D. Barrett Decorating - The Blog

Spraying -The Course and Aftermath!

So in my last post I mentioned I was attending a spray course with the Dulux Academy. Well I did and it was brilliant! Trouble is now I have the spray bug! I came away from the course with several bits and tips, all that will help me immensely moving forward, yet it will also hit me hard in the pocket!

Ok, so first off I already have a Q-tech PO19 airless sprayer, one that has helped me out hugely on several jobs already and I learnt some better techniques on the course but then we also had a go with a HVLP sprayer. My first time using one and it was a Graco 9.5. Fantastic machine, cost wise looking around the £1000 mark and upon leaving the college I had decided that I want to buy a HVLP. Unfortunately that is out of my price range right now so I have settled for a Q-tech stage 3 HVLP at a third of the cost. Immediately I am fully aware of the limitations of this machine, paint needs thinning more to atomise, power output not as strong, but for a entry level machine for me it ticks all the boxes.

I've recently finished a job where I used both sprayers. The PO19, brilliant again. So good I think an advanced airless course is next up on my list as I want to use this on a lot more jobs and be way more confident in my own ability to do so. Next up I used the HVLP. Well actually I used my Graco Ultra upstairs first and was constantly cursing! I think I should add a bit more context here, the paint I was using was Dulux Quick Dry Undercoat. Now I love this paint after initially hating it, but I have sprayed it four times now and have had nothing but problems with it. Runs like a marathon, doesn't dry and sprays so patchy so I 'm constantly chasing with a brush and roller. Totally pointless using a sprayer really. But hey, I thought HVLP, no problem. Same again. Right then thought no more then I went on YouTube. Turns out I'd used the HVLP all wrong. The Quick dry I still refuse to spray again though but I went back and tried spraying a fireplace with Zinnser Allcoat. This time perfect results. Confidence restored, although not to the stage where I am fully confident to use it in occupied houses yet. Slowly, slowly catch monkey.

Back to costs. Its not just the sprayer you pay for, you have to buy filters, spray tips, masks, viscosity cups, strainers etc, then you move on to the protection part. Masking tapes and paper, hand maskers, floor protection etc, all these cost a lot of money and like cycling (as I found out!), once you start you fall down the rabbit hole of wanting more bits and then upgrading again and again. So I'm adding the odd little bit each month instead of splurging and regretting it.

Again I must praise Dulux Academy for another wonderful course. Mark was a great teacher and we all came away having a lot more confidence and knowledge than when we entered. I highly recommend anyone in our trade to take one of the many courses they offer. I was booked on one last month, unfortunately personal circumstances meant I had to cancel, but I will be attending several more over the next 12 months which can only be beneficial to myself and my customers.