Our new friend Nick (ironic!) had purchased this end table from us a few months back. He recently contacted us with a new job! He had a coffee table, end table, and a long/low unit that he wanted us to paint to look like a ‘set’. The coffee table and end table are already siblings, but that other piece isn’t even a distant cousin.
He wanted to use the long/low table-ish thing as a TV stand, and asked that we remove the doors and add a shelf for storing DVD players/game consoles and the like. These types of projects make MY Nick’s little heart sing. Usually a country song that he only knows a handful of words to.
Our next step was to sand and prime everything (ok technically that’s two steps… whatever).
Since our buddy wanted his tables to be red and glazed (no special new techniques to share), we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to introduce our paint gun!
We’ve been using it for several months now, because we wanted to be good and familiar with it, and form a valued opinion before we blather on about it!
The brand is Tool Shop. Just a cheap-o paint gun bought at our local hardware store for $20 bucks or so. We originally bought the cheapest gun because we just wanted to try it out and see if it would benefit us financially before we made the commitment of purchasing something very expensive.
We found that we actually liked the gun! But we didn’t like the crappy air pressure our 10-gallon air compressor provided. Finally we realized that we would need to make an investment in a larger air compressor… knowing it would pay itself off with all the $$$ we are saving on paint. Check out this 20-gallon-beast:
This is your opportunity to make your husband’s YEAR! Go buy him a hefty air compressor. For him it’ll be a sweet toy, and for you it’ll be a priceless tool that makes your life so much easier and cheaper (in the long run).
Husbands? YOUR WELCOME.
Depending on what brand/model of paint gun you purchase, you’ll want to carefully read the directions and learn to put your gun together correctly. It’s not as complicated as it looks… promise!
We use a 2mm needle for most of our paint jobs. You’ll know what that means when you get familiar with your new gun.
We keep all our little pieces neatly together in this little caddy. Definitely find something to keep all your parts together!
Next you’ll need to thin your paint to a consistency that will flow smoothly through the nozzle of your gun. There will be a little trial and error with this. What has worked for us is to add enough water (or mineral spirits for oil-base paint) until it’s slightly thicker than the consistency of water. Plan on practicing a lot on a sheet of wood until you get the feel for it.!
One thing we love about our paint gun is that it has a valve that allows us to use a flat spray (fan spray), or a straight shot. And we can turn the flat spray to be either vertical or diagonal, depending on the part of furniture we’re working on. Take it slow and just let it ‘mist’ the furniture. Several coats is better than drips!
(Please note that we almost ALWAYS wear a paint mask while painting. Don’t know what happened in this pic… totally dropped the ball. WEAR A PAINT MASK FOLKS!)
Below is an example of a good even spray, with the proper ratio of thinner/paint and air pressure.
Below is an example of what we call ‘orange peel’ texture. This could either be caused by paint not being thin enough, lack of air pressure, or too much paint supply flowing through your gun. There are valves to adjust these things. Become familiar with them!
Even though our client WANTED his furniture red… we were feeling like things were REEEEALLY red when we were done painting. Like in an unpleasant way. Luckily, he also wanted the ‘glazed’ look… so we knew that would definitely tone things down a lot. And it DID! (Glazing Tutorial HERE)
See? So much better, right? RIGHT!
When we got around to polying these pieces, we had to wipe things down a little. It appears there was a kitten stampede. I can’t help but think it’s super cute. 🙂 If it were my furniture, I may have just sealed the cuteness in permanently!
Don’t they look like a lovely close-knit family of tables?
In conclusion! (I haven’t typed that since college!) These 3 pieces of furniture TOGETHER used one quart of paint (which cost us around $10). Had we used aerosol spray paint like we’ve done in the past, we would have used at LEAST 10 cans of spray paint (at $5+ bucks a pop), so that’s a 80% savings on each piece of furniture we tackle! I would venture to say that the air compressor has paid itself off in the last few months… I wish we would have kept track!
We would like you to go away with 2 very important nuggets of paint-gun wisdom:
- It’s all about the air pressure (in our experience). Buy a quality air compressor and a cheap gun!
- Don’t be intimidated by all the parts, learning the valves, cleaning, etc. Once you get it down, it’s cake.
DISCLOIMER! We are NOT professionally trained, and we learn something new with each and every new project! We just like to share what knowledge we have with our friends! We are in no way affiliated with Tool Shop, and are not being compensated for singing their praises. We’re just tellin’ it like it is, yo.