Tuesday, September 9, 2014

10 Spray Painting Tips from Wagner Australia

Several months ago I had a call from Wagner Australia offering me a great deal: they would send one of their Territory Managers to teach me to use their spray gun on one of my pieces of furniture, they would then buy the piece I sprayed and offer it as a giveaway on Lilyfield Life, and I get to keep the spray gun gear. I thought that was such a win for all of us so I agreed.

I'm still working on the piece of furniture and hope to have it finished tomorrow. Stay tuned for your chance to win it as it's a beauty and so very functional.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share what I learnt on Friday with Alun from Wagner. He's such a great guy and we had a lovely productive few hours together as he taught me lots of tricks of the trade.

Wagner sent me their Flexio 585 Sprayer and the Brilliant Attachment. I have to say that I love the Brilliant attachment particularly. I'm such a novice sprayer and was so nervous of overspray and paint runs but this attachment has such a fine spray that there is virtually NO overspray and I had zero runs. The blue nozzle has what they call golf ball technology to make the paint flow extremely well and finely.

Here you can see how fine the spray is and how directional it is. We were just having a practice run with water for me to get used to wielding the gun. (not my arm LOL)!

Look at the video of Alun below spraying an old timber door. We haven't taped the edges but they remain unpainted, such is the fine spray.

Alun's Spray Painting Tips

1.  Dilute the paint a little. The Wagner gun comes with a handy 10% measuring tool that takes the guess work out of this.
2.  Warm the paint, especially when the weather is cold. Do this by putting the paint in the spray gun flask and then filling your sink with warm to hot water. Let the flask sit for 5 minutes. This will help the viscosity of the paint and let it flow better.

3. Cover hinges or door hardware with Vaseline. Once the paint is dry, then wipe off the paint to reveal unpainted hardware underneath.

4. Test spray on an old piece of cardboard or timber to ensure you have a good spray flow. If you need to, dilute the paint a little more until you are happy with the flow and finish.

5. Do two coats - the first coat is a tack coat and won't look very good but don't worry as the second gives full coverage.

6. Make sure you turn the nozzle to the direction of your strokes. It's very self explanatory.

7.  Keep your gun parallel to the surface. Move your arm across the surface with the gun, rather than tilting the gun.

8. Release the trigger nozzle at the end of each stroke to avoid runs and overspray. See here for a good technique to explain what I mean by that. You can see (and hear) that the guy releases the trigger at the end of each swipe pass.

9.  When you are finished it's very easy to dismantle the gun and clean up in warm soapy water for water based paints. Alun normally two buckets; one with warm soapy water for the initial rinse and then the second with warm clean water for the final rinse. To be honest I just did it in my kitchen sink. I found that the whole cleaning process took me about 2 minutes. So quick and easy.

10. And the last piece of advice was my favourite. Be confident! I was worrying a little about whether Wagner Australia would like how the piece turned out and if it was going to be what they wanted. Alun said that I am the artist and that people come to me because they like what they at Lilyfield Life and I need to be faithful to my style and what I feel that each piece of furniture needs.  That that's what people want and pay for. It made me feel much more confident with the spray gun and how I want to use it in my work.

Below you can see the cabinet with the primer only. I will be painting it today in the beautiful teal that I have chosen for it. I can't wait to see how it turns out and hope that you all love it and enter the competition (details coming soon)

Thanks Wagner for a great day and fabulous gear. I have already used it again on several pieces that would have been tricky with a brush.

I hope that helps those of you who are contemplating buying a spray gun. The technology had improved a huge amount recently and these tools are now so affordable and easy to use.

cheers Fiona


  1. Hi Fiona, it looks like you had a great day and learnt a lot. I'm keen to get one of these spray guns now..and to win that cabinet! Mary x

  2. Hi Fiona - Thanks for the info. I have been contemplating purchasing a spray gun also. I've been receiving lots of orders for dining room tables with chairs (and you know how long those chairs take to hand paint). Any idea if diluting Chalk Paint® would work in this spray gun? Have a great day?

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

    1. Hi Mary,
      You are meant to be able to dilute and spray chalk paint but I'll do an experiment for you and let you know. Cheers Fiona

  3. Hey Fiona. did it Work with AS Chalk Paint ? BTW great blog you have here. :-)


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