Lattice can look beautiful as an accent in your yard, as edging around your deck or porch or across the top of the fence. However, the holes and all the criss-crosses made by the slats can make painting lattice a real chore. Here are some tips to make the job of painting lattice a little bit easier that will give you great results that you can be proud of.
To begin painting the lattice you first need to find an area where you can lay it out and paint it. Spread newspaper on the ground where you want to paint the lattice to avoid any overspray from getting on the ground underneath. The wood used to make lattice often times can be a bit rough and full of splinters, so first prep the lattice for painting by using a sheet of fine grit sandpaper to lightly sand the lattice and remove any rough spots or splinters. When you are done sanding brush away any dust or debris.
Lattice can be painted with a paint brush however, because of all the holes and the edges of the slats it can be an extremely time consuming job if you try to tackle it by hand. A much better option is to rent and airless paint sprayer. These paint sprayers can be rented from your local home improvement store or rental shop and will make the job of painting lattice a breeze. Unlike forced air paint sprayers, airless paint sprayers don’t require a compressor but instead use a pump to gently spray the paint out of the nozzle. Airless paint sprayers result in much less overspray and apply a nice, even coat or paint with minimal effort.
It is a good idea to prime the lattice before painting it to ensure that your paint will last longer and that it will hold up to the elements. You can buy primer in a spray can and spray a coat on the lattice to prime it. Be sure to do both sides of the lattice and allow the primer to dry before moving on to painting.
Choose and exterior latex paint in whatever color you prefer. Insert the dip tube from you airless paint sprayer into your paint and turn the knob on the paint sprayer to recirculate and allow the pump to run for a few minutes in order to prime the paint sprayer and force any trapped air out of it.
Next, take an old piece of cardboard and adjust the flow of the paint from the paint gun. You will want a nice fan shaped spray that is not darker on the edges than in the middle, but is a consistent color the whole way across. Many people set their paint sprayers to spray too much paint which can result in runs and heavy spots in the paint. Once you have adjusted the nozzle to deliver the right amount of paint you can begin painting your lattice.
Remember that as soon as you squeeze the trigger on the paint gun it will start spraying paint so you need to already have your hand in motion before you squeeze the trigger. Otherwise you can wind up with a thick spot that runs. Use long, overlapping spray strokes to cover your lattice with paint, making sure that you are getting all of the inside edges of the slats covered. Once you have finished one side of the lattice, allow it to dry then flip it and paint the other side.
After the lattice has dried thoroughly you are ready to use it in whatever project you need it for. To clean the airless paint spray rinse it off and run some water through it to remove any paint from inside then return it to the place you rented it from.