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How to Use a Power Paint Sprayer


Though the debate continues over whether a spray-painted finish is as durable as one that has been painted or rolled on, there is no disputing that using a power sprayer is a real time saver.

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Sprayers are a particular convenience for surfaces that would be difficult to paint otherwise, such as shingle siding, latticework, and other surfaces that are textured or have multiple planes.

When you use a paint sprayer, you must meticulously protect surrounding surfaces with plastic and dropcloths. And do not even consider using a sprayer outdoors if it is even a little breezy. Also follow these tips:

* To achieve a uniform spray with the least amount of pressure, practice on a large disposable surface, making adjustments until the setting is right.

* Spray the surface straight on in overlapping strips with the gun about a foot away. Move the sprayer smoothly, about 3 inches per second. When you get to the end of a strip, release the trigger and then engage it again as you reverse direction, taking care not to swing your arm. A steady hand and a consistent pace will produce an even coat.

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* Do not take longer than 15-minute breaks or the paint in the sprayer will begin to harden. And when you do take a break, set the safety lock. If you must take a longer break, or you are done for the day, clean the paint from the sprayer after turning off and unplugging the unit.

* Pay attention to all recommendations posted with the sprayer. Always wear safety gear, including gloves and goggles, and protective clothing such as a durable long-sleeve shirt and long pants. A respirator is essential gear because paint is airborne. A paint sprayer is a powerful tool—if a jet from a paint sprayer hits a part of the body, it can drive the paint underneath the skin.

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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