Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pam’s Product Review–Paint Zoom versus Can of Spray Paint


It was a late-night infomercial.  Designed for people like me.  And I bought it, hook, line and sinker.  But I had projects, you see, that I wanted to get done.  No inspiration to do them until … the Paint Zoom entered my life.

Researched it a bit, thought it inexpensive enough, placed the order.  Of course, they get you with some add-ons. 

And what they don’t tell you is this:  You have projects that are going to cost you money other than just the paint job.  Furniture strippers, rags, TSP wash, etc.

So there I was, at the Ace Hardware, buying furniture stripper and scrapers so that I could get my projects ready for the arrival of the Paint Zoom.

Project #1:  Mom’s old rocking chair. 


I almost donated this thing last year but then we found out about grandboy-to-be, so kept it around.  This pic is after the furniture stripper, but the chair itself was 1985 medium wood look which wasn’t much different than shown here.  Used an orange-based product to strip the varnish, which was a bit harder to do than anticipated.

Paint Zoom arrives, so me and Project #1 get started.  Decide that the way to liven up this old chair is to go for a bright color.  Then I could haul it out into a field if I got the chance to do kid pics.

Assemble Paint Zoom, get an extension cord, thin the paint (important), put out the drop cloth and go to town.  A few initial problems were: 

  1. Unit was hot enough that wearing over shoulder wasn’t practical.
  2. Powerful to the point of blowing the little hose off the unit.  Solved by twisting hose back in a little crooked.
  3. Paint seemed to bead up instead of spray evenly.

Looking back now, am thinking I should have diluted the paint a bit more and then built up layers better.  I was throwing it on thick and heavy, up close.  But, it was working and I was happy!

Finished version of Project #1:


Yes, it is bright.  But I think it is a huge improvement.  I liked that tequila green color so much, I sprayed this little stepstool while I was at it.



This desk was another acquisition from mom’s house.  A “supposed” antique school desk that has been around the attic for yonks.  Sometimes antique just means old and beaten up.  But, would it make a fun little table for kids’ tea party pics if I get the chance?  You betcha!   Testing this table was a can of good ol spray paint in a bright turquoise blue.


End result?


Yep, was having so much fun that I pulled out an old fold-up chair and painted it also.  I have since put on a black/white houndstooth fabric seat cover on that chair!  Again, I know the colors are bright, but that was the intent.

Now for the comparisons:

Paint Zoom cost – $99 plus extras.

Spray Paint cost – $4.95 plus tax.

Paint Zoom handling – awkward with the cord and the hose and the heat and diluting of paint.  But satisfactory end result.

Spray Paint handling – one little nozzle and no learning curve needed.  Although I did have to give my ID to purchase it because I guess the store was monitoring the graffiti artists.

Paint Zoom end result – good for my purpose!  Not sure a professional painter would want this unit.  But for someone like me doing 2 or 3 projects every once in a while, I had a good time with it.  Will take any paint or stain so that makes it versatile.  The little gun portion was easy to handle, but certainly not as easy as shown on tv.

Spray Paint end result – also good for my purpose.  Limited choices of colors.  A bigger job than my little desk would have resulted in jammed painting fingers.

What would I do different?  I would have done thin layers with Paint Zoom and built up the surface.  Maybe next time around I will be more patient.

Ultimate questions:

Is Paint Zoom better than Spray Paint can?  No.  More fun?  Possibly.  More expensive?  Definitely and by far.  Could I have done the same job with the spray paint?  Yes.  Am I glad I bought the Paint Zoom? Oh yes, it was great fun and got me inspired to get a few things off the to-do list.  But maybe inspiration will come to another person for about $100 less.  

Pam’s purchase advise?  Save your money and go with the Rustoleum or other store brand of spray paint.  Result will be the same and you will only have sore spray-paint fingers to worry about.

Oh and P.S.  Here’s Sterling’s latest butterfly massacre:


We did “free” the butterfly.  But as it was fluttering off, Sterling knocked it down out of mid-air again with a fully-clawed paw and an amazingly quick delivery.   He might be a real cat one day.


Photos of project furniture in semi-action:



Blue chair with houndstooth seat cover.  See what I mean that it needed a bolder statement with the pattern?  This is fine, but not what I was after.  Also, please disregard that seat isn’t firmly attached to chair.  That is a job for husband and better screwdriver at a future date.


