It was a pretty straightforward sounding project: paint two rooms in my parent’s house. A fairly simple and unassuming goal, right? My father (who is a Toolmonger like me) recently purchased a Wagner Paint Crew to accomplish said task.
The features sounded great: 3/8 HP. .2 gallons per minute. A two-gallon capacity hopper to increase spray time and convenience. A 25 foot spray hose attached to a professional-grade metal spray gun with a full-size in-line filter. It sounded like a quick and fast thing; We’d be done by halftime, yeah?
The directions begin with the usual product info and overview. I skimmed the safety section, which said, “Liquid under pressure, be careful.” Whenever operating the unit, ensure it is pointed in the correct direction (level and forward). If it clogs, don’t try to unclog the line and filter without first notifying the bomb squad (liquid under pressure moves outward). Ensure the paint is clean with no clumps, etc. (The usual suspects.)
I figured, how hard could this be? So I cranked it up and found out. I got about 3 square feet out before the first paint clog decided to end my reign of latex terror and bring forth a very special brand of terror that only a clogged filter can render. Fast forward some swearing and a few paint laden tools later and I am ready to go again. I get about 2 square this time. Lesson; mix your paint like your Saturday depends on it, because it does. I completed about half the 12 by 12 room in around 2 hours now.
Fast forward about another 2 hours and I have the room completed. I am covered in paint and have used close to double the amount of paint I had allotted for the project. During this time, my mother and sister have completed a room twice the size with a pair of rollers and the same amount of paint I used. Their room also looked a bit better with more even and uniform coverage.
The Paint Crew isn’t a bad unit. I’m sure with some practice and of course reading all the directions it would in fact be quite handy. However, I get the impression that it’s really intended for outdoor use by someone more familiar with the eccentricities of the power paint sprayers.
Street Pricing Starts at around $100.