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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I was a cabinet installer and not a professional painter. I have lots of experience painting with brushes\rollers and previously sprayed using my own Wagner Procoat sprayer to paint 10,000 sqft of trussed steel ceilings and used it on a few fences.

Current job that needs painting
16 x 12 coffered ceiling with mixed raw and pre primed MDF wood trim
8 x 8x8" fluted raw MDF pillars on columns
40ft of 3ft high wainscoting + baseboard made up of raw MDF and poplar trim
Bay window seat and columns

Building Plant Wood Cabinetry Architecture

Materials
I purchased the paint months ago when it was great deal before determining the method of painting or spray tips I have
Primer - 3 gal - Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 primer - TDS states use 0.017” tip at 2000 – 2500 PSI. If thinning is required add no more than 5% clean water
Paint - 4 gal - Valspar Signature Interior Latex Satin Paint+Primer No. 773957 - Ultra White - Tinted white - TDS states use Tip: 0.017–0.021″ 2000psi. Do not thin

Equipment
Wagner Procoat airless sprayer max tip size 0.015 - It has the power to prime and push the paint through gun just not a pro machine
Gun is Titan GS0-8 \ Wagner Spraytech Gs-07
Tips I have Wagner\Titan 515(used ~20 gal through it) & 413(new)

Prep
All surfaces all filled, sanded, caulked,
Tape everything, seal room off
Blown off trim with compressor, vacuum, and "tack" cloth surfaces
Plan is to do ceiling first and work my way down

Questions
The paint manufacture TDS's suggest 0.017 tips but the machine cannot handle 0.017 tips. Do I spray everything with the 515 tip or do I even try the 413 tip? (risk of sheer or something else) The paint states "do not thin" does Floetrol count? I want a smooth finish and no sags the 515 might provide a bit too much over spray on the columns when I over lap 50%. A bit of wasted paint not an issue.
Anyone see issues spraying the raw MDF with thick Bullseye 123? Suggest a different primer? The Valspar states it is paint+primer, skip the Bulls Eye123 and do 3 coats?
Start on ceiling and work my way down?

Suggestions?
Rent a Sprayer with a 0.017 tip? dont even bother with 413 tip etc...
In a 2 weeks I will start and just test both tips on carboard. I just rather not mess up the trim work learning what not to do.
 

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I don't think the people who writes those recommended tip sizes have ever actually sprayed anything... the physics might be correct but that's way too much paint. I probably wouldn't use anything bigger than a 310, maybe a 410/12 for those large panels on the ceiling. Anything more than that is going to too much for fine finish work. For reference I use a 415 to spray exterior lap siding.

I normally try to avoid any solvent-based materials but if you've got quite a bit of raw wood you might be better off priming with an oil such as Coverstain. With a water-based primer you may have a lot of sanding to do if there is a lot of grain raising.
 

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So, I'm stuck at home after a hernia surgery!! I have watched every Star Wars movie including the two fillers. I would say this to the OP...as Obi Wan..ahem.."this is not the job you want to do. This is a job for expert spray men, not a padawan like yourself. The products you have chosen are crap and will not work on this job. Seek the help of more experienced people. Do not suffer the fates like those before you." and scene..thank you so much.
But seriously OP, you will screw this up!! No offense, but sub this out. You will need to have an mdf primer, nothing off the shelf at home depot will do. Then you will need a legitimate enamel, not Valspar junk!! A .017 tip for all those angles?? God bless your spirit, spunk, and can do attitude. If you go this route get a lot of sandpaper, as you will be sanding runs for days.
 

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Valspar Signature is a fine wall paint and maybe OK for lower end trim in a rental or previously painted with latex, but brand new trim in a scenario like that, you'd really want to use a real enamel trim paint like SW Emerald Urethane, BM Advance or Scuff X, PPG Breakthrough, or even Behr's Urethane Alkyd potentially (not much longterm use of the product yet, but like how it's holding up in my own house.)

If you go with your current paint it's sort of like painting a new Ferrari (since the trim work does look gorgeous) with rattlecans.
 

