I went to repaint a shed with half a can of latex paint that had been
sitting 30 years. After 100 square feet I was tired and quit.
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
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.