Potting Shed Before and After.

This is a sponsored post.  That means someone is paying me to write it.  So why read it?  Because it’s about a product that’s so great I contacted the company to ask them if I could do a sponsored post for them, as opposed to the other way around.

They didn’t contact me.  I contacted them. And here’s why.

When I decided this was going to be the year of painting everything outside, I knew I was going to need a better plan than a) painting everything with a brush and roller myself b) hiring a stranger to do it or  c) hiring my cats to do it.   I don’t mind hard work blah, blah, blah, but I’m sick of spending every minute of every spring and summer building, fixing and breaking things.  This was going to be the year I didn’t have a single big thing to do.  So I wanted to figure out a way to make these jobs go as quickly as possible leaving me in a good mood to enjoy the summer and not turn into a broken down, scribble of swear words.

I’m not sure how the thought came to me but I started researching paint spray guns.  I had 3 big painting jobs.  Picket fence, front porch and potting shed.  So I was willing to spend a bit of money on the gun but didn’t want to go too nuts.  That research led me to the $89 Wagner paint gun which had good reviews.

I picked it up at Home Depot and by the next day I was spraying. It was great. I used it to do my picket fence because that’s the first thing I had to get painted.  Once the plants around it started to grow I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near the fence for the wall of leaves.

Neighbours stopped and asked me about it and I told them how much I loved it, then it got to the point that I was pulling people over who weren’t even interested in it and telling them how much I loved spraying paint.

SO.  As soon as I was finished my fence I contacted the company (Wagner) to tell them how much I loved it and asked them if they’d be interested in doing a sponsored post with me.   They said yes. And would I like to try out their more advanced sprayer?

Yup.  Yup I would.



This is what’s known as the hero shot

A week or so later the Wagner 890 arrived in the mail. I painted my potting shed with it and then I sent the company another love letter.

I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like it as much as my $89 one.  But I did.  It was like going from a very reliable but no options car to a fully loaded Mercedes. That sprays paint.

The 890 came with 2 spray heads, one for big projects and another one for finer detail work.  Each head has multiple adjustments to make the flow change directions, spray harder, softer, more paint, less paint … you get the idea.




But here’s the thing that makes this gun the winner.  And I didn’t even know it was a feature until I unpacked it.


Anyone who has used a paint spray gun knows it’s a pain because you have to thin your paint otherwise it won’t run through the sprayer.  You do not have to do that with this gun.  I *did* have to do it with the $89 one.

You still have to filter your paint so there aren’t any blobs in it to block the sprayer.




I used a trouser sock to filter.  Because I always like to do things in the most professional of ways.  If you want to be a little more traditional you can use an actual paint filter which you can either buy or beg from your local auto body shop.  I’m not sure why the sprayers don’t come with a small supply of paint filters but that would be about the only suggestion I have for Wagner.  Include a few paint filters.

And just so you know even brand new paint can have the odd blob or guck in it.   See?



My potting shed has needed a clean up since the day I moved in.  At one point it matched all the raised beds around my backyard which were cedar, but I switched those out for raised beds painted in a gray/black many years ago.  I therefore decided I wanted to paint my potting shed the same gray/black colour.  I’m going for a sophisticated modern feel in the backyard and the only thing holding me back was the cedar shed.  On the upside the shed was cute. On the downside the shed was cute.




Here’s a timeline so you can see exactly how long things took compared to the days it would have taken with a regular  brush and roller.

Also here’s a WOW list.  The things that make this thing great.

WOW list

  • No need to thin paint
  • 2 different spray heads for different jobs
  • Multiple settings for paint coverage, air flow, paint direction etc.
  • Comes with a BUILT IN air compressor. It’s right in the carrying case
  • Makes painting fun.  No joke.  F.U.N.


Prep work

2.5 hours  (scraping the shed a bit, taping out windows, door hinges and putting up plastic to prevent overspray from getting on the fence and my flagstone patio, pre-straining paint)

Spending a bit of extra time doing realllyyyy good prep work will save you hours and hours of clean up in the end.  Things like taping out windows properly.





Remember to cut off any overhanging tape otherwise once you paint, you’ll have a bald spot where the overhanging tape was.




Total painting time

1.5 hours.  Tops.

