Early 2012. That’s when I bought the stain for my kid’s swing set. But it took until this summer to stain the swing set, thanks to the HomeRight Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer. Without this little wonder machine, our (used) swing set would still be in an uncertain state of decay. If you have a swing set like this, or a raised deck to stain, let me try to convince you that the Finish Max Pro is the way to go. And keep reading until the end so you can find out about winning one of your very own!
It took me three years to get around to staining this partly because this was always going to be a two day project. The chances of having two days in a row where I had all the necessities were slim to none. I needed:
- Good weather
- Plans for the kiddos that didn’t involve me
- Enough energy to pull it off
Before: Staining a Swing Set
My little one (she’s not quite 5), keeps saying things like, “Remember last winter? That was really awful.” Even she remembers winter, and she knows we are heading into it again! So now is the time to protect swing sets and decks and outdoor wooden furniture, before they take another winter beating.
How to Prepare to Stain a Swing Set: Phase 1
Phase 1 of the project was power washing. I bought this power washer from my favorite local hardware store two years ago.
Once you start power washing, everything next to what you washed looks awful. It’s kind of addictive. Once I started, I kept thinking, what else can I use this on? See the before on the left and the washed section on the right? Sooooo much better already.
A wooden swing set is the perfect project for a beginner because it is possible to cause some damage with a power sprayer. I wasn’t really worried about damage because the squirrels have really done a number on our swing set as it is. You don’t want to practice on your house, if at all possible. After I got the hang of it, I washed our small deck while I was at it.
I planned for this part of the project to take an hour. It took three.
Then it has to dry. Then I had to wait for another good day. See bullet points above. The raw wood looks pretty, but don’t let it sit too long, or you’ll have to power wash all over again.
How to Stain a Swing Set: Phase 2
They’ve been calling for rain all week, and I haven’t seen a drop, so Wednesday, I decided to go for it. I checked Weather.com, and it said cloudy, but no rain.
When HomeRight sent me this Finish Max Pro sprayer to try, I opened the box and thought, no way. They must have sent the wrong item. It’s too small. All that stain is going to fit in that small black canister?
It turns out, this Finish Max Pro sprayer is awesome. Fill the container and away you go. I only filled the container 5 times from the gallon of stain. That is the perfect amount to work with without putting strain on your hand and wrist. With stain, there’s no measuring viscosity or thinning needed, so I just poured and got started.
Well, I took a short pit stop over at Sherwin Williams, where I had them shake my can of stain…because it had been sitting for three years. All the good stuff was on the bottom. I didn’t want that getting stuck in the sprayer.
Some things you’re going to want to know about this sprayer (besides the fact that it is awesome):
- Start with safety equipment. I had gloves, safety glasses and a hat.
- Read the instructions. There’s a lot of useful stuff in there. Especially if you are using paint, you’ll want to test for viscosity and set it correctly.
- Get comfortable changing the spray pattern from horizontal to vertical. It will save you a lot of extra work if you have the spray pattern lined up with your surface.
- Cover anything you don’t want to hit. Mask or drape anything nearby to protect from overspray.
- Every now and then I had to wipe the front of the nozzle to get a layer of stain off the brass part. No biggie. Just watch your pray pattern to be sure it’s nice and even, or swipe it clean.
I got this far before it started raining. Grrrrrr.
I planned for this to take one hour. It took two.
It took nearly exactly one gallon of stain. I have just a smidge left over because I’m using another stain on the rock wall. I’ll tell you about that next time.
So I came in and cleaned up. This is where HomeRight products really shine. I kid you not, I spent the whole time that I was spraying absolutely dreading the cleanup, but it took about 10 minutes...in the kitchen sink! Years ago I owned a similar sprayer and it seemed like everything had to be cleaned outside, which was such a hassle. But just like with my hallway transformation with my HomeRight Paint Stick EZ Twist, cleanup was super quick. Here’s what got cleaned up:
By the way, I had one little issue with stain dripping out of the can. The company was very easy to get ahold of and offered to replace the entire machine immediately. They are paying return shipping so they can troubleshoot the problem in their office in Minnesota. Anyone can have a problem, but how a company responds to the customer makes all the difference.
Let’s be completely honest. This project never would have been completed without this HomeRight Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer. And now that I’ve recently admitted my little Monday Morning problem, I might be able to get more curbside treasure makeovers done with this, too.
I thought for sure this was going be a thankless project, with my little people oblivious to it. But they actually noticed it when we pulled in. “Oooh, that looks really great.” I didn’t really stain the swing set so it would look nicer. I stained it so it would last longer. But it’s nice to be appreciated, too.
Do you have a story like mine? A swing set or a deck with good intentions but no real action? I’m here to help. HomeRight is letting me give away one of their Finish Max Pro sprayers to one of my readers! Just enter below to get in on this action. The winner will have theirs in plenty of time to complete their own deck or play set stain project before fall is over. Just enter below.
*Disclosure: I received a Finish Max Pro to review, and am happy to let you know how it honestly worked for me.