Pump up sprayer for stain

I have some lattice to do on a small deck and really don’t want to clean out my sprayer and do masking for something that will take about 1.5 hours to stain by hand. I’d probably have as much in mineral spirits as I would in the pump up, not to mention the time.

Any recommendations on a small 1 gal pump up? This is that tight PITA lattice with small openings.

I never got around to building a 12v oil sprayer.

Not sure it’s germaine, but why are you staining a deck? Have them call a painter.

Crazy as it sounds I do wood restoration. PW is a house is easier though (and faster). Most of the time I get both gigs, wash the house and strip and stain the deck. I paint or stain them, whatever the customer wants. This one is getting oil based stain (which I prefer over paint).

Sometimes they just pay me to clean them, regardless of the condition.

Edit: sorry - some of the pump ups won’t put out thicker liquids like semit transparent oil based stains, they are great at handling watery stuff like SH and water or some percarbonate/acid/hydroxide etc.

@Dirtyboy you chemically or mechanically strip?

If I am stripping I use chems, then mechanical after that. There is always something it seems that needs to be hit. I never really used chems to this degree on decks like I do now, bit of a learning curve.

If I am not stripping it, I still run a random orbital floor sander over the deck. It is easy peasy (after you set the screws/nails). I price it into my quote. Plus it helps remove the toe stubbers, which customers like (they all admit walking barefoot or in socks on their decks). I also round over all hard edges on decks that I am painting. It takes a little time and effort and I tend to get splinters in my hands from testing them.

On a side note, don’t be old and have knee issues like me, Knee pads are your friend and a bucket/stool makes life better.

Actually a lot of washers also seal and stain decks, it’s quite lucrative. If I didn’t also window clean and do screen repair I’d consider it.

@Dirtyboy appreciate the reply! Do you mix your own stripper? Like just use sodium hydroxide or do you use pre made stain strippers? Since I started my company i wanted to lean heavily into deck/fence restoration and use the pressure washing as more of a side/combo business. I’m going to start with mechanically stripping the first few to get familiar (I’m a millwright by trade so tools are second nature to me) before I start to speed things up with chem stripping. Any tips?

I stained decks for about a year when I first started but that is for the birds. To much easy work to own a paint brush

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There, fixed it.

I’d never leave NC, except for maybe Belize. But, if washing wasn’t easy and profitable here, I’d own a different business. There isn’t a market for everything everywhere.


I know the terms “paint” and “stain” are used interchangeably to usually mean the same thing, but they really are different.

So to be clear you should always be using stain on a deck, whether it’s oil or acrylic, not paint.

I’m assuming you’re always using stain. But I don’t want a newb thinking he can put actual paint on a deck.

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What’s in Belize that would make you leave?

To answer your question though…

What semi-oil are you using? If it’s watery you’ll be fine with just about any Chapin sprayer. Make sure it’s a conical tip and not a fan.

What percentage of revenue is your screen repair side?

I’ve got a couple of the 2 gal ones. Come with different tips. Can get at Tractor Supply or HD.

This one I have, works fine for what you’re doing -

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It varies, I’d say about 20% on a decent year. It makes about the same per ‘man hour’ as pressure washing so a lot more than window cleaning.

We had 9 tornadoes roll through a couple weeks ago and winds blew out a lot of porch screens. I got started in screen repair in 2002 when a supercell dumped hail in Virginia.

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100% agree. I did for about two seasons, made some decent money and retired to spraying water on houses and concrete. Never looking back!

Thank you sir.

Edit: @Racer Appreciate the link and it is on sale…winner winner chicken dinner.
I was on Chapins site before I posted this, but they kept saying something along the lines of “up to transparent” which has a lot less pigment/solids in it. Didn’t want to buy and have something clog constantly to the point I toss it. Thanks again.

yes, I mix my own stripper. I can’t imagine buying some overpriced stuff from a store that wouldn’t be as effective. I buy my chems through amazon for the most part and mix most on site.

You really need to read that deck 101 thread in it’s entirety, take notes, then ask some members on here questions. Not busting your chops, but if you are even thinking about using chems you need to educate yourself first, then you can educate your customers. I have read everything I could get my hands on, attending 3 different trainings, had prior painting experience, asked questions to some deck pros on here, and my first oil stain deck job was not smooth. The whole time I was MFing that deck and wishing I was painting again.

EDIT: stain (oil or water based penetrating sealer), paint (a film forming covering that largely remains on the surface of the wood). Is this ok @qons - i really didn’t think about confusing new people, i just (in my mind) thought everyone knew the difference but I might be assuming and you know what they say about assumptions.

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I agree with your sentiments.

So that I am not confusing anyone on this forum that thinks I do this 7 days a week and make a living off it, let me add the following statements.

I am retired and I could sit at home and do nothing and be OK financially. I know this doesn’t apply to most people on here. I live in the north and I like being outside in the warmer weather. Sometimes the deck work is hard, dirty, hot, and exhausting, but for the most part I enjoy seeing the end result. When I believe that this is becoming too much of a PITA, I will quit and sell my stuff. I have no debt and the business is self sufficient.