I receive a lot of emails asking me questions on range of topics. This post is to address some of those. Maybe you’ve been wanting to ask a question? If it’s not covered in this post, leave it in a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.
I have more “friends named Terri and Suzanne (sue etc) than I can imagine. These emails are not all from the same Terri.
I hope you don’t mind if I pick your brain a little . I am painting some nightstands for my daughter using my Command sprayer. This has happened to me before though, even using regular ol’ spray paint and always seems to be more of a problem when using black paint. Do you know why some spots seem shinier than others? I try to do clean, even strokes across the piece with my sprayer, but yet after the paint dries, I always see some areas that are shinier than other areas. This makes me crazy…do you ever have this happen or know of something that I may be doing wrong? I just finished painting a “secretary” last week with a tan color and I don’t notice this happening at all…it could be that it is there, but not noticeable on that particular color, but I really don’t think so. I am going to give them another coat, but I am not holding out a lot of hope…I really don’t want to “poly” over the top because it will make them too shiny (I am using satin finish now) although I know it would probably “even” out the sheen. Any thoughts?
Thanks so much,
do you sand between coats?
I can’t really say I know what you’re talking about. I don’t think it has happened to me. IF you do poly, get wipe-on satin. It IS fabulous! just enough, barely there. Depending on how many coats. Use a rag, no brush strokes, great finish, dries pretty fast (depending on the weather)
when you do a “top” of a piece do you lay it down so you are spraying it as though it were the “side” ??
I did the gossip bench, and a stool base, but I don’t think that has happened to me. I used a semi-gloss (cause that’s what I had) BLACK.
I do notice that there are some droplets noticeable prior to drying, but after drying it all evens out.
Maybe you’re just more meticulous than I am? Maybe it does happen, but these old eyes don’t see it. The gossip bench is gone, so I can’t check. I did bubba’s hutch with my Harbor Freight sprayer, (black) but I don’t remember it there either. I bet I just don’t notice it like you do.
I have a ton of things going on but I decided I was going to take the time to give those nightstands another coat of “thinner” paint. It flowed out of the sprayer perfectly…I did forget to adjust the amount of spray before though and that was kind of mess…ooops! I made it ridiculously thinner than I have been, but I just wasn’t sure and it seemed to work…however, because I could see that it could easily “run” down the piece, it was probably a little too thin. I do hope Santa brings you a video camera so you can make a little tutorial on this . Anyhoo, I am happy to report that it completely evened out and there are no inconsistent spots anymore! Thank you so much for all your help…I know you are super busy as well and you are so kind to take the time to answer my questions!
Have a great day!
I was wondering if you still loved your command Max paint sprayer. I’m in the market to buy a sprayer to re-paint some old furniture I have (role top desk, shutters etc…) and would love your advise. I’m doing this as a hobby, not as a business, so it doesn’t have to be the best of the best, just something easy to use that does a good job.
Thanks for your time and help!
I do still love my commandMax sprayer! It really is the perfect “project” sprayer. For the price, I think it can’t be beat!
Follow up from Teri:
Another paint sprayer question for you! We went to Home Depot today and they said the sprayer to get would be one that would paint in any direction… point at floor, ceiling etc… like the Wagner Power Painter Plus. I don’t think that the Command Max has this feature from what I’ve read… you can only use it pointing in front of you. Is this correct? If so, do you feel like this limits you or does it bother you? Thanks for all your input. It’s nice to have info. from someone who has used these before and knows what they are talking about!
The Wagner Power Plus has overspray. It would be great to paint a house or a fence, but not furniture. I own it, and it uses a LOT of paint due to the overspray. I had to fill it up several times. I really don’t think you would be happy with it at all for furniture or projects.
The CommandMax has a tube that is adjustable (when you set it up) You can point the end to the front or the back depending on your project. I have never filled my paint cup more than half full. The paint goes a LONG way, because it sprays out in a fine spray.
I have three sprayers, a cheapo from Harbor Freight ($20) that i use with my compressor. It would work great if I had a larger compressor.
Wagner Power Plus (electric)
If I need to paint anything, the CommandMax will be the sprayer I’ll reach for.
