As Tom and I have grown older and presumably wiser, we have recognized that have the right tool, and a quality tool, for the job can make a big difference. Therefore, last spring as we were painting more furniture and larger items we started looking for a small paint sprayer. After seeing such good reviews on a variety of the DIY blogs that I read regularly, we decided on the Home Right Finish Max sprayer. While we were unable to look and buy one from the local stores, we ordered our from Amazon.
Once my sprayer arrived I was excited to give it a try. I had several large projects, including painting my dining room chairs, just waiting for the sprayer to arrive. Like many new tools, there was a bit of a learning curve- determining the right consistency of the paint (they give you a funnel type tool to make this determination), adjusting the flow valve, and figuring out the proper spray pattern. However, with a not too much practice, I felt like I had the sprayer operations down. I was ready to use it on a “real” project.
Now my main reasons for purchasing a paint sprayer were for quicker/easier painting and the elimination of visible brush strokes. In general, the Finish max met both of these desires. Unfortunately overall, and as time went on, I had very mixed results using the sprayer. While I always used the same DIY recipe for my chalk paint, sometimes it worked well in the sprayer and other times is would constantly clog up the spray nozzle. This was clogging was particularly frustrating when I was painting my dining room chairs. When the nozzle would clog instead of a nice smooth paint stream, it spit out the paint in uneven splatters. Other times it became so clogged that I had to take it partially apart to clean the nozzle pin.
My other issue with the Finish Max was clean up. In a nutshell, even with the purchase of their cleaning kit, clean up took as much and often more time than the actual painting. Most of the sprayer needed to be disassemble and cleaned thoroughly. In addition, clean up always seemed to leave me soaked to the bone, but admittedly this probably more my fault rather than the sprayer’s.
Overall, I would have said that while I liked my Finish Max, I certainly didn’t love it. On the other hand, I do need to say to some of my favorite DIY bloggers seem to really like the Finish Max, use it regularly, and give it very good reviews. Larissa at Prodigal Pieces, Gail at My Repurposed Life, and Debbie at Refresh/Restyle all seem to use the Finish Max and are happy with their results.
My opinion of the Finish Max changed significantly a few weeks ago. Because we don’t have any sort of spray tent, using the sprayer indoors is not practical. As such, the sprayer was cleaned and packed away last fall. A few weeks ago I pulled the sprayer out again to paint the wine cabinet we made for ReUse-apolozza.
When I plugged the sprayer in the motor started making strange sounds and soon foul smelling smoke was emitted from the motor. It quickly became apparent that the motor had seized up. In less than a years time, the motor on the sprayer was dead.
Unfortunately Home Right’s 2 year warranty apparently does not cover this issue. After a rather lengthy email conversation back and forth with their customer service team, they claim that paint or water must have gotten into the motor housing causing the motor to seize and fail. While I can’t dispute their claims as to the cause of the failure, it would seem to me that the housing should have been better waterproofed when you consider how much of the unit needs to be cleaned after each use. So sadly, I am tossing my Finish Max and chalking this one up to a $75 learning experience.
So now Tom and I are once again in the market for a paint sprayer. Our criteria for the “perfect sprayer” includes:
- Easy to use
- Must be able to be used with thicker chalk paints
- Designed to used on smaller projects- I don’t want a sprayer designed to be used by a house painter!
- Light enough that a lady/woman/girl/female can use- I don’t ant to have to start building up my biceps just to use the new sprayer
- Easy to clean
At this juncture we are still trying to decide between another small electrical sprayer, such as one from Wagner, or a sprayer that uses a small compressor unit. We better make a decision soon, however, because summer is coming up and I have several large projects to paint for us (vs for sale) including my dining room buffet and a radiator cover.