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Old 05-31-2018, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Want to spring for a sprayer, questions about methodology.

Hey folks,

Everything I've read about sprayers it seems like I'm right on the cusp of being able to utilize one efficiently. I understand that rollers and brushes are tried and true and that the benefit of spraying comes from having a team that is efficient at masking. Me and mine paint apartments right now and while you might guess that a sprayer wouldn't be worth it considering how apt. Jobs usually go I think that these are special circumstances.

Basically with the busy season coming up I'll have ~ 15 apts a month. They are mostly 3 bedrooms, 1300 sq ft, 2 bath, 1 kitchen, 3-4 closets. Ceilings are white walls are either Ivore or gray. Generally every wall gets painted and if I'm lucky we can touch up trim and avoid the doors but usually I am not lucky.

So the reason I think a sprayer would be worth it is because every apartment gets every wall painted. As it stands my team can complete an apartment on average 10-13 hours depending on various factors which unfortunately is not very profitable.

My best guess is that we could mask everything in the apartment in about 3 hours and then the spraying would take 3-4 hours and then an hour to finish up random bs.

I'll describe what I'm picturing in more detail:
1) two guys lay out tarps in the downstairs (skip if Carpets are trash), one guy masks anything which would be hit by over spray from the ceiling (ac units, windows)
2) after tarps are laid, the two guys continue masking ac units and windows upstairs and then move on to masking the carpet perfectly so the trim can be sprayed (I will use a shield to protect the carpet as well). The sprayer will start on the ceiling downstairs and by the time he gets to the upstairs the ac units and tarps will be taken care of there.
3) change the paint in the sprayer and hit the trim\doors.
4. Mask the ceiling and the tops of the trim (create a sharp line for the ceiling, protect trim from over spray) and then spray the walls.

My question is that there are 3 paint changes. All flat, ceiling white, a different white for the trim, and then Grey or Ivor for the walls. Must the sprayer be completely cleaned between each change? If they are all flat could I get away with not cleaning it between the ceiling and the trim?

Also I want to paint the ceiling and trim, then mask it most likely within two hours. Is that unfeasible ? I could try to work in painting the bathrooms and kitchen to allow about an hour of drying time.

After reading that does it seem like a sprayer would be worth changing over to?
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:06 PM   #2
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Default Want to spring for a sprayer, questions about methodology.

The guys that really make money painting apartments spray everything. Youíre on the right track in your thinking I believe, but the devils is in the details.

Youíre not going to able to mask stuff the same day itís been painted. That just wonít work. The real trick is to maximize the use of shields, and minimize masking. And you probably will need to at least flush the sprayer out with water in between material changes, but thatís not really a big deal.

There was a guy that used to post here, Driftweed I think. He had a really good system for apartments. He might still post over at Contractor Talk. I do know he has some older threads over there detailing some of his procedures. Might be worth checking that out.


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Old 05-31-2018, 04:24 PM   #3
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Yeah I actually read a few of his posts which is part of the reason I'm so sold on the sprayer right now. Good news it probably just needs to be rinsed out. I'm worried about clean lines on the ceiling but based on what you said I'll probably cruise around looking for tips on shielding. Thanks for the response
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:01 AM   #4
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Spray everything. We've had to do multiple units at a time before. The only way to make money and create efficiencies is to spray. Period.

Apartments are almost like student housing, a little better but not hardly much better. It's ALL about production.

The three colors is a real pain because of drying times etc.

Put it this way, without seeing the job etc., figure about half of what you estimated. If it was all one color and maybe trim being another color. You should be able to knock out that size apartment in about 45 minutes with a well trained crew and system.

Masking is your issue, do as little as necessary and utilize different tapes and plastics to your advantage. Do you remove light covers? Nope. Takes too long. Fan blades? Nope, takes too long. etc. etc. You can still mask many of these objects, but it's important to not have to do a full cover on them.

You'll become a master with spraying when you can cut around toilets and tight edge details with only tape being your buffer. Spray/peel + clean crew. Done.

Operating in this manner is a different animal, I've had the pleasure of experiencing it and was a real story teller. But it sure has helped on bidding things and knowing what TRUE production is like.

Edit:
Time everything. Time how long it takes to mask certain objects, watch what is slowing things down, what are the guys struggling with, what products can you use to make their job easier, what sprayers work best in what production environment. Heavy machinery on lower levels, lighter ones up top. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. lol

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 06-01-2018, 02:38 AM   #5
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In addition to what has already been said:
A. You can dive straight into a new color with no flushing of water. Pump that slop into the toilet and keep going.
And B.
Utilize your smaller tip sizes . You may also find a power roller set up to be helpful for parts of some things...not sure.

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Old 06-04-2018, 09:22 PM   #6
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My question is. How many months/years can a man/crew continue this fast pace of spraying apartments. It's quantity over quality. The exact opposite of our company's niche, which is, quality not quantity. For us it boils down to better customers, better pay, less fatigue over many years. Our company is in demand year round including November through February which is typical slow time for majority of painters. This niche has kept us busy 5-6 days a week during winters for the past twenty years when I took over for Father who is now retired.
Apartments go fast burn out.
Interior residential be efficient, stay busy until retirement, don't burn out. IMO
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomermp View Post
My question is. How many months/years can a man/crew continue this fast pace of spraying apartments. It's quantity over quality. The exact opposite of our company's niche, which is, quality not quantity. For us it boils down to better customers, better pay, less fatigue over many years. Our company is in demand year round including November through February which is typical slow time for majority of painters. This niche has kept us busy 5-6 days a week during winters for the past twenty years when I took over for Father who is now retired.
Apartments go fast burn out.
Interior residential be efficient, stay busy until retirement, don't burn out. IMO


I get the sentiment, but the logic doesnít really hold. Itís not like successful apt turn over guys are physically working that much harder that a successful high end res repaint guy. A persons work ethic is their work ethic. The level of detail that work requires is the only real difference.






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Old 06-05-2018, 09:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomermp View Post
My question is. How many months/years can a man/crew continue this fast pace of spraying apartments. It's quantity over quality. The exact opposite of our company's niche, which is, quality not quantity. For us it boils down to better customers, better pay, less fatigue over many years. Our company is in demand year round including November through February which is typical slow time for majority of painters. This niche has kept us busy 5-6 days a week during winters for the past twenty years when I took over for Father who is now retired.
Apartments go fast burn out.
Interior residential be efficient, stay busy until retirement, don't burn out. IMO
That seems to be the motto. Im 23 right now so I consider this my foot in the door. If I come to an experience PC and say I have 2-3 years of experience handling a small team? I hope I could get a job, or even just as a helper who could soon prove my worth?

For now, unfortunately, its quantity quantity quantity....
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:38 PM   #9
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Little update anyways,

It seems like the big boss is giving less and less of a **** about how the paint jobs turn out. We got one done in about 5 hours today, skipped cutting in corners (it was the same color) and pretty much did no spackle and didnt remove cover plates. Cancelled the cig breaks for the day (aside from the mid day ciggie ofc.) and pretty much threw caution to the wind. I don't like it but GC wants them done so they will get done... just a matter of time till the property manager is going to start noticing issues, it feels dirty but its my paycheck. I gotta gtfo of this gig I think
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