I have painted a lot of STUFF in my life, literally hundreds of items from small end tables to garage doors! As a child I loved to paint and then after I graduated from college and worked in retail display, I painted all kinds of things on a daily basis from mannequins to display props, faux Christmas trees and more. Paint is the fastest and most affordable way to transform just about anything. I even have a page here on the blog that explains how to do just that…how to paint anything.
When Ed and I bought our first home is when I started my life-long love of painting furniture. I have used many different painting techniques and over the years have my favorite methods…like always using DIY chalk paint now when I paint furniture both with modern and aged finishes.
Through all my years and painting experience though, I have never used a paint sprayer. Shocking, I know! :-)
Call me old school, but the real reason has more to do with the fact that I like to paint items inside my house, right where they will be used. For me it makes the painting process so much easier since I don’t have to move anything or wait for the weather to be “just right” to spray paint. I have a brush and roller method that works and I have stuck with it…until it came time to paint these….
….brown stained bi-fold louvered doors. Two cover the laundry area in the hallway of darkness, a narrower one closes off a small pantry.
I thought about buying new doors, but when I went to the home improvement store I found that louvered doors are only primed, not painted glossy white, so I would still need to paint them.
You may be asking yourself, why not just buy solid bifold doors and not have to deal with painting the louvers? The reason, louvered doors provide airflow into the space they close off. Living along the water, the moisture in the air can make closed-off areas a magnet for mold. I don’t want to deal with that so I embrace the function of the louvered doors over the look of the door style itself.
So when it came time to paint the doors, I knew the only way to do it right was to spray them. I could have used a case or two of spray paint in cans, but opted instead to use HomeRight paint sprayer that would only require one gallon of paint. HomeRight makes many different types of sprayers. I decided after looking at all of them to use the Finish Max Pro.
It comes with two containers for the paint and a lightweight spray gun that connects to the turbine with a 15-foot locking hose allowing the user to move around their project easily. What I like best about it though is that it sprays with little overspray and is ideal for larger projects like doors and cabinets.
To help me quickly learn how to use the sprayer, I headed over to who I think is the queen of the HomeRight paint sprayer… Gail of My Repurposed Life. She has the best tutorials on how to not only use the sprayers, but also how to set up a tent-like Spray Shelter that HomeRight sells.
How to Paint Louvered Doors with a Paint Sprayer
What I used:
- HomeRight Finish Max Pro HVLP
- Spray Shelter
- Glidden Complete Stain Blocking Paint + Primer
- 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block
- Drop cloths
- Bucket filled with soapy water
- Having a spray shelter is the best way to keep a breeze from blowing dirt, leaves, etc onto your just painted finish. It also helps keep the overspray contained.
2. The directions attached right on the bag were good, but since it was my first time assembling it, I needed more guidance and headed over to My Repurposed Life’s post on How to Assemble a HomeRight Spray Shelter to see how to do it. Once I watched the video, I had it up in about 10 minutes.
For smaller projects when I am using spray paint in a can, I make a spray paint booth out of a cardboard box.
Before I set up the spray shelter, I went over the surface of the doors with a sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper on it. You don’t need to sand to the bare wood, but just enough to rough up the surface. It took me 10 minutes to sand all the doors. I washed and hosed down the doors to remove all the sanding grit, dirt and dust on them. Once they were clean I let them dry in the sun.
I laid a drop cloth in the spray shelter and used blocks of foam to raise the doors off the drop cloths so as the doors dried the cloth would not stick to the doors.
I don’t have photos, but using the sprayer was super easy. The part that took the most time was learning how to thin the paint. You must thin the paint with water before using it in the sprayer. If you don’t thin it, the sprayer may not spray correctly. The sprayer comes with a thinning cup that you fill and then need to time how long it takes to empty. There is chart to see how much water you need to add after you know the time it took for the cup to empty.
Once I thinned the paint and poured it into the paint sprayer container, the actual spray painting went super quick.
I had the first coat on all the doors in 10 minutes and let it dry. I needed 2 coats for full coverage.
Clean up was much easier than I thought. As Gail suggested in her posts, I used a bucket full of soapy water to place all the parts in as soon as I was finished painting. I then used a hose to clean all the parts…
…and placed them in a bucket. It is now stored in my garage at the ready for another painting project.
Once the doors were dry, I put them back in place.
I replaced the wood knobs with new faceted glass knobs.
Now the area looks much brighter and lighter even though the light gets blocked by a section of kitchen cabinets that are right in front of the small pantry closet.
The Go Jump In the Lake sign was a housewarming gift from friends. :-)
I started to paint the section of cabinets…
… and back of it to help make this area brighter.
I still have 3 more doors to paint in the hallway. They are wood paneled doors, not louvered doors. I plan to paint them right in place since it is way too hot now to paint them outside. I will share how I paint them with you soon.
Have you ever used a paint sprayer or have any tips to share?
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