Small scale production painting

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Forum topic by teejk02 posted 05-07-2016 11:14 PM 711 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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481 posts in 1148 days

05-07-2016 11:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Here’s the deal…building blue-bird nesting boxes from a plan. One 1×6 4’ board will build the box. So the standard 8’ board will build two. But the plan called for 1×10 x 10 for the roof (I dropped back to 1×8 stock just because). But anyway, the standard 8’ roof board left me with enough to build 8 boxes so I did. So I spent the big part of today priming 8 boxes and roofs. My plan is to do 4 with GB Packer Green/gold…the other 4 will be Wisconsin Cardinal/White. So the question is…anybody have a spray system that will let me do 4 colors and retain the leftover paint using the same gun?

9 replies so far

View wuddoc's profile


274 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 05-29-2016 04:30 AM

You are looking for a finish system that keeps the colors in cups that can attach to a gun. The gun is moved from cup to cup. You do have to run a cleaning agent through the gun prior to moving on to the next cup. Right off hand 3M, Sherwin Williams, and Graco come to mind.

Since you are not talking about high production runs an automotive systems may work for you. If your local school or college has an automotive program that includes painting check with them about your question. Or a local automotive repair and paint shop might have a finishing system you could look at.

In furniture manufacturing a manifold is attached near the spray booth where various stain colors are fed via direct or circulating lines from a paint kitchen. The spray operator at the manifold selects the color required. Of course a cleaning agent also is fed to the manifold thus allowing flushing of the manifold, gun material hose and the gun itself before using the next stain color.

-- Wuddoc

View RogR's profile


110 posts in 888 days

#2 posted 05-29-2016 03:31 PM

Consider using a solid-bodied stain. No priming, greater durability for a nest box. Pre-stain your board before cutting and assembly so you can use a roller or pad. Touch up the cut edges post-construction if you think the birds really care. :)

View teejk02's profile


481 posts in 1148 days

#3 posted 05-29-2016 07:03 PM

Thanks…decided to simply paint them (they are bird houses after all and I watched the already cupped #2 pine continue to cup more in the day or two they sat before I cut them up so I was in a hurry to get them nailed together and painted to stop that cupping process). Took several coats of all four colors to get it where I wanted them but I got into a process and they went quick. Bought a quart of each color and based on the usage I think I have enough paint for about 300 more. The hand painted “logo’s” took a lot of time also (decals would have been faster but the UW one sells for $4+...more than I had in the entire box!). Unfortunately my old blue-bird box got “occupied” just about the time I finished these so I’ll wait for the second hatch in a month or so.

View HerbC's profile


1763 posts in 2883 days

#4 posted 05-29-2016 11:05 PM

If you’re selling these you need to be careful you don’t wind up violating the various team’s copyright/licensing rules. Bottom line is you have to pay big bux to the institutions to put their logo on your product and then sell it…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View teejk02's profile


481 posts in 1148 days

#5 posted 05-29-2016 11:47 PM

Found both logos on-line and merely copied them to a crude cardboard template. Both are hand painted and “push come to shove” I can claim that they are hardly replicas until you get 50’ away! I did look at the UW rules and didn’t see any restrictions (how can anybody copyright a “W”)? As for the GB logo (which was a real PITA because I did the yellow, then the white, then the green) same thing…but don’t think I didn’t think about what you are saying. In this case a few will be personal use, the rest will be charitable auction items (hard to believe how much they command). If the NCAA or NFL wants to come back on me then I will be famous and they will be fools.

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2716 days

#6 posted 05-30-2016 02:03 AM

Hi teejk, nice looking bluebird houses you put together there. This isn’t a comment about painting your bird houses but an offering of a tidbit of info I learned from others about making bluebird houses.

I built and posted some bluebird houses and received a comment about how other bird species would destroy their bluebird’s houses. I looked online and discovered another maker using a technique called “predator protectors”, it’s just an additional block off wood at the hole.

You can read and see more about it here;

You may be interested in the additional feature for the bird houses you build for personal use.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3154 days

#7 posted 05-30-2016 11:42 AM

So the question is…anybody have a spray system that will let me do 4 colors and retain the leftover paint using the same gun?

It’s a little late, but here’s the answer:

-- Gerry,

View teejk02's profile


481 posts in 1148 days

#8 posted 05-30-2016 11:50 AM

Thanks Darrell. These are pretty much meant to be decorative. If they turn out to be functional all the better. We have 2 old ones around the yard now and no shortage of “natural” houses (crafted by our woodpeckers into trees). Where one of these will sit is on a post not far from my shop and overlooks my wife’s wild-flower meadow. Never seen a woodpecker out there but will keep an eye out for them. They are interesting birds to watch. When they first show up the chickadees will already have tried to steal the box. We have enough other boxes around for them so they get evicted. Then the barn swallows try to set up but once the bluebirds decide it’s time they stand guard. Quite an interesting air battle for a few days.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2716 days

#9 posted 05-30-2016 12:36 PM

For a quick change system get a Paasche air brush . Set it up with their 3 oz spray jars and the largest tip that they have. It’s what I use.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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