advice on painting old wooden shed

We have a 10x12 shed next to our house. Not sure of the exact age, but the house is about 40 years old, and the shed was there when the previous owners of the house bought it about 14 years ago. Structurally it seems to be in pretty good shape, no rotting, termites, etc. Certainly good enough for the lawn mower, yard tools, bikes, etc. I'm not sure of the wood, but it has a rough, unsurfaced look (stained, not painted). Based on the lack of rot maybe it is cedar or redwood. It appears that it was a "package" type, maybe a kit, not a custom build. Inside there is a metal plate that says "Outhouses" (seriously) "by HouseCraft".
The issue is that we want to paint it. It's a really dark brown, rough finish that doesn't go with the rest of the house (the house has light cream colored aluminum siding). It doesn't have much noticeable grain pattern, so I'm not really interested in preserving the wood pattern. The vertical boards that make up the surface are individual planks, but it has the look of T1-11 panels I've seen on other sheds: you have about a 5 inch wide section then a 1" wide section recessed about inch. Using a roller would only get the outer surface, and the recessed area would be a lot of brush work.
Originally I was thinking an HVLP sprayer would be ideal for this. I currently don't have a compressor, but thought this might be a good chance to justify one to my wife (new project=new tool, right?). However, from what I've researched, to do paint spraying you need a lot of air movement capacity (hence the "HV" part..) and the compressors that seem to be able to handle it are way beyond my "justification" ability..
To get this done (the painting, not the purchase justification), is there an option besides painting by hand or buying/ renting a big compressor? What kind of compressor capacity do you really need for a single user HVLP setup?
One option I've thought about is to just re-surface it with the T1-11 siding. I'd still have to paint, but at least there would be a smoother surface. that would also take care of some other issues (some warps in the boards have left slight gaps, there's some knot holes, etc.)
Mike O.
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I forgot to mention, we did start to paint a small section (about a couple of planks wide on the back. The wood soaked up the paint like a sponge, so we're looking at at least two and probably three coats to get decent coverage. Putting on new exterior T1-11 panels is starting to look more and more appealing..

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Suggestion. Area to be painted. (2 x 8 x 10) + (2 x 8 x 12) plus maybe a couple of gables each (2 x 10) x 3/2 = 160 + 193 + 30 + miscellaneous trim/door/ window etc.(probably brush work anyway?) of 20 = total of say 400 sq.ft. Coupla gallons? Sounds, even with the nooks and crannies like maybe a four hour job on a nice afternoon with brush and roller and perhaps a step ladder? Possibly no longer than all the effort of dragging around sprayers/ compressors etc. Also overspray with even s slight breeze? Have somone organised to bring you some coffee, tea, or stronger libation on a regular basis; and tell you 'how well' it is going. Great for the ego! Restained our pine clapboard siding, with a six inch brush, it gets into the crevices etc. and no problems with over spray, our 60 by 35 house a few years ago. Took a couple of days including rigging some planks etc to get around window wells. Also a ladder to do two gable ends above the 8 foot level Age at the time = 71. This year touched up the white trim on edge of roof/windows etc. However you may have to do two coats to cover dark brown? The second coat will go on faster than the first.
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terry wrote:

Basically agree w/ a couple of additions/modifications...
First, use a primer for the first coat, not the finish paint. Whether it's oil- or water-based is of little real matter, but using a primer is.
Secondly, a long-nap roller will do wonders at getting the material onto the rough surface and all you'll need is to overbrush to get it into the crevices some. As Terry notes, w/ no more area than you have, it's not that much effort.
Lastly, the amount of material you will use rolling/brushing vs spraying to get it covered will be less by a fair amount and as you're learning, there's no way you can get a high-enough decent HVLP kit cheaply enough to begin to justify it for this alone. If you were to do anything on the spraying side, I would recommend one of the lower-end Graco units such as those the Orange Box store carries. They can be had for $300 neighborhood and do good work. But, they don't get you the compressor you're craving, either! :) And, unless you're planning on doing the house and have other uses, it's a fair investment for very small usage. We used it for the barn "redo" and it was excellent for the purpose--but that's a 40x68x40-ft ridge height building.
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I'd have to agree with this. Start with a good quality primer. And just slog away with roller and brush. The first coat is the hardest...
Spray gear will require a significant capital investment and it will take you a while to learn how to use it effectively. It's just not worth it on a 400 sq ft job, IMO. Chances are a brush and roller will do the job faster, cheaper and better.
If you absolutely must have a spray finish, hire someone that already has the gear and uses it every day. Again, that will get the job done quickly and without too much cost.
Personally, I don't like the idea of adding a second "skin". Too much scope for trapped moisture, bugs and even vermin. Don't create those gaps unless you really have to. In other words... avoid voids.
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On Oct 8, 11:05 am, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

It was most likely stained first, restaining is a good way to go, use a solid color stain the color you want. Id power wash it first and roll the stain with a thick roller for a job that small you will spend more time cleaning the sprayer than its worth. Paint peels, stain wont if done right. If its dark and in the shade spray on bleach to kill any mold, use a garden sprayer.
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(and least cost) option of a roller & brush primer then a finish coat. This was one of our summer projects, but with a bunch of other things going on and we're quickly running out of "this summer". Even if it doesn't take care of all the little issues, it will still be a big improvement in appearance over what it is now. If we decide later it's still not what we want, we can always look at making it a "this summer" project NEXT summer...
Mike O.
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wrote:

We started painting a small section, we're definitely looking at at least two coats, probably more. The wood soaked up the first coat like a sponge. After looking a little closer, I'm starting to lean toward putting a new T1-11 surface panels on before painting. I could go with the thinner 3/8" stuff and just nail it over the existing boards and it would take care of all the gaps, knotholes, etc, and give it a smoother base for painting (and reduce the number of coats).
71??.. At 45 I think I'm starting to feel like a real crybaby... Although, I didn't mention that the painting is in addition to replacing the shed roof (tear off/replace shingles and maybe some of the roof deck) and probably replace or at least re-hang the sagging doors.
It may not sound like it from all this stuff I need to do, but it's still a pretty decent shed and the framing is solid, so it's still easier and cheaper than replacing the whole thing.
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