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I agree with all the people above!! Also, don't forget all the panels, ends, mouldings, dentils, etc. will need to be caulked in. You know what they say about a carpenter with a caulk gun don't cha?? It is an amazing looking room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your honest opinions and humor, not offended at all. I was hoping the tools and paint I had at hand was adequate but knew in my head it was not right... hence creating this post.

This is my home and I did all the trim work myself. I’m up for the challenge I just need to train myself and get the right supplies and looking for your experience and recommendations.

I “like” to find water cleanup primer that dries to an easy sanding finish after ~24 hr dry time (sands to powder vs goo in sandpaper) that is compatible with a 220 grit sanded raw MDF with poplar wood trim. I understand water raises the grain and swells mdf. Suggestions?

Regarding paint. I did it backwards. In the past I used 3 different brands of trim paint in my house for trim and doors. Used C2 ($100Gal) and 2 others. They all sucked and hated painting trim and doors. The C2 needs 3 to 4 coats to cover and was recommend to me by a professional paint store. Last Oct I personally tested 6 different brands of trim paint in the $60-$80 range (Behr Ultra, Door and trim, Cabinet paint etc). Tested each sample on a baseboard that had a pencil line, red sharpie, sharp edges, over primer. Was brushed on and not sprayed. The Valspar by far was the easiest to brush, covers the best, clings well to sharp edges and leveled the best with no brush marks. Got it VS for $25 a can and the 123 primer for $10 a can. But have not used the VS on it on anything other than the test board so don’t know for sure. I researched Valspar and its owned by SW since 2017 is it really that bad? Curious whats wrong with it

During COVID lock down I worked on the trim work and kept adding new features like the pillars, flutes, ¾” deep paneling. Was fun. Then realized I need to spray this job and hence this forum.

Went to a BM store at lunch and they said call 1-800. So I called the BM tech support – Literally all they said is use any Alkyd primer that my local BM stores sells, then top coat with price point of paint I choose like Aura, Regal, Ben. Useless support from store and company. Never suggested Impervo or Advance. I mentioned one of their paints has excellent edge adhesion in TDS. They said never heard of that term before (its feature in Impervo data sheet). They frankly don’t deserve my money based on that.

Impervo TDS looks good and forum members like it. I have tons of sharp edges and corners in my project and these features in the TDS caught my eye “Clings to sharp edges and corners”, "excellent sag resistance"

Is dealing with this solvent based worth it? Clean up, VOC etc...

Below is not fully finished yet, lots of corners

Property Wood Stairs Wood stain Composite material


Sharp edges on multi step coffers
Wood Rectangle Tints and shades Hardwood Composite material


Called Sherwin-williams store and they suggested Kem Aqua, But is spray only. Brush touch ups will show later on and read it not easy to use for beginners. So that is out.

Looking at PPS Breakthough TDS and looks promising. Ultra-durable, waterborne acrylic enamel, excellent flow and leveling, horizontal and vertical surfaces, use on trim & cabinetry, Very fast dry, might help with sagging if it firms up quicker then it has time to run. Since I’m spraying I don’t need to worry much about leveling with brush strokes when it dries fast. Best results are achieved using a fine finish tip 0.009” - 0.013”. Downside is the store said to was $125 a can


Complex corners to spray
Property Wood Building Fixture Lighting

Still missing baseboard
Property Wood Flooring Fixture Interior design




I swear by Behr Ultra products. Entire project below was only one coat needed! Just brush and rollers. Should I try Behr's Urethane Alkyd?

Furniture Building Property Plant Table
 

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Thanks for your honest opinions and humor, not offended at all. I was hoping the tools and paint I had at hand was adequate but knew in my head it was not right... hence creating this post.

This is my home and I did all the trim work myself. I’m up for the challenge I just need to train myself and get the right supplies and looking for your experience and recommendations.

I “like” to find water cleanup primer that dries to an easy sanding finish after ~24 hr dry time (sands to powder vs goo in sandpaper) that is compatible with a 220 grit sanded raw MDF with poplar wood trim. I understand water raises the grain and swells mdf. Suggestions?

