Well they say you only have to make a mistake once to learn from it – and that’s exactly what we did. Lauren & I went to Home Depot one weekend (surprise, surprise) and came out with this little paint sprayer – convinced it would work better for us then anyone else.

Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Paint Sprayer Kit

FAIL. Just FAIL. I tried and tried to get this little thing to work – it sprayed for a good 2 minutes, then would clog up – or start spattering the piece with large globs of paint. No amount of cleaning, thinning or other methods would get this thing to work properly. So I boxed it up and trucked back to Home Depot – doing a silent prayer in my head that they would take it back (hey, I did use it and I cleaned it – but paint gets everywhere!). The guy at Home Depot took it back without even looking in the case. I mean, I could have put bricks in there and returned it. (Granted, it worked about as well as a brick).

So we were back to square one. But then another client requested a piece be lacquered and for that I definelty need a sprayer, so I went off searching again. Low and behold, I found this gem on Harbor Freights website for $14.99! Granted, I held my breath when trying it – doubting the performance of something so cheap – but this gun rocks! If you have a compressor handy (or score one on Craigslist) get this gun!

The Gun

Before you run off and buy the gun – let me recommend 2 more items from Harbor Freight. First, spend the $10 and get the spray gun filler stand. Buy this unless you want to try pouring paint into the gun with one hand while balancing the gun and trying not to spill with the other. It doesn’t work. Trust me – my black lacquered toes are not a fashion statement – I didn’t buy the stand at first and had to wear flip flops with half my toes (and not just the toe nails) painted black for a few days. Buy the stand. (I just ordered mine last week).

Second – if you plan on using a variety of paints, buy extra cups. It’s just easier that way – instead of having to rinse between paint colors.

I use a Porter Cable Compressor that Lauren bought me for my birthday this year – I got the entire nail gun kit but the compressor itself is available for just $99. One note if you have the porter compressor set like I do (an maybe for others as well) – the gun doesn’t come with the male connector piece for your hose, so I removed one from my nailgun to use and it worked just fine. Later on a different trip to Home Depot I picked up the make connector for $1.49 so I don’t have to keep changing things around.

So does this work with Chalk Paint? Like butta. I sprayed 5 pieces in 2 hours – did not have to thin the paint and I only used 1 can of paint (with some leftover). It was easy so not a lot of explanation necessary – just fired up the compressor, poured the paint in the cup and started squeezing the trigger. (I did have “the claw” after 2 hours of spraying though). The paint came out perfectly smooth – you can see a finished sample on the buffet we just revealed – and I’ll have 4 more pieces completed this week that were all sprayed as well. I didn’t have to thin the paint – just adjusted the gun to get the pattern I wanted and away I went.

Bonus: The beauty of this gun is the lack of overspray – now it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t create the cloud of paint that the other sprayers did. My arms weren’t covered in paint and I wasn’t sneezing out flecks of paint hours later. I probably didn’t need to cover up the other pieces in the garage, but I did just to be safe.

If you have any questions/concerns with using a compressor – just leave a comment or contact us and I would be happy to help you out. They really aren’t scary – just loud!

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15 Responses to Paint Sprayers & Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

  1. Linda Leyble says:

    Hi – glad to hear of your success with the paint srayer – and such an inexpensive one at that! I have an HVLP sprayer already and I was wondering about using it with AS Chalk Paint. I’ve put even textured materials through it (but wayered it down), so I thought the Chalk Paint would work. But as an extra sprayer – your suggestion sounds fantastic…and easy to use. Have to try it out. Thanks for writing about your experiences!!

    Linda Leyble

  2. paintycait says:

    We’ve used it through HVLP and thinned about 20%. If you think your pot is a little “bitty” then straining through tights is worthwhile

  3. Teri says:

    Thanks for the tips! Picked up the sprayer ($11.99 w/coupon), stand and extra cups at my local Harbor Freight store! I can’t wait to use it with my ASCP!!

  4. Thanks for the heads up, I would love to have one! (new follower)
    Debbie

  5. Lori Avery says:

    I am so anxious to try it !! I have a paint sprayer that feeds from a paint container that attaches to the bottom ~ I think there is alot of overspray so I really want to try this one!
    Thank you for letting us know about it :)

    xoxo
    Lori

  6. Gotta love Harbor Freight…it’s like a candy store for us DIYers. :)
    Thanks for being the guinea pig.

  7. Lisa Thistlethwaite says:

    Thanks so much looks like a fantastic tool.

  8. Kai says:

    Thank you so much for the recommendation and great post! I have been wanting to switch to a paint sprayer for a while now, now I just need to find a cheap compressor on Craigslist!

  9. Lisa says:

    Hi! Would you please tell me the model # of your Porter Cable compressor? And do you have any suggestions for someone who has never sprayed furniture? Thanks!

  10. Barbara says:

    What does one do when they started spraying lacquer in a can on AS chalk painted Armoire?

    I did not do the wax as I thought the lacquer would be so much faster.

    Now I have a Paris Gray Armoire painted and 1/2 sprayed with lacquer with no idea of what to do with the mess I have now.

    Any suggestions, ideas, or recommendations for a way out of this? Tkx, Barbara

    • Nick says:

      Barbara – I’m guessing you put a clear lacquer over the paint? It should be fine, though you have to be careful with lacquer and the temp at which you spray it. Try lightly sanding it down once it’s dried and either re-coating or re-painting that area. Then wax with a clear wax for the same effect – waxing is typically as quick as a spray can top coat and it dries better.

  11. Hi there,

    I came across your blog recently when looking into spraying ASCP… I have been spraying furniture with regular paints with great success. I gave it a try with the chalk paint & seem to be having less luck this way. It seems to be too dry to come out, too “chalky” perhaps… LOL! Do you have any recommendations? I am not a fan of brush strokes and prefer to spray & would love to be able to have success with the ASCP.

    Thanks so much! I love this blog! Such cute pieces!!!

  12. Hi I went to harbor freights and got the sprayer wtih stand.
    Did you use the filter?? if so you must have watered down the mixture?
    thanks!

  13. Susan Bailey says:

    I went out and bought the sprayer and it works wonderfully and it is also easy to clean. Thanks for the information. I have quite a few pieces of furniture to paint for my daughter and this will make the job easier. I’ve painted a lot of pieces of furniture with ASCP and I really like the paint. I painted a chair then took it to get it reupholstered. I have 2 more chairs to paint and the sprayer will make it easier to paint. I’m loving it!!!!!!!!!

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