I get nothing for recommending it, I just love the ease of it. It’s easy to clean, easy to use. One reader had some trouble getting the dilution (water) right. But after several emails back and forth, she got it straightened out and loves it now.
I LOVE your blog; it is so inspiring! I have a quick question for you about the Command Max sprayer. I have about ten pieces of furniture to paint; and I’m tired of inhaling all the carcinogenic ingredients in the aerosol paint cans. I want to buy a sprayer; but I am not a patient person (I wish I was; but try as I might, I haven’t changed that); and when I get frustrated with a gadget, whether it be a computer or anything else mechanical, I just want to quit. So, my question is: Does the Command Max require a lot of tweeking and adjusting and futzing?
Do you have any tips for using it?
Thank you VERY much!!!!
ohhh, aren’t we all this way!
There is one adjustment to make on the commandMAX, and that is “how much” paint comes out. It’s a little dial near the trigger that will allow the trigger to engage more or less. Not technical at all! I laughed at it when I first realized how it worked.
This is a FINE finish sprayer, meaning it gives light coverage. That is what I prefer, a few light coats. If you’ve used a HVLP before, you will know what I mean.
It is not a heavy coater, not good for painting fences or siding of a house. (that would take forever) (staining a fence would be okay, because stain is so liquid)
If you saw the giveaway post, you have seen all the projects I’ve done with mine. It is very easy to clean up. There are NOT a lot of fumes, BUT I always recommend wearing a respirator for safety.
I’ve never had it spit when the cup empties, because I “point” the little tube according to the direction I’ll be painting. (the tube that sucks up the paint)
For the price, I really don’t think you can go wrong with this sprayer. I LOVE it, and should something happen to it, I will buy another instead of reverting to my HVLP (compressor sprayer) or my Wagner Power Plus (which would be GREAT if you ARE painting a house) The Wagner is a heavy coater.
Gail… I’m so glad I stumbled onto this post. I’ve been wanting a paint sprayer and this looks like the perfect match. I do have a question, though and hope you can get back to me (Christmas is just around the corner LOL).
Do you HAVE to thin the paint when you use a sprayer or do you just prefer to? Can you only use water based paints? And, lastly, if you have to thin the paint, how do you know how much to thin it by?
Obviously I’m clueless, but would really appreciate your thoughts.
Lora (no-reply blogger)
Since you are a no-reply blogger I had no way of reaching you. But I will answer your questions.
Yes, you do need to thin the paint. You thin water based paints with water and oil based paints with lacquer thinner. As for the consistency, it’s very difficult to describe. I think thinner is better.
About Painting in General
I love your blog and projects! I’ve dabbled with repurposing/upcycling in the past. But I recently became a SAHM and I’m eager to do more projects! A couple of years ago I took a 1950’s solid wood dresser and stripped and painted it. The drawers stick where the drawer faces touch the main structure and I don’t know why. I did some googling and I suspect it has to do with the paint and/or primer I used (both latex water-based, kilz primer and Walmart’s Colorplace satin paint). Even the top of the dresser is slightly tacky still. Things like picture frames and the lamp (that only get moved once every week or two for dusting) get stuck.
Before I start doing more projects, I want to make sure I know what I’m getting into.
Do you have anything on your blog that helps newbies like me know what types of products work best on various surfaces (primarily wood, obviously)? Or a good website I could refer to? I feel a little overwhelmed with the plethora of info available online. I’m hoping to find some sort of FAQ on the general process of painting/refinishing wood and such.
Amanda–As far as paint goes, I use anything and everything I can get my hands on. I am surprised that after a couple of years it is still tacky. (especially with a satin paint) I’m guessing it has more to do with the stripper you used, rather than the paint.
If you want to know how I typically paint, you can check out how I painted my kitchen cabinets. It’s basically how I would recommend anyone paint just about anything. In a nutshell it is:
- light coat of primer
- light coat of primer
- light coat of paint
- sand lightly with in-between coat sandpaper
- light coat of paint
Polycrylic IF you want to seal. I did NOT seal my cabinets. I used a semi-gloss paint and I am STILL loving them and they are perfect a year later.
