Today I decided to try my pump-up sprayer. Not having to keep loading my brush was helpful, but the stream petered out. Then I remembered. Back when I painted a lot, I normally thinned latex paint for brushing. Out of the can, it’s good for rolling, but the viscosity puts a lot of drag on a brush, and it’s hard to brush paint into cracks and corners.
I poured in about 5% water and stuck my drill-powered stirrer in. At first it sprayed great, laying down paint in strips 2” wide. It soon petered out. I poured it back in the can and continued.
With just a brush, it was much easier than yesterday. With less viscosity, the brush moved easily. The paint spread quickly and flowed into cracks and corners. Naturally I’d had trouble using a sprayer with paint that was too thick for brushing.
Paint stuck to the exterior of the sprayer parts, but the inside cleaned so well that I didn’t bother to disassemble the pump or valve. The achilles heel was the filter. My tip orifice is 1.25mm, but the filter uses 0.5mm squares. I call that bad engineering, needlessly restricting viscous fluids.
I believe the other problem was that the paint wasn’t completely mixed. A paint can has corners where the thickest paint can hide from a stirrer. Likewise, the sprayer tank has places for paint to hide from the currents a stirrer generates. I should have mixed it in a bowl-shaped container. I think the thickest paint clogged the filter.
There was another problem. To squirt paint, either I had to lay the brush down, or I had to hold the pump handle and the spray handle in one hand. One-handed sprayers cost $10 to $20. Solo has one with a swivel nozzle. That would be great for painting overhead.
A neighbor wants me to paint her porch ceiling. She says it isn’t much. Any overhead job is “much.” You keep loading your brush and tipping it up, and eventually paint runs down the handle. Besides, a brush with paint in the heel is hard to clean.
I’ll bet a job like that would be a lot easier with a sprayer in one hand to apply paint and a brush in the other hand.