Regarding paint. I did it backwards. In the past I used 3 different brands of trim paint in my house for trim and doors. Used C2 ($100Gal) and 2 others. They all sucked and hated painting trim and doors. The C2 needs 3 to 4 coats to cover and was recommend to me by a professional paint store. Last Oct I personally tested 6 different brands of trim paint in the $60-$80 range (Behr Ultra, Door and trim, Cabinet paint etc). Tested each sample on a baseboard that had a pencil line, red sharpie, sharp edges, over primer. Was brushed on and not sprayed. The Valspar by far was the easiest to brush, covers the best, clings well to sharp edges and leveled the best with no brush marks. Got it VS for $25 a can and the 123 primer for $10 a can. But have not used the VS on it on anything other than the test board so don’t know for sure. I researched Valspar and its owned by SW since 2017 is it really that bad? Curious whats wrong with it

During COVID lock down I worked on the trim work and kept adding new features like the pillars, flutes, ¾” deep paneling. Was fun. Then realized I need to spray this job and hence this forum.

Went to a BM store at lunch and they said call 1-800. So I called the BM tech support – Literally all they said is use any Alkyd primer that my local BM stores sells, then top coat with price point of paint I choose like Aura, Regal, Ben. Useless support from store and company. Never suggested Impervo or Advance. I mentioned one of their paints has excellent edge adhesion in TDS. They said never heard of that term before (its feature in Impervo data sheet). They frankly don’t deserve my money based on that.

Impervo TDS looks good and forum members like it. I have tons of sharp edges and corners in my project and these features in the TDS caught my eye “Clings to sharp edges and corners”, "excellent sag resistance"

Is dealing with this solvent based worth it? Clean up, VOC etc...

Below is not fully finished yet, lots of corners



Sharp edges on multi step coffers


Called Sherwin-williams store and they suggested Kem Aqua, But is spray only. Brush touch ups will show later on and read it not easy to use for beginners. So that is out.

Looking at PPS Breakthough TDS and looks promising. Ultra-durable, waterborne acrylic enamel, excellent flow and leveling, horizontal and vertical surfaces, use on trim & cabinetry, Very fast dry, might help with sagging if it firms up quicker then it has time to run. Since I’m spraying I don’t need to worry much about leveling with brush strokes when it dries fast. Best results are achieved using a fine finish tip 0.009” - 0.013”. Downside is the store said to was $125 a can


Complex corners to spray

Still missing baseboard




I swear by Behr Ultra products. Entire project below was only one coat needed! Just brush and rollers. Should I try Behr's Urethane Alkyd?
If you even consider to use latex wall paint on that beautiful package I might take a trip across the border to personally smack some sense into you.

Benjaminmoore 217 undercoater and satin impervo will look and feel amazing. Otherwise if your in canada you might have access to products like Enviorlak.\ or hell even fine paints of europe if you want to go take a class on how to use it
 

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If you're a Behr fan, hey, try the Urethane Alkyd. It'd be a hell of a job to test it on but I found it's at least as good as Advance, and possibly as good as my now favorite deceased paint Muralo Ultra. I wasn't a Behr fan historically, I've found from about 2016 until really recently their paints don't level well and have a lot of drag and are hard to brush, but they seem to have significantly changed for the better now and I find them surprising. I'd be interested to see how it turns out on this job, admittedly the use in my house to test it out is on older more beat up trim, not something like this.

PPG Breakthrough is very good, but not $125 a gallon good. I paid only $50 4-5 years ago, but my local PPG store prices went up like crazy during the shortage. Ask to setup a contractor's account and get pricing somewhat equivalent to SW. I've used it on a table and it held up to that use, so it's durable for sure.

I actually did a couple of doors in my own house with Valspar Signature in my mother's room and it's held up adequately over 5 years, but still I'd not use it for your scenario on brand new high end trim. I don't think necessarily it would be a catastrophic failure waiting to happen or anything like that, but top end trim paints are that much better for burnish/scuff resistance and putting things on them, hand oils, etc. It sucks when you go into a house and you take stuff off a mantel and it sticks. I'm not sure if Valspar Signature would do that, but it's not a strong trim paint meant to be oil like in that manner.