As for your dresser, I’m wondering if you should seal it with a wipe on poly or polycrylic. I recommend letting pieces cure really well before using them, at least 2-3 weeks before putting items on (that don’t get moved)
Perhaps it is the humidity you have in your house?
I think the real key is light coats. If you can afford a sprayer $80 ? Home Right CommandMax is wonderful! I love mine, and I get nothing for recommending it to you. 😉
That’s all I can think of at the moment, if you have any more specific questions, I’m always just an email away.
Sidenote—we figured out that it was indeed the stripper (perhaps not washed off completely) because Amanda remembered that she had used the paint on another piece and it worked just fine.
I wanted to ask you a question via comment on your blog but I thought I would email you instead. First of all your kitchen looks absolutely amazing and thanks for sharing your journey! I have been looking at the Giani system for some months now but always a little nervous to try it. I actually have the exact same cabinets you have (in oak) and wanted to paint them white and also use the Giani Bombay black for a grayish tone countertop. You have inspired me to go on and purchase the Giani system and go for the DIY cabinet transformation as well!
My question is what did you use to paint your cabinets and how did you prep them? I’ve been looking at a couple indoor paint+primer selections at the hardware store and just not sure what to get that would come out looking great like yours. They are so BRIGHT and pristine looking – they look like brand new cabinets. How many coats did you use and did you seal them with any protective coat? I changed out my old brass cabinet pulls to stainless steel to match my appliances but the rest of my kitchen needs a cheap updated overhaul! Thanks for your time and any advice you can give,
thanks for contacting me about my kitchen! I still am in love with it, and so glad (1 year later) that I painted my cabinets and my floor. How I painted my kitchen cabinets is the second most popular post on my blog. Take a look at that post and if you have any questions after you read over all my steps, I’d be happy to answer them for you.
I did a lot of prep work because I wanted to make sure I didn’t get nicks and scratches exposing the natural wood. NOT a one so far! The Dutch Boy paint wipes up really well. I noticed a yellowish something a couple of days ago on the fake little drawer under the sink. I still have no idea what it was, and it thought because I didn’t catch it right away it might not wipe off, but it DID!
I have a random question for you…I’m painting a dresser white right now with the too stained dark walnut. The top looks good and is done but the bottom, I’m using a latex and painting with a sponge brush and it’s taken almost 4 light coats! Has that ever happened to you? It normally doesn’t require more than 2 but it’s not fully covering. I did pre-sand but am questioning if I didn’t sand enough?
So frustrating! Anyway, maybe I’m a weirdo asking you but your current piece is white as well so thought I’d ask. (:
When I paint dark wood (I’m assuming it is on the dark-ish side) I follow these steps:
I am happy that you are doing light coats, but I think you’d get better coverage with a bristle brush (purdy, although expensive is my favorite go-to brush)
good luck, be patient, it sounds like it’s going to be beautiful!
Oh, Gaily Gail … I need your help. It’s funny anytime I get stuck with something I think of you. I have this awesome wood box/crate that I’m thinking of making into a bench for the girl’s bathroom. I took 4 of my spindle legs that I picked up at a garage sale (screw thingies in them to attach to something) … like how I get all technical? Anyhoo, I’m stuck on how to attach them inside the box/crate. I was thinking I would “print” something on the side like NY Shipping Co. once I finish with it. Any ideas what would be the best way to attach the legs? Hubby says I should just use “L” brackets but I want it to be sturdy and I don’t want any screw heads on the outside of the box. I’m stumped … I probably could figure it out but thought I would go to the pro : )
In this instance, the legs were attached to the “spindles”, then the scrap pieces were then attached under the table top.
Thanks for your kind words about the table. (one of my favs) Yes,
you can use the screws already attached (drill a hole in the scrap to
screw it into.)
I would definitely use some Gorilla Wood Glue to guarantee a good
hold. 😉 gluing the top of the spindle to the scrap, and gluing the
scrap to the bottom of the bench. have fun!
Hey there Gail~ was scrolling through some old post …well, clicking away from your recent post about your greatest accomplishment…fireplace surround… anyway~
I have a question about this Kreg Jig. I looked at them at Lowe’s and I’m wondering with this jig are you pigeoned holed into using the Kreg brand screws and the longer screw tips to get into the holes? Or can you use your own tips in your drill and any ol’ screw with the longer neck and less threads?
