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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first post, sorry it's such a long one.

OK, I'll have to speak with some of my painting buddies about this tomorrow, but I've just tried my hand at some spray painting with mixed results. Maybe some of you guys can give me some insights before I speak with my buddies.

First off, this work was for my own house. I'm putting up a high quality cedar lattice fence. Individual lattice strips runs horizontal and vertical (i.e., square lattice pattern) and are 1 in. wide by 3/8 deep (thick lattice) with spacing every inch -- a very dense, privacy lattice. Tight spacing and thick lattice strips suggest that it will be somewhat difficult to apply paint to sides of lattice strips.

Well, I've never spray painted before -- I've always used brushes and rollers. But obviously this lattice fence requires spray painting (the manufacturer of the fencing would also paint the fencing, but they dip panels in paint vats which results in a sloppy job with runs, etc). So I decide to do this job myself and go out and buy a Graco Magnum XR-7 sprayer (on the advice of some painting pros). This particular unit I'm told is really intended for household use but it will comfortably support a 17 spray tip and thus be suitable for spraying the oil-based primer (Benj Moore 094) and exterior latex I plan to use on the fence.

Rather than seek advice on spray tip fan size, I decided that a narrow fan would be best given that I'll have to hold the spray gun at an angle to the lattice in order to access the sides of the lattice strips as well as their face. It seemed to me that a wide fan would compound the uneven paint application issue associated with spraying at an angle to the surface of the lattice. In order to limit the amount of paint being applied, given the already small fan size, I tried out a 15 size orifice even though BM suggests an 18 size. So, I ended up using a 215 spray tip (but I also purchased a 217 in case the 215 didn't atomize well or had clogging issues).

I suppose it would have been best to start my practical spraying education by painting a large surface with latex using a larger fan tip as opposed to applying an oil-based primer on lattice with a small fan tip, but it's too late now to change course. The first lattice panel was a disaster. I applied way too much paint as I made multiple passes at various angles in an attempt to cover all sides of the lattice strips. But I learned from this experience, I think. For the remaining panels, I positioned the panels on a jig so that the facing lattice strips were horizontal (i.e., I turned the panels 90 degrees when painting the vertical strips so that these strips were oriented horizontally) and I made two separate passes separated by 6 hours or more of drying time. For the first pass, I moved the gun horizontally and at downward angle (thus also applying paint to the top side of the horizontal strip). For the second pass, I turned the panel upside down and also sprayed at a downward angle while moving gun horizontally, thus applying paint to other side of lattice strip. I also focused spraying on just the lattice in order to avoid over application to top, bottom and side trim -- these I sprayed last to the extent they were not already hit by lattice spray and I back brushed them to ensure uniform coverage (whereas I didn't touch the lattice strips with a brush). In order to minimize the mess and avoid screwing up still wet surfaces, I painted one side of fence at a time. All of this required substantially drying time intervals with the result that it took me 3 days to paint 40 feet of fence panels!

Well the results, other than the first side of the first panel, seem pretty good overall but coverage is not as uniform as I'd like. I'm sure that the paint was applied pretty thick in some places whereas coverage of the side of the lattice strips is certainly lighter and in some cases pretty thin. My plan now is to let all the panels dry fully for about a week, then I'll do some sanding and touch up with a brush to the extent necessary to ensure a good, smooth base for the top coats of exterior latex.

This has been an arduous task (actually cleaning the damn sprayer with mineral spirits after each application took the most time -- I now have four gallons of toxic waste to dispose of!). As I approach doing the top coats, can you guys offer and tips and advice? For example, should I use a tip with a larger fan that might allow multiple passes? Should I try going to a smaller orifice size? Anything else?
 

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Maybe a bit much for a "first timer", but I applaud your courage to get out there and do it. Painting is all about trial and error. If one thing doesn't work that well, move to another. So, my opinions on tip sizes/fan width really don't matter much since it's personal preference. If it were my job, I may use a 415/413 or maybe a 313.

Tips on the finish coat? Nice, even coats. Not too thick, not too thin. Make sure to keep an equal distance away from the surface as you're spraying. Nice long passes. Never start spraying on the wood...spray into it...this will help greatly with spatter/thick spots/runs

Good luck
 

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Lattice ought to be against the law.

You will know more than most when you're done w the project!

With that xr-7 a 413 or even 313 would be best.

Just do it standing upright, w cardboard against the backside, lite coats, do 'em all, then go back to other side w cardboard switched over.
r
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the support. I'd like to use a 313 for the top coats, but will that pass BM exterior latex (@ BM their exterior latex call for a 18 tip!). I suppose I could always thin a little if necessary?
 

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I'm putting up a high quality cedar lattice fence.

I've never spray painted before

I decide to do this job myself and go out and buy a Graco Magnum XR-7 sprayer

The first lattice panel was a disaster. I applied way too much paint as I made multiple passes at various angles in an attempt to cover all sides of the lattice strips.

...it took me 3 days to paint 40 feet of fence panels!

This has been an arduous task (actually cleaning the damn sprayer with mineral spirits after each application took the most time -- I now have four gallons of toxic waste to dispose of!)
Sounds about right
But sorry, it's in the wrong forum

So.....here we go....

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