For primers I'm not really sure on what's going to work out with MDF. Perhaps to avoid oil base you could use shellac, then cleanup and smell is a lot easier (ammonia cleanup vs thinner.) But you'd go through a lot of shellac that way, but it sands the best of any primer around imo. You could do multiple coats of shellac, or perhaps try just one or two coats of shellac and then a latex primer on top once the shellac's sealed up the MDF, as a higher build primer. I'm tempted to say you could even brush and roll the shellac, as it's about as thin as milk, and levels really well. I would spray any latex primer, though. For latex primers personally I think the best one I've ever used was BM Fresh Start 046 but it's not cheap, but it definitely sands and adheres well. In hot weather on bare wood I was sanding to powder in a couple hours, it was really nice and I was super impressed. Maybe the second best so far is SW Problock, which might be hard to get from SW due to the shortages. I would recommend against 1-2-3 now as it doesn't sand well, and honestly adhesion doesn't seem nearly as good as before. I've not used any Kilz or Behr latex primers so I can't tell you anything, nor any of PPG's latex primers.

If the commitment is high for buying a lots of gallons of shellac, you could try a quart on some smaller part that's not too conspicuous or scrap and see how it works out, then you're out only $20 or so.

Satin Impervo imo would be ultimately the king, but as a noob I found it very hard to brush and roll and it takes forever to cure, smells nasty, and still will eventually yellow. I'd go Advance over it in most scenarios.
 

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If you using a latex primer, plan on doing a couple coats atleast. Maybe even 3. Usually you will want to do your filling and caulking after the first prime as it will bring forth all the area's that you missed! Light Sand with 220 in between coats.
I'm not a SW fan, but if you need to do touch ups, Advance from BM is just a dream to work with. I'd us a 308 fflp and do lite passes. Beautiful work btw.
 

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Your place is gorgeous btw...
I see you live in Canada...have you checked out Envirolak? It's worth a visit to their website if your still in decision phase. Since it is your own home, have fun with it as much possible..😉...and post more questions when they come up.
 

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Beautiful work!

Oil would obviously look great (and feel great). It is a traditional finish that would complement the traditional woodwork.

However, as painters, we typically look to keep continuity throughout the entire home. With that said, my first question to you would be: what did you use everywhere else in your house?

Oil-based fumes are something to be reckoned with (and I personally wouldn't want to spray it in my home). It should be noted that oil enamel "cracks out" in the corners (wherever the wood meets, or wherever there is a joint, etc...) because oil becomes brittle as it ages, and when the wood expands and contracts it leaves fine hairline cracks in these locations. This is usually just part of the look, some people like it, but it bothers some people- it is something you should expect if you use oil enamels, especially if you live in a climate with fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Smart Prime is a water-based primer that can be sanded to powder in an hour.

As someone else stated, a Urethane fortified water-based trim paint (like Behr, or SW Emerald Urethane, or Cabinet Coat), or an Acrylic Alkyd (like Pro Classic Acrylic Alkyd) might be a good compromise between waterbased and oil based trim paints. Nothing looks and feels like oil enamels, but the new "hybrids" tend to have some advantages due to lower VOC's, shorter dry times, easier to work with and clean up (especially if spraying), but still have a nice sheen, and good leveling qualities.
 

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I agree with the advice given above. My only suggestion would be to practice, practice, practice spraying on some scraps or even a cheap mdf 6 panel door ( since spraying anything flat is easier than something with angles) before taking on your finished areas.
 
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@mylesmweiss
123 "levels out" nicely (smooth finish), and it sprays nicely, but does not sand well. It tends to gum up. If you need to sand, that is not the best primer to use. Smart Prime (sometimes called 123 PLUS) would be better.

Just a thought: An HVLP might be easier for you to manage. It has a less overspray and bounce-back. With all the corners, it would probably be easier to learn and have success with. You could likely borrow one from somebody for a couple days, or rent one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Lets make this more complicated - Other spraying equipment I could use

HPLV machine
My brother has a HPLV sprayer that he bought to apply lacquers to cabinet doors 15 years ago (we think it is Graco 4500) I also think his has the pot to pressurize the entire gallon of paint also. I just have to drive 2hrs one way to get it. Been sitting in the garage for 4 years not used. Let me know...