I may copy this comment and email you. Because inquiring minds wants to know~
thanks a bunch~ Pat
I don’t believe you have to use Kreg screws, but I do believe you have to use “pocket hole screws”. The screw bit has a squared off indention–I guess I should know the terminology for that, but I don’t. I have never had any screw fail me. They never strip. I recommend the lower end, cost efficient Kreg Jig jr. (around $40) and worth EVERY penny of it. I get nothing for saying this, nothing for recommending it. They are missing out on a great spokesperson! hahaha
I’m enjoying your blog, especially the tutorials on stenciling with your Silhouette. I’m planning to purchase my Cameo soon and I have a question: Are the stencils sticky enough to reuse? Or are they single use only? Also, in one of your posts you wrote, “I cut the contact paper out with my Silhouette”. Do you use regular contact paper for your stencils instead of the special stencil vinyl from Silhouette?
Thank you for your time in answering my questions. And thank you for sharing your projects with us.
The stencils (in my opinion) are not worth trying to use again. They stretch out too much when you remove them. I use contact paper for about 75% of my “vinyl”. I use white contact paper a lot, and I use ugly clearance priced contact paper exclusively for stencils. You have to dial the speed and thickness way down for contact paper though. (because the backing is so thin, it will cut clean through.
Gail, I am loving my Silhouette and love seeing the clever things you are doing. I’m having some problems with vinyl not adhering to the surface I’m trying to apply it to and also having issues figuring out how to get it to cut some fonts without picking up the letters it is cutting along the way (grrr!). After unhappiness with Silhouette vinyl, I tried Expressions Vinyl and it was much better, but I still have some issues, so my question: Have you noticed that it is experience or different vinyls that make the difference?
When you say trouble adhering, does that mean AFTER you remove the transfer tape that it doesn’t want to stick? OR you’re having difficulty removing the transfer tape and leaving the vinyl behind. Please let me know.
Small delicate fonts are difficult for me to get cut and weeded. (smaller than 1 inch) Did you read the part about weeding from right to left? (when doing words)
I have used silhouette regular and premium vinyl, contact paper, and oracal (oh my crafts) vinyl. I had difficulty with everything BUT oracal on my CAMEO. I’m still not sure that there isn’t something wrong with my blade. LOVE the SD. It’s never really failed to cut anything.
So, I suppose in answer to your question, experience does make it get a little easier, but having a good vinyl also make s a difference. After oh my crafts sent me the vinyl to review, I ended up buying more. I like it and their (sale) prices are very reasonable! No, I get nothing for saying so, or encouraging my readers to buy from them.
Follow up from Erin:
Thanks so much for your quick response. I really appreciate how much care you put into what you do…it always makes me smile. Anyway, what I was referencing in my questions was AFTER removing the transfer tape, the vinyl doesn’t want to stick to its intended final location. I can’t seem to figure out any rhyme or reason for my successes vs. my failures. Some walls it loves, some it doesn’t. My most recent project was adhering vinyls to painted wood to create relief painting (ie., the vinyls were eventually removed after being painted over). Same wood, same layers of spray paint, and one set of vinyl lettering adhered better than the other. This I attributed to different quality vinyl, but then I took the “good” vinyl and made a sign for my son’s bathroom and had a really difficult time getting the vinyl to stick to the wall (it was crazy making).
For my plaques, I gave up on smaller lettering (but it would have been awesome!) and went with big letters. For my son’s bathroom, it was big letters, except for the author’s name, which I couldn’t get to stick to the wall ever (so he can just tell people who ask that it is a quote from Abraham Lincoln). So, by the time I sat down to try to catch up on some blogging, I was frustrated and thrilled to see your post.
What have you run in to with applications of vinyl such as these?
You’re so sweet – thank you!
I have never put vinyl on a wall, can you believe it? I’ve never had trouble getting it to stick. I’ve used contact paper as transfer tape, and had a difficult time getting it to let go of the contact paper, but after I got it released, it has always stuck to my boards.