Green chair, white bear and Sterling Cat.  But would he look at the camera?  Of course not.  Once the green chair is out of the bright sun, color not so obnoxious.


Close-up of area that needs a bit of touch-up.  When I say I was up close and spraying it on thick, I mean it.  I had concerns about how it would dry, but after a day in the hot Okie fall sun, the paint cured just fine. 

These paint jobs are not perfect, but fine for my purpose.  Which is, as you can see, little photo props that can double as something useful in the meantime.

Since I know nothing about painting anyway, I am very pleased with the results.  Someone who knew what they were doing might have other opinions!

Oh and P.P.S.  There should be, around this house somewhere, three other chairs just like blue one above.  Am thinking of doing each chair in a different bright color.  Have purchased these bits of fabric to cover the seats.


Am thinking I might go back and do the b/w checkers on the blue chair.  The other bright blue I bought (more blue, less turquoise) to have the red dots.  Or would the bright yellow be too much for that?  And haven’t decided about the burgundy with black swirls.  That was bargain basement priced and is actually the reverse side of the fabric, which was red on red swirls.  I like this side better.  There is a yellow/white chevron print over at Hancocks (or as my friend Johana’s mother used to call that store back in the day … Footpu**ies) … these were meant to be low dollar projects, so I don’t want to be spending any more money on them. 


K9 said...

what kind of mess did this thing leave behind? How long between layers? You know Montana spray paint comes in over 100 colors! I dont know about the heat thing - what is that? is a regular plug not quite enough to power the thing?

man that green is way harsh. grrrrrherhahahaha but the coat does look even (from here)

I wanna see the turquoise with the houndstooth that sounds cool. I loved this review. be sure to buy all the tv products and review em.

Pam said...

Barkydog: It left loads of mess. I was in the back yard, far from the house, with a huge plastic drip cloth underneath. There was loads of over-spray which I probably should have mentioned. The can of spray paint had much LESS over-spray. The heat was from the little power unit, or compressor(?) not the plug. You wear it like a bag over your shoulder and presumably spray as you go. Of course, the over-spray might have been my lack of experience with using such a device. Yes, I know the green is harsh, but I like it. I have some bright yellow and another bright blue on stand-by, so once I put the chair into action and see how it does, if color doesn't work for me, will try again with the yellow. Re the houndstooth, I am a bit disappointed with it ... I was wanting big/bold pattern but couldn't find it. So small pattern that doesn't pop is what I have. I might go back and get the yellow/white chevron pattern. Our local Hancock's store was selling nothing much other than fleece in atrocious patterns. However, you must agree, anything done to those two items of old furniture must have been an improvement, no? I will go take a pic right now and re-post.

Boxer said...

Oh, I love power tools! I bought a paint sprayer several years ago and had only minor good results, but I did paint a ton of wicker furniture easily so I guess that's good. I gave it to my bidness partner after that. Nice job on the review. Too bad you didn't review one of those steam cleaners before I bought one!

They lock up the paint cans for "huffing" also. I'm not sure why they card me, but the last time I bought some varnish I worked harder to get than when I got on a plane.

I love black/white with turquoise too. I'm working on a table cloth project right now using those colors.

Glad chickie asked about the clean up and mess/etc. I spary painted my neighbors bushes white. Ha.

moi said...

See, now. I'd just make a holy moly mess with that thing. Spray cans are about my limit. Better yet: a can and a BRUSH. Loves me a houndstooth. I'm with Chickory: pair it with the turquoise. Tres pretty. Also, love the Paddington the Bear stuffie.

K9 said...

i can just see Lucy and Ethyl with this and it getting out of hand and spraying everything. LOVE the houndstooth with the turq - thanks for posting that. I actually recovered the seats on 4 chairs - its oak i didnt paint them but I did get to get rid of the horrible table i inherited when i bought the cabin. You know, spray paint isnt the only way. you can brush on nice coats of paint. Thats prbably what I am going to do with the little chair i bought at the junker.

Aunty Belle said...

ok, I'se impressed--ya did a project? I ain't able to hustle mah bustle to do nuthin' so ambitious--well, mebbe in the garden.

I think the hounds tooth is excitin' an the bright colors is fer kiddies right? Perfect!

Now STERLING otoh, bad kitty! Ain't' cha tole that feline about endangered butterflies?