If you're like most people, you hate painting your house. The work stretches on, weekend after weekend, until you can't stand the sight of a paintbrush.
And that's the problem - using a brush. You'd like the job a lot more if you'd use a high-pressure sprayer. These rigs are quite expensive, so it wouldn't pay to buy one; but You can rent one for about $30 a day, and in that day paint your entire house.
Sound interesting? Here's a how it works: Instead of atomizing paint by mixing it with air, high-pressure sprayers do the job by pumping the paint through a tiny nozzle opening. The high pressure involved - about 2,500 psi - breaks the paint into minute droplets as it leaves the nozzle. All that pressure also moves a lot of paint in a hurry. An airless gun can apply about a gallon of paint in two minutes.
Since there's no stream of air blowing the paint around, you get much less fogging and drifting than with an air-type sprayer. This wastes less paint and cuts down on masking and cleanups. The paint also does a good job of working its way into cracks and the surface textures of masonry and shingles.
Of course you can't expect any sprayer to paint with the sharp-edged precision neccessary to do trim work. You'll still need a brush to handle window and door firm, for example, but the sprayer still saves a tremendous amount of time if you use it properly. Here's a good painting sequence that I used the last time I sprayed my house.
Start by spraying the siding. Don't bother to mask windows of trim, just spray right up to the trim and forget about the small amount of paint that laps over onto it. After the main body of the house is dry, go back and paint the trim with a brush , using a gloss or semi-gloss trim paint. To make the work go fast, apply the trim paint only to the faces and inner edges of the trim, not to the outside edges.
When you paint window trim, you probably go to great pains to avoid getting paint on the glass. Actually, you're supposed to get the paint on the glass. It seals the glass-to-wood joint against mositure. When the paint dries, you should go back with a razor-blade scraper and remove all but a very thin strip of this paint on the glass. While you're doing this, you can also scrape away any paint that drifted onto the glass while you were spraying. That's why I don't bother with masking - it's a waste of time if you have to scrape anyway.
If you have to work on a ladder, be sure to pad the ends of the ladder rails with the carpet of foam rubber so you won't damage the fresh paint on the siding.
Other warnings: Never put your hand in front of the high-pressure nozzle; the paint comes out with enough force to penetrate your skin. And keep the gun moving at all times. Paint comes out so fast it will build up and start dripping if you hold it still for even a split second.
Where can you get a high-pressure sprayer? Almost all rental agencies now stock them, as do many hardware stores.