Were the walls cold? slightly textured?
My niece asked me about some vinyl (a pre-designed piece) that her son bought for her from Kohl’s. She was having trouble getting it to stick. I think she just kept burnishing it, and it finally stuck.
Sorry to be of little help. Do you have a squeegy (sp) I have a small one from silhouette and a really nice (large) on from Oh My Crafts. I’ve always used a credit card until I recently got those two.
Gail, can you help me – I went in to download the free download today and it didn’t download. What am I doing wrong? It says I have it but it does not show in my library. This has happened before when I purchased several and I had to recapture it to get them to go into the library. I sure hope that this becomes easier. Thanks for the information about the size of the wood. And thanks for saying that there will be more tutorials cause I need all the help I can get. Where do you live?
Do you have the Silhouette Studio program open when you download? I always have the program open, then over on the left there is an open book, and a mouse. I click on the mouse, and do my shopping, putting items in my cart. They are always there. I know it’s a little different with a Mac, so I’m thinking that might be what is happening to you.
I am about to join with my blog, and have finally found how to join as a celebrity,band or business, and not as an individual, but I don’t see a category for blogs or anything bloglike. Which category do blogs belong in, or which did you put yours in?
(And the reason I’m emailing instead of asking on your blog is pure vanity. I didn’t want to flaunt my stupidity to all your readers.)
I did mine as a business.
after you have 25 “likes” you can get your vanity url
they (fb) need to update just for us bloggers!
Hi Gail – I was wondering if I could pick your brain a little. I am in the process of doing a little blog re-design. I want to have a “menu bar” below my blog title like you with the various subtitles. When I click on your Gallery 1, for instance it shows almost like a “link party”, which when clicking on, takes you to that particular post. Can you tell me how you did that? I am trying to “clean up” and have less items going down the side, but I have no idea how to do it. Without wasting a lot of your time, can you tell me how to do it, or point me in the direction of some help?
I’m assuming that you are blogspot?
When you write a post in blogger, you have the option of a “page” Those are pages under my banner.
As for the thumbnail links… I think all the linky places charge now for you to be able to have a “link party”. Those thumbnails are a private link party that I get to have because I pay a subs fee to host my Catch as Catch Can party each week. (think it’s $20 a year ??) Mine is coming up for renewal next month.
If you scroll down, you can see how I use to highlight my posts. I’m afraid to remove the original pictures/links because you never know about linky things. If they go away, I don’t want to have to redo all of it.
Gail, is there any way to offer a message after I’ve visited you blog? I don’t belong to facebook or twitter or anything else. I love you ideas and finished projects and I wanted to comment but I have tried and tried but no luck. I really like the dog bandanas. And one day I want to be able to purchase the ink kit. I received the Cameo for Christmas and I can’t wait to use it but I am scared to start. So any help will be appreciated.
Thanks for the nice words! Some people sign up for a blog just so they can leave comments. Meaning they create a blogger profile. Generally I have anonymous comments turned on for giveaways. I have turned them off for the last few days, just because they fill up my inbox so much.
quick question if you’re on here. How do you find older posts in live writer…it only brings up recent posts?
mine is different, because I have three blogs….
up at the top, it seems the default might be “show 25 “
click that and you can open up to 1000
use to be only 500
I received an email from someone wanting to know if I had
linking opportunities or guest post options available…
Now, they didn’t give any blog information only an email. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said that I’d consider any offer… and asked what they had in mind. (thinking I could always say “NO.” )
Do you have a post anywhere on your blog that you could send me the link to…or maybe elsewhere that you could recommend reading on this topic?
thanks in advance.
All the “big” bloggers recommend not doing this. I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve never done it. I know one blogger who was contacted about putting a link on an older post, and was paid $60, but never heard back from the guy. Go figure.
I am especially interested in learning about using a Dremel in my jewelry making. Any place you know of that can give me some good tips and tutorials?
You can try that link. I’m happy you love my blog, but I know nothing about jewelry making.
I only use Dremel oscillating tools, but the full line of rotary tools can be viewed on Dremel.com
So, do you have any questions that weren’t answered? Ask away!