Protection for On-Site Spraying

Advice for avoiding overspray damage when refinishing cabinetry in a furnished house. April 18, 2015

I'm planning to re-spray some recently installed cabinetry (color match was off, my mistake for not verifying). It's two pieces in the same room, a 7'W x 8'H wet bar and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace mantel/surround with paneled overmantel. All painted white using ML Campbell Agualente, satin sheen. I thought about pulling it out and taking it back to the shop, but there's plumbing and lighting and mouldings, etc. Plus the FP unit is nailed in. So I'm planning to shoot it in place, and I just wanted to get some input on any pitfalls I might be missing.

The plan:

1. Cordon off the part of the large room with telescoping poles and plastic sheeting.

2. Scuff sand.

3. Mask walls, floors, etc.

4. Box fan for exhaust. Windows are within 2' of both pieces.

5. Spray with my AAA. Doors and drawer fronts will be removed and sprayed at the shop. I am hoping to get away with one coat. The color is about two shades off, so I'm not too worried about hiding.

Things I AM worried about:

- Overspray. Even with masking, I'm worried about overspray getting on the exterior of house where the exhaust fan will be.

- Mobility during spraying. Even though the pieces are not huge at 7'W x 8'H, I'm wondering if I'll need scaffolding to allow me to move from side to side while laying down each pass. Iím hoping to avoid this if possible.

- Both pieces are already caulked with white Phenoseal. Does anyone have any experience painting over Phenoseal with Agualente? I'm going to test it in the shop, but Iím not sure if I have enough time for the caulk to fully cure.

Forum Responses

(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
Among other things you might consider is to turn off the furnace/boiler, (I know it's waterborne) if it is forced air, cover the returns and supply exhaust vents. Watch for drips - practice at your shop.

From contributor N:
To keep overspray off the exterior just bring a little booth filter medium along and place it in front of your fan to capture any OS.

From contributor H:
Your caulking could give you grief in regards to cracking if itís super soft. I always use a quick dry wb caulking and give it a full day or two.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for all the responses. The caulk that's on there is a few months old. It's Phenoseal, which remains somewhat soft and flexible even after it's fully cured. I suppose I could scrape it off, but I was hoping to avoid that, especially where the pieces meet the painted walls. I'm about to test it in the shop, but I'm worried that any cracking or adhesion problems might happen down the road.

From contributor A:
No worries about overspray Ė the product dries way too fast to be a problem. Atomized product will be dry before it hits the floor. Since you're using a waterborne, you don't need to worry about the furnace and since you're using a AAA, you don't need to go too overboard with the masking. Even the box fan is probably going overboard. I've done this kind of thing many, many times and never hang plastic sheeting. Keep pressure low and any airborne dust is minimal. I can't help you with the Phenoseal as Iím not familiar with it. If itís anything like regular latex caulk then Agualente will stick to it no problem.

From contributor J:
To contributor A: If you are spraying in someone's home, do not take short cuts in preparation for spraying. I spray on site in million dollar homes and would never cut corners in prepping the space.

From contributor I:
To contributor A: Do you have a kremlin? What are the low pressure settings you are using? Are you able to skip plastic tents even when spraying a dark color like expresso or black?

From the original questioner:
I should add it's a furnished house, so I plan to err on the side of being over-cautious. Fortunately, it's a beach house, so the house will be unoccupied while I'm in there. Also, note that it's not my first time finishing, just my first on-site deal other than relatively minor touch-ups. I've been spraying waterbased paint in the shop for ten years. Iím just trying to control the on-site variables.

From contributor A:
Don't get me wrong, paper taping around the piece, using a large drop sheet on the floor and draping plastic over any nearby fabric furniture is always a good idea. Iím just saying that he doesn't need to turn the area into a spray booth. AAA has low bounce back and very little overspray if used correctly - and one should always wear a respirator!

I used a Graco 395 finishpro AAA. The sweet spot for me with that machine was about 700-800 fluid pressure and 12-15 atomizing air (adjusting as needed according to product and tip size). Again, I never found the need to turn my work area into a spray booth - just took normal precautions as stated above. Thereís nothing wrong with wanting to be overly cautious. After doing a few on-site jobs you'll probably be more comfortable with loosening up on the prep a bit.

From contributor D:
Spend a bit of time thinking about the air movement in the room. You may want to block off the lower part of the door where the makeup air is coming from. Be very conservative on your draping and floor protection. Mistakes happen all the time. I don't understand why people are still using phenoseal. It does not stay soft or flexible over time. It actually hardens and becomes brittle. I hated the stuff back in the mid 90's when I was trimming mansions. One of the other guys loved it and the rest of us hated it. The stuff was probably invented in the mid 70's. Someone must have come up with a better product in the last 40 years. The Agualente should do fine over it anyways.

The exterior exhaust spray is a real concern. I never had great luck with the fitration fabric in my spray room. I switched to a metal screen with maybe 1/4" holes. You would be amazed at how quickly it gets coated. I am thinking that maybe putting something like flyscreen (for window screens) would help to collect the overspray. It shouldn't kill the cfm of the fan either. I've used it for filtering the chunks bits out of a paint can. Waterbased house paint flows very slowly through it. Maybe some of the metal screening would be a better choice.

From the original questioner:

Just wanted to post a follow-up. I completed the job this week and it went smoothly. It took me about 2.5 days, about 20 minutes of which constituted the actual spraying. The rest of the time was spent removing lighting fixtures, doors, drawers, sanding, masking, reassembly and cleanup. Masking took the longest.
One benefit to doing it this way: It allows you to properly fill nail holes and mitered moulding joints before finishing. Thanks for all the advice.

Click here for higher quality, full size image