Help with Painting Widows and Doors


Hi,
This is a bit off topic for Woodworking, but I think this group has the skills to give me the advice I need.
Last year, we built and moved into our retirement home. The windows and doors are Pella wood frame on the inside and clad aluminum on the exterior. At the time we ordered the windows and doors, we weren't certain if we wanted to keep the wood on the inside natural or would paint it. To preserve our options, we did not order the wood pre-primed ( I wish we had).
Since we have moved in, we have decided to paint the interior of windows and doors - white- matching all of our interior trim paint. The interior trim paint is a good-quality Latex acrylic semi-gloss.
Now, I am faced with what seems to be a very large task of actually painting all of the window frames and jambs. There are a lot of them (40+). The walls and floors are finished , so I can't make a mess. And, I need the finished painting to be high quality, i.e., smooth, free of brush or rollermarks, etc.
It seems to me that my best approach would be to mask off each window and door - masking a foot or so of the wall around each unit. Then, with the right spray equipment, I might be able to spray each unit fairly rapidly. My concern is overspray - I can't mess up the paint on surrounding walls, floors, or ceilings.
I'd like to spray with something that provides a narrow fan pattern - maybe about 4 inches wide- without a lot of overspray bouncing off and covering walls and floors.
I'm willing to buy what I need in terms of spraying equipment, but I don't know what I need. Can I use an airless sprayer? Can I get a narrow spray head? Would it cause too much paint "dust" bouncing around?
How about an HVLP unit? Can it do my job with Latex paint?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Gary Comfort Ponce Inlet, FL
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That's a big task.

That might be an even bigger one.

If you don't already have the spray equipment, and don't know what you need, presumably you don't have the experience using it either. The interior of your house is not a good place to be learning.
For what you would spend on quality spray equipment, plus the value of your time spent not only learning to use it, but in actually doing the job, you could hire a professional painter to do it for you. He'll probably use a brush. Not to worry. Top-quality paint, applied with a top-quality brush in the hands of a man who knows how to use it, will produce a top-quality finish.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in
<snip>

Amen. And I've painted a lot of interiors. At least consult with a pro paint store for some local references.
Patriarch
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This sounds like an airbrush to me. I don't know if they will work with latex. Airbrushes will require a compressor, though not a very big one for this project I don't think.

Find a place that sells automotive painting equipment and talk to them about this idea. I think it could work, but they may be unfamiliar with latex paints. It might help to find some auto body painter and buy him some beers in exchange for some advice.

I recently painted a garage with an airless sprayer, but I found the windows were easier with a brush. Of course, I wasn't trying for high end finish, just protection from weather.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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wrote:

Black masking tape.
And ask if their departed husband left any inconvenient tools in the garage they'd like to part with.

My Dad once sprayed a room in their first house. Something like 50 years later, my Mother still goes on about overspray.
Don't.
I don't know _one_ person who has done this and not regretted it afterwards. Even the people who were careful.
If you're somewhere where labour is cheap, like Silicon Valley or Boise, you could just hire in cheap labour to do this. Advertise it as "Java coders" and offer a buck over minimum wage - you'll get plenty of takers.
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You really should avoid painting widows, unless you ask for permission first... At the very least, make sure you clean their late husband's tools out of the garage/shop before you slap on that first coat of paint.
However, depending on the age and condition (of the widow), the appropriate use of a stripper may be required... Hmmm....
Clint

exterior.
preserve
and
painting
maybe
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Sounds to me like a disaster in the making. Pros who spray everything else still paint windows (don't know about widows) with a brush. There must be a reason. I think you have two options-- 1) learn to cut in a clean line with a brush (a skill you will never regret picking up) or 2) Pay someone who has learned to cut in a clean line with a brush.
If you DIY, with 40 windows you'll have plenty of time to practice. Start with the least visible ones and work towards the ones you'll see every day. Masking tape is a pain in the butt-- you don't get a clean line, with paint seeping at the edges and tearing unevenly when it comes off, and half the time it pulls paint you wanted to leave off the wall.
Get a really good brush (expect to pay $25-30 for a 2" sash brush) and lay off the caffeine!
Roger
garycomfort wrote:

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Been there and done that many times.
1. BUY top quality paint. I suggest an Alkyd oil based enamel. 2. USE a top quality brush. Suggest something like a Purdy brand brush. 3. Don't mask the glass. Paint and then the next day scrape off with a sharp single edge razor blade. Test on a small section first. I NEVER mask off the glass
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wrote:

if these are fairly new windows chances are they are tilt out type. if so take em out carry them outside or to the garage/shop and do it there. only do a few at a time if need be.let them cure good before puting them back in and put some baby powder on the tracks to help keep them from sticking.
skeez
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Gary,
I wouldn't use latex semigloss on windows. It's OK for other trim, but tends to remain soft and tear very easily even when you think its dry. Plus, if you have painted wood sliding over other painted wood, the latex paint will adhere to itself.
I agree with others, buy good brushes and a painting video and learn how to cut a line with a brush. It's not that tough, I can do it. And since you're retired (so am I) what else do you have to do with your time? <gr>
Walt C

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In my house, we've pulled up a lot of the carpet to expose the wood floors underneith, and discovered that while the floors are in *almost* perfect condition, they are covered in tiny flecks of paint where someone decided to use a sprayer on the walls. I have the distinct impression that the person who had the carpet laid did so because of the paint that got on the flooring.
In short, spraying the trim inside your house without a lot of practice and nearly perfect masking is just begging for trouble. When you start atomizing paint and spewing it out of a gun, it gets everywhere- unless you really know what you are doing.
As an alternative, you could remove the windows and then spray them outside, or you could do it with a brush. If you've got a good brush and good paint, it's unlikely you're going to see a noticable difference between the sprayed finish and the brushed one. Prime the windows, then sand the primer flat, prime again and sand again, and then apply your paint in even strokes that start at a seam or an edge, and continue until the next seam or the far edge. Things only start looking a little dumpy when you try to overlap brushstrokes midway. Then you get the bristles of the brush pushing into the paint you've already applied and causing imperfections.

Overspray is a problem, but that is the least of them, IMO. when you start spraying, you're likely to end up with a small cloud of fine paint particles that drift to the floor, the walls, and anything else that air can get to. If you do spray, get some of those plastic tarps and tape them to everything. Make sure the tape is secure and has no little bubbles in it. If you leave a small gap (a bump in the tape, for instance) you're likely to find that you've got a fan-shaped cloudy looking area of paint on whatever you were trying to mask. (another one of those things in the DAMKIHT file) Sprayer messes are a heck of a lot harder to clean off than drips, BTW.
If it were my project, I'd either use a brush, or see how much a good painter would charge to professionally do it. The cost of the sprayer is likely to be almost as much as just hiring someone who can do it for you.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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