Here are the (many) mistakes I made when painting my 16-foot tall vaulted wood-planked ceiling with a paint sprayer, and what we “should’ve” done instead.
I am the type of person that will try anything twice. I’m also naturally good at home improvement projects and have been painting since I was a kid. So when the idea struck me to paint our dark wood planked ceiling in the living room white, I thought ‘no big deal, I’ve got this!’
Well, long story short, I didn’t have it. Fast forward to me standing at the top of a 12-foot ladder crying in fury that things just weren’t working out. I was so mad, and so defeated, and the tears were flowing down my red face with white paint freckles covering my glasses to the point that I could barely even see. Yeah, this isn’t a warm and fuzzy blog post like you’re used to here. This is a total fail. And here’s why…
1. I Didn’t Learn About The Paint Sprayer First
First on my big list of mistakes is that I didn’t really take time to examine or learn about the paint sprayer we were using. I have used small handheld sprayers in the past, and just assumed that the big pro-grade ones work just the same. So we headed to Home Depot to rent one and I was so confident in my abilities that I didn’t even ask for a demo. I wish I had.
And truth be told, I fought with it for a full hour before I realized the HD employee forgot to give me the tip the sprayer needed. So I made trip number 2 of the day to the store to get the tip they forgot. (Full disclosure, they were so apologetic and even took 50% off my rental fee to make up for my return trip. Home Depot has fantastic customer service.)
2. It Rained. A Lot.
Mistake number two isn’t really a mistake on my part, but it was a huge factor in why this DIY was a fail. It started raining soon after I got the sprayer going, and we had to have windows open for ventilation. All that humidity was a recipe for disaster.
The paint wasn’t going on evenly and dripped a lot, and it look almost eight hours for one single coat to dry. There was no way we could’ve gotten a second coat on that day. And I was too mad to even try.
3. I Didn’t Remove All The Furniture
In my defense, the only way to remove our massive sectional was to disassemble it completely. And the only door it would fit through is the the front door, which led to a rainy monsoon. So we left the sofa, TV cabinet, and ladder shelves in place and just covered them with plastic sheeting.
The plastic did protect them from splatters, but they made moving our gargantuan ladder around the room almost impossible. I couldn’t get to a lot of areas, and I did a lot of less-than-safe maneuvers on top of that 12-foot ladder.
4. I Didn’t Cover Surfaces Well Enough
No amount of plastic sheeting I taped up onto walls and on floors was enough. Somehow, 50% of the floor is covered in tiny paint freckles that will take me a week to scrape off. And even though the dining room was closed off with more plastic sheeting, everything in there still ended up being covered in white dust.
I’m convinced that the only way this would’ve worked seamlessly is if the room was completely empty and all that was in place was a subfloor. It was really REALLY messy. I even went back to Home Depot again (visit number 3 of the day) for more plastic about halfway through.
5. I Didn’t Wear A Mask
Here’s the biggest mistake of them all. Messing up paint can always be fixed, but messing with health and safety is a big no-no. My husband even said “don’t you need a mask?” and the sweet man even offered to go downstairs and get me one from the garage. But I was so frustrated and so stubborn that I said I didn’t need one.
Here I am the day after my big fat painting fail with a strong wheeze because I basically inhaled a couple of gallons of latex paint. If you’re reading this, please always wear a mask when dealing with paint. My chest is not happy with me right now.
Will We Spray On The Second Coat?
In short, no. The second coat is going to be rolled on. Partly because the prep work is too time consuming, and partly because I’m turned off by a pro-grade paint sprayer completely. I’m taking a few days to knock out some smaller projects and let my body (and my ego) heal a little before I hop back up there. For the second coat, I’ll roll it on. It will take a long time, I know, but I think it will be a lot more even that way.
I promise to share an updated blog post once the second coat is on and I’ll let you know how the rolling process went, and I can’t wait to share the final reveal soon! I have some amazing pieces to add to the room, like a rug I’ve been swooning over for a year, a chandelier that makes me feel fancy, and 24, yes, twenty-four candles to fill the fireplace. It’s going to be SO good! More soon, including the mood board that ties all the pieces together.