HPLV gun and compressor
Im a sucker for hard work. The veterans approached me and ask if I would build a cross for every veteran that passed away that was a member of our community (Newmarket, Ontario) for Remembrance day. Honored, I said yes...then they gave 500 names = 500 crosses...OMG. Used a Vaper HVLP Gun - 2.3mm, Model# 19023 with 2 compressors T'ed together to keep airflow going in a mini spray booth. Someone donated the latex primer and paint from Home depot. Finish was ok, thinning the paint sucked so it would flow in the cup made it cover like crap.
Plant Nature Tree Grass Chair
Wood Wood stain Flooring Floor Hardwood


Graco Magnum Airless?
My buddy bought a new airless sprayer in 2020 to do his basement last year. Might be a Graco Magnum pro Painter or X5. Its 45 min drive to get it. Willing to buy a tip for it if he does not have it. I dont think he has a FF tip.

Movement
Coffered ceiling is a reverse of how everyone builds them. It has over 2400 joints and cuts. Took a long time to build. Made up of 2 baseboards and crown glued to a twelve 44"x44" 1/4 MDF sheets.. The ceiling has a steel beam in the middle to hold up the second floor. I discovered after taking down the stucco ceiling it was 1" out of level in areas. 3/4" off over 4ft, you can never make crown good with that surface. So I made the coffers as inverted pictures and hung upside down almost like a suspended ceiling. Its perfectly level. The faux beams are actually gaps later filled with 3/4 MDF. After 120 screws and toggle bolts, 5,000 pin nails and 7 empty glue bottles its super, super, solid but since its 100% all MDF its going to expand. Built in summer, and now winter I dont see any cracking or shrinking yet.. All MDF has finished off gassing (open over 6 months now) so there should no reaction with formaldehyde glues reacting with the paint. The room really smelt bad of MDF after columns when up for 2 months.
Bookcase Furniture Shelf Shelving Wood


Regarding finish and look
The rest of the house is all pure white trim. Im not an architectural designer or expert in any way but, what would classic fluted columns look during the 1600 to 1800s era. Features are made of white plaster thats pure flat finish I assume. They did not paint plaster with semi gloss. Same with the columns, they would be paint, marble or stone. Pedestals are stone and would be flat also. The floor is dark oak and slate. Basically I want flat finish. But one notch up in sheen to make easier to clean and does not mark. I used pure white oil trim paint in my old house and it all yellowed. In 3 years I do NOT want a yellowing ceiling and columns. Plaster white in color.

VOC's
If the best product and process for this project is solvent based paint then I will do it. This weekend Im dealing with VOC's anyway. The slate floor went in before Christmas. It needs 21 days to cure before sealing with a product I use called Dyna 4320. Super amazing product except on issue... it is solvent based and will may you high without a mask. 15 years ago I did 500sft...brutal VOC's last time I used it with respirator. But its still shines 15 years later and not a single issue. This is the new slate expanded in the old dinning room that is now the kitchen area.

Tile flooring Plant Wood Interior design Flooring
 

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Regarding finish and look
The rest of the house is all pure white trim. Im not an architectural designer or expert in any way but, what would classic fluted columns look during the 1600 to 1800s era. Features are made of white plaster thats pure flat finish I assume. They did not paint plaster with semi gloss. Same with the columns, they would be paint, marble or stone. Pedestals are stone and would be flat also. The floor is dark oak and slate. Basically I want flat finish. But one notch up in sheen to make easier to clean and does not mark. I used pure white oil trim paint in my old house and it all yellowed. In 3 years I do NOT want a yellowing ceiling and columns. Plaster white in color.
If you want an more authentic finish you would want to hand-paint (not spray) with a brush using an oil based enamel.

All oils yellow.

Edit: Sounds like you should stick with water-based clean up. The Hybrid waterborne tend to yellow less, and look similar.
I used Cabinet Coat (satin) recently on an historic renovation, and it had a very similar look and feel to oil enamel, although it is much shinier than a true satin (imo). Very easy to work with.

SW Acrylic Alkyd is also very similar look and feel to oil enamels (it is an emulsified Alkyd), so when it dries it is essentially an oil paint. The satin in this product is more in line with a true satin.

Whites tend to wear better in Satin sheen (collect less grime) than Flats if they are in traffic areas.
 
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