Friday, January 30, 2015

cottage renovation...the exterior (part 1) with dulux rapid finish

In our cottage transformation we have been very inspired by Scandinavian summer houses with the dark walls and cool white trim.  We knew this was just what our little fibro needed to make it look loved again.  When Dulux contacted me to test their new RapidFinish(TM) spray unit this job went straight to the top of the list.  I have always wanted to try out a paint sprayer but could never decide if it was worth the cost of buying one.  Let me answer that question right now - if you are painting any exterior surface it is totally worth buying.  Its faster, its cleaner, it gives great coverage, its easy to clean, and its FUN!

Its fun to use & you see progress fast
Now I like painting, but painting a whole house is a big job and by the end of the first few hours I am always wishing I had hired somebody else to do it.  Not any more.  The RapidFinish(TM) unit is fun to use, and the coverage is so good that the job goes really fast and you see results fast.  You will be patting yourself on the back in no time.

Mr B had started repainting before Dulux approached us and the front of the house was done old school.  The fibro panel profile meant he could only use a small roller and it was taking him ages, and several coats to get reasonable coverage.  In fact it took him the entire day to paint the front of the house with the roller.  The other THREE sides took us (drum roll) just ONE DAY.  That is not a typo, just one day.  We ran out of paint or we could have done more.

I was also a little worried that the paint capacity was a little small.  This also turned out not to be an issue, in fact it is quite heavy full and I would battle with much more weight.  It does need to be refilled pretty regularly, but fewer times than you would have had to refill a paint tray.  It is a little messy pouring from the tin into the spray unit, we ended up getting a lot of paint on our hands and the floor pouring.  A funnel or something similar would have helped.  This may be something Dulux can improve on.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for stirring and pouring paint fairly cleanly.

It's easy to clean
I was worried about this bit.  I was concerned that cleaning would be a big job and that the nozzle and pipes would start blocking up with use.  Wrong assumption, its actually quite easy to clean.  Pour any remaining paint back into the tin, fill unit with water and spray until water runs clear.  I gave it a good shake and the paint seemed to come right off and spray out easily.  The unit dismantles so that you can give the nozzle and pipes a good final rinse before drying them out.  

Its easier than cleaning paint brushes, and I hate cleaning paint brushes.  

Value for money
Its worth the money.  You would spend at least $40 on good paint brushes over several days of painting, the spray unit costs around $99, it will pay itself back in just a few jobs. 

Prep and splatter
It is worth buying some disposable adhesive drop down sheets (from your local hardware) to protect your windows and trim.  This is a great product with low tack tape at the top and a plastic sheet that rolls down to cover the windows.  We taped the bottom and side edges firmly closed with blue tape (see below) and our windows stayed very clean.  Took much less time than trying to paper up a window which I have done before.

We tested the spray for splatter as we went along and I was pleased to see that it stays pretty localised.  Test it out a little bit and you will soon see how careful you need to be.  Spraying outside you have a little leeway, but have to say I would test this little unit indoors to some day.

So now that I have the technical stuff out of the way let me show you some before and afters of the cottage!!

I love how the black makes the green of the garden pop, and I just love how clean it makes the house look.  I forgot to take a final one of this wall complete, we ran out of paint just before we could finish it off.  Imagine how cute this is going to look once we add some trim!!  

Below is the view from the front.

And finally a view of the back.  This is the entrance to the kitchen and the access we use most.  I am planning to pretty it up with an apple crate planted up with herbs (we found an old one under some trees).  It's going to look so cute.

And that is almost as far as we got this trip down.  We did finish all the paint and have added the trim but still need to paint it all white.  It is a huge transformation and I can't wait to get it all done and share the final pictures with you soon.

A final word about the RapidFinish(TM) unit, I have big plans for it.  I am finally going to paint the fence at our Sydney home and I am going to film it to show you just how easy it is.  It's a great product and if you have been thinking about trying one out you should.

The RapidFinish(TM) was given to me but all feedback is, as always, my own.

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