ranging from $75 to 95 per day, renting a paint sprayer just didn’t seem like the logical choice for such a small space. The garden unit is only about 500 sqft with 7’4″ tall ceilings.


Then my father reminded me of the paint sprayer I had stashed in their garage well over a year ago. It was found in the garage of a retiring contractor. We had stopped by to look at some scaffolding and found this paint sprayer. The previous owner had no idea if it worked; couldn’t remember the last time he used it. Just told us to take it, for free, if we thought we could fix & use it.

Fast forward to this July, when Dad took it out to his driveway, gave it a good cleaning and – VOILA! – it worked just fine. Not broken at all.


Knowing the spray would get everywhere, I suited up.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Hi-freakin-larious.

I had goggles too but it was so hot – SO SO SO SO HOT – in the suit, with the mask, in the basement with the doors & windows all closed & sealed. They kept fogging up and I couldn’t see.

That said, I think next time I would wear some kind of protective eyewear. By the end of the day there were tiny splatters of paint in my eyes and eyelashes. Not.comfortable. Or healthy, I’d guess.



Full Review:

I love playing with new toys tools and I’ve been wanting to play with a paint sprayer for a long time. The fact that this one didn’t cost me a rental fee & headache made me a happy, happy girl. It was super fun to use but really only a 1 person job.

The sprayer was only used for the primer coat – Zinsser BIN Primer. That stuff is not cheap but boy is it good. It covered everything. It has to be cleaned up with denatured alcohol, which was kind of annoying when it came time to clean the paint sprayer. In order for the sprayer to work most effectively, it has to be clean. Like CLEAN clean. Clean-up with denatured alcohol and then water (to rinse it off) took about an hour total; the machine has to be disassembled to be fully cleaned.

Secondly, it’s important to use the right size spray tip based on the type of paint you are spraying. Home Depot didn’t carry the right size spray tips for the Wagner gun, so we just stuck with whatever tip the sprayer had come with. By the end, it was blatantly obvious that whatever size tip was in there was NOT the right size to use. We blew through paint. Literally. I think it took about 7 gallons to completely spray all the walls and ceiling {not even including the floor}. There is no possibly way it would have taken 7 gallons if we 1) used the right size tip or 2) we had just rolled everything on. Wasting expensive primer is… well… expensive.

It saved time, if only 1 person was painting. If I had to paint the basement alone, it would probably be faster to use the sprayer than the roller/brush combo. However, since priming we’ve put 2 coats of white on the walls & ceiling using rollers & brushes with the help of my parents, aunt & cousin. With a few people helping, the roller/brush method went faster and was just as fun. They’re also easier to clean up.

The sprayer, as predicted, did win out in a few key ares.

  1. The radiators
  2. The pipes
  3. The brick

It took me 1.5 hours to do each coat of paint on the bedroom radiator. It took me about 7 seconds to spray each of the radiators in the garden unit. That same level of efficiently carried over to the pipes and brick. The sprayer was just faster, easier, & better at getting into all those hard to reach nooks & crannies.

At the end of the day, I do plan on using the sprayer again – specifically for the living room {and eventually dining room} moldings. But it’s important to remember to use the right tool for the job. The added set-up & clean-up time with the sprayer are made up for by making short work of all the little nooks and crannies. It’s not worth using on relatively flat or easy to paint areas.

I’ll probably spray everything with the primer, spray my top coat{s} on the moldings, and use the roller/brush combo on the ceilings & walls. Before I do this, I will researching & purchasing the right size spray tip for both the primer & paint I plan on using. I think that would make a big difference.



Happy spraying!

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6 Responses to Spray Paint!

  1. This was so helpful to read about. I’ve always wanted to use one of those now I know all the best tips. Can’t wait to see what you do to to space next.

  2. katie says:

    wow, i didn’t realize sprayers were so expensive to rent! thanks for this review, we’ve been thinking of renting one when we paint our basement but maybe it would just be easier/less expensive to use brushes and rollers…

    can’t wait for the “after” of the apartment!

  3. KML says:

    For basement floor joists, the paint sprayer is a winner. We turned our dreary basement into a bright, useful space by spraying everything white… Think it will be a good think to try with all your moldings!

  4. We’ve been using a sprayer on the exterior of our house….SO AMAZING. Our house is a combo of stucco and brick, and I’m convinced I would’ve given up by now if we were doing it by brush/roller. But you’re right – the clean up definitely needs to be taken into account because it takes forever…

  5. I so want to try using a paint sprayer. I think I’m going to try it in the basement of the next house as my test. Then, possibly the exterior. But, I don’t think I’m lucky enough to come across a free one. Bummer. That’s an awesome find.

    And, you look rockin’ in that getup. You are one bada** gal. 😉

  6. Peggy Miner says:

    I love how compact this sprayer is. My boyfriend does professional painting and his industrial sprayer is so heavy and clunky. Also, the fact that this one does not require an air compressor is so handy! I might have to convince him to get one of these for his “smaller projects” {but then really just use it for MY home DIY projects ;). Thanks for sharing!

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