If you have just spent a full weekend putting up several new wood panels, the last thing you will want to do is to get out a paint brush and spend another weekend painting them with a protective coating or a paint. It would certainly be tempting to spray each of the panels in less than three minutes as the advertisement on the TV suggests you can. We look at the options for wood treatment sprays, explore how effective they are and how much time they can save in the long run.
But is this really possible, how difficult are spray systems to use, which one should you buy or is renting the best idea and most of all will it do a good job?
There are a number of spraying systems which are available to buy from most DIY stores. Cuprinol is probably one of the best known. It is designed to work in conjunction with their stain products which contains a preservative to keep wood in tip top condition. The spray system works the same as most others.
Most consist of a vessel for holding the stain solution and a hose with a spray nozzle on the end. In some cases the stain is pushed through the hose by way of a hand pump allowing the user to control the speed and quantity which comes out. In other cases the spray is operated via compressor which is much more high powered, but more reliable and easier to use.
It is suggested that hand pump sprays are used with water based sprays only, while special sprays for solvent based stains are available. This is because the seals on the sprayer are likely to perish with a solvent based product.
If you do not want to buy one of these systems it is possible to hire them. Generally the rented ones will be the compressor type as they are more expensive to buy. Of course they will need to be thoroughly cleaned before they are returned which can mean flushing the system with plenty of water until it runs clear. This can take some time.
One of the drawbacks to using a spray system is that it can be difficult to get the stain or the paint onto the fence without it spreading elsewhere. It is recommended that items which are close by are covered with plastic to prevent any overspray from getting on them. It is also best to use the system on a day when there is not much wind.
The best technique is to use the sprayer to infill the centre of the panel and to use a brush to do the outer edges. The ensures that the paint stays on the panel and does not spread to the concrete posts. Alternatively, the posts can be masked with old newspaper and masking tape. Of course this means that it is likely to take significantly longer than 3 or 4 minutes to do one fence panel.
So it seems that as long as you are willing to prepare carefully, finish the job with a brush or mask up, and remember to clean out the sprayer each time you use it, it could cut down on the time spent painting. But only you can decide if you can pump quicker than you can roll.
Product shown available from Screwfix here.