No joke.  I timed it.  It technically took me longer because I had to stop and take pictures and run out into the street screaming at people to come watch, talk to the police and let them know there was no emergency, everything was fine I was just excited, by the way did they want to see my new paint spray gun?

It took 7 minutes to paint each side of the shed.  (Because it’s in a corner my shed only has 2 visible sides).  I did 2 coats of primer on both sides.  So we’re at 28 minutes.  Then I did 3 coats on each side of the shed with my actual colour, gray/black.  That’s an additional 42 minutes at 7 minutes per side.  now we’re up to an hour and 10 minutes.  There were a few things to slow me down like dragging out the ladder, refilling the paint container, which needed to be refilled several times.

I realize that’s a lot of numbers so just know this.  I painted my shed in about the same amount of time it would take to eat a really big cookie.



This is me priming.  I primed right over the light fixture above the door because I’m replacing it this summer.

I thought cleaning the thing was going to be a huge pain but it only took about 10 minutes to clean the sprayer when I was done so that wasn’t as horrifying as I thought it was going to be.

Wanna buy one? You can buy it here if you’re in the States.  If you’re in Canada, the Flexio 890 isn’t available yet so the Flexio 590 is your option.  You can buy it on Amazon.ca but at the time of posting this blog it’s cheaper to buy it from Home Depot.

I absolutely 100% recommend this thing.   I even painted a wicker love seat with it the other day because I knew it would do such a great job of getting into all the crevices. It only took 10 minutes, not counting the amount of time it took me to find a neighbour’s porch with a wicker love seat on it.




Have more questions about it?  Just ask me. I’d be more than happy to talk at length about my new spray gun.  Just ask the neighbours.  Or the cops.  They’ll confirm it.


  1. Claudia Wisdom-Good says:

    SO you are a riot! But after so many of your fans are dying to know the color that you used for your ‘black’ and you just can’t seem to tell us. Fail.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Great black colour. Can you tell me what it is?

  3. Jonathan says:

    Live the black colour. Can you tell me what colour it is?

  4. Kat says:

    Where are these really big cookies you are talking abou?? I want some… 😁

  5. Gabriela says:

    Looks great! What is the light colour of walls above the black please?

  6. Catherine Naulin says:

    Well your posts and recommandations they countains really hit the mark. Tell THAT to Wagner! We are doing some painting on an outside stairway railing, so I rushed out yesterday to guy a Wagner Flexio 590 (in Canada, so no access to the fancier one). I started reading the manual over coffee this morning, looks daunting, but I am determined to make my life easier with all the curlicues of the metal railing. This one does not require to thin out the paint. I am also excited to think of the possibilities for all the walls of the appartment we are renovating. If this does not work, you are in BIG TROUBLE MISSY!
    But I soooo trust you :))

    • Catherine Naulin says:

      Sorry about the typos, I don’t understand how I don’t see them before I submit. Darn! So yesterday I went out to BUY ( not guy, whoever he is)
      And they countain, no S.
      SORRY! And thanks for your blog, love it!

      • Karen says:

        LOL. I understood. :) Let me know how it goes! ~ karen

      • Catherine Naulin says:

        It’s a really good machine, but YES! I am one of these idiot people who didn’t read the warning not to spray paint when it’s windy. So I ended with a stippled front door and a very becoming shade of beige on my hair. Some serious cleaning was required :)
        Otherwise happy with the results. Will be great when I start painting a whole appartment we are renovating: no wind there. Will be careful to prep really really well. Found the cleaning painstaking, but worth the hassle.

  7. Shelley says:

    Hi Karen,
    Did you use oil paint in the sprayer? I went to purchase one at home depot but all of the ones in the lower price range (less then $200) said they could only spray oil paint and I only use latex. Love your blog!!!!

  8. Kat says:

    I bought a sprayer to paint my pool fence – one of those metal panelled fences that just look horrendous. Especially when they are 15+ years old and chipped and faded. It was white and it was all you saw when looking over the pool area. So I painted it with Metal paint by Dulux in Domino Grey – had to thin it – oh my god how long and painful is that process (!!) But I swear on my grave that fence literally DISSAPEARED before your eyes!
    Had to lay huge pieces of cardboard under the fence panel and have my mother stand behind a 6ft tall pice of cardboard to it wouldnt to overspray into the pool or on the concrete floor – but it was worth it! Took 2 hours to hand paint one panel. 2 hours with the gun and we were done completely and drinking wine!! #downwithbrushes

    • Karen says:

      LOL, #downwithbrushes. It’s GREAT. I also used it to paint a fake wicker love seat black and it painted that thing in NO time with no little bits showing through. It’s SUCH a great tool to have. ~ karen!

