A slow start to Operation Spraybooth

This past week we got started on the actual job of using my house as a spray booth. Well, the whole first floor and one bedroom. To start, we had to scrub everything down with steel wool, wire brushes, and sandpaper. I stripped parts of the bedroom furniture that peeled and the one piece that I redid with latex paint when I was a teenager. Word to the wise: don’t paint your furniture with latex paint. And then everything got a vigorous cleaning. All the furniture and the whole house (yay). See? Mommy is really going at it.


The armoire got a really neat distressed look at this point. Too bad the colors wouldn’t have worked just like this for my parents. But whatever.


And then I wire brushed, vacuumed, and washed the radiators. This dirt is just from 2 of them. And yes, I’ll never buy buckets again. The joint compound left me a lifetime supply.


And then we got out the electric sprayer and got to priming. The people at the paint store recommended a very high grade acrylic primer. No latex, just acrylic. It worked really well on the furniture. But I guess we were assuming that the old paint on the radiators was fully protecting them. Do you see where this is going?


Gasp! Rust spots everywhere!


Even bigger gasp! This one peeled!

So… we decided to cut the radiators from the job, get the furniture done, and get on with things. I need my floor space back. As if I ever had it. And so Monday came around and my dad and I got started with the spraying. Or I should say I got started with the spraying. Slowly, methodically, carefully, I followed the back and forth and up and down motion the instruction manual said to make.


Do you see where I went wrong? Yes, I moved slowly. And as I was going about with the sprayer, my dad let out a blood curdling scream. There were runs everywhere! And he started running around brushing them out. And hollering that brush strokes are better than runs. And that the plan to get a second coat on the same day was out the window now that the first coat was an eighth of an inch thick. This repeated for a while until I went out to lunch. Alone.

But it’s been resolved. When I got back the muttering was different. “Well this was a learning experience.” We’ve gotten along really well through all this work. Of course I’d better be nice since everything besides this that he did was huge favors that kinda saved my life. We went down Tuesday night to sand and things didn’t look so bad after all. And I got the radiators sprayed with Rustoleum. And yesterday I went back and touched them up again so now I feel confident that there will be no more spots coming through that oil-less oil based paint. And now the plan is to bang out everything tonight and tomorrow. Everything! Do you think it’ll work this time?


5 thoughts on “A slow start to Operation Spraybooth

  1. amyheavilin

    I want to make the radiators gold. Or silver. Or bronze. Or copper. And, sprayers I am convinced are the devil. I used them on my kitchen cabinets at the old house, and finally got it where I liked it, but it took forever. I don’t feel in control, which is what I don’t like! Also, your parents are the best.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Well one thing here is that the furniture we’re working on belongs to them, so for a change I’m doing them a favor. I’ll consider bronzing my radiators later. There’s too much else to do just now.


  2. Mary Elizabeth

    I was watching a “This Old House,” and the kitchen designer was proudly displaying painted cabinets with brush strokes, She called it the “hand painted by artisans” look. That’s what we do around here–no spraying except for small jobs, cans of spray paint rather than a sprayer, and only outside on a drop cloth on the grass. (If you overspray, eventually the grass grows tall enough to be mowed, and no harm done. We’ve just never had any luck with sprayers. I don’t feel I am controlling them properly.


  3. CindyH

    When we did the desk for my daughter, I looked into renting a sprayer and all that I found online pointed me in the direction of buying spray paint. Which I did. And it turned out well. Good luck with the rest – can’t wait to hear how it all turns out!



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