  9. Kelly says:

    Not only do I appreciate the useful DIY info you provide Karen, but your posts are laugh-out-loud funny (I spelled it out cause your posts are deserving of the effort–that, and I’m old enough to despise what is happening to proper language–our communication skills are doomed to being reduced to emoticons, grunting and pointing). As a newer reader, I’m still catching up on old posts…which are entertaining as hell. But like episodes of House of Cards, I ration them so they’ll last longer.

  10. Homgar says:

    This looks very effective! I will try definitely.

  11. Arnie says:

    Inspirational article. I feel like I should go out and paint something. LOL. By the way, I’m in love with the multi-level planter next to the door! Where did you find that?

  12. Tricia Rose says:

    Now I feel like a TOTALLY tragic spray gun failure because the last time I tried it was a disaster. Maybe it was because I don’t wear trouser socks.

  13. Patrice says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color! Would you share the mix for Bertelsen Black so that I can have my local mix the color please?

  14. Christie says:

    I’ve been warily eyeing my shed for 14 years now. It’s a greyish colour, which used to be the same colour as my house. However, the house has been a soft yellow for at least 12 years. You have given me hope!!! My bushes are already too full for me to paint, but perhaps next year!!!

    Are you going to try it inside? What about a before and after of your dreaded basement? You could spray the whole damn thing white!!!

  15. Patti says:

    Hi Karen, love the new and improved shed! Did you build it or is it a kit? I’m in the market for a new shed and yours is the perfect size.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Patti! The shed was here when I moved in years ago. It was definitely built from the ground up by someone, not a kit. It’d be relatively easy to do. It’s just a big box! ~ karen!

  16. Tigermom says:

    Sorry I’m late. I was cowering in shame over not having figured out for myself that I could CUT the excess tape when masking instead of finagling with it forever to get it into corners properly. Seriously, the photo of the craft knife trimming the excess tape stopped me in my tracks. For a fairly intelligent person, I have some pretty serious “Doh!” moments. Oh, the time I could have saved. Although it’s possible that that time would have been spent in the emergency room getting stitches as I am a bit of a danger to myself with anything sharp.

    But enough about that. NOW you give me the idea for the perfect thing I should have asked for for Mother’s Day. I do a lot of spray painting but am fed up with the cans and the limited color choices. Maybe I can reclaim some of that time I lost masking the hard way by spraying things with the Flexio 890 in colors I choose. Be still my heart.

    The shed looks amazing (as does your ass in them jeans, seriously what is Idris waiting for?) and your styling of the whole area is fantastic. I was going to ask about the stacked pots, but saw in the comments that you will be teaching us about them soon, too. I look forward to it.

    “On the upside the shed was cute. On the downside the shed was cute.” I totally get this. And thanks for the tip on straining even brand new paint. Blobs in paint suck.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! I knew what it was going to be. I had already seen the picture. Yet … I clicked. Pretty much had to. ;) ~ karen!

  17. Brook says:

    Great timing, Karen! I have to do my front deck, that has been weathering unprotected for the last couple of years. When you say that the 590 can do anything, does that include primer and/or stain? Or just paint, specifically. If it’s good for primer and stain, too, Wagner’s is going to tally another sale, courtesy of your post. Is there a quick way to let them know that the purchase was directly attributable to your review?

    Re: The value of Amazon Prime. I found it more useful when I lived in the States, because it came with Prime video, music, and a whole lot more products than amazon.ca. For example, I used to get tea, fire-roasted tinned tomatoes, and chipotle peppers shipped on various schedules, depending on how soon I’d run out. It may still be useful in Canada, if you order a lot of books, CDs, or Prime-eligible goods. So far, I’m managing just fine without it in Canada.

    Re: Cuddles. Yeah, Cuddles!!! So happy to hear she’s doing well. I have a mental video of her turning around and trying to jump back in your lap that puts a huge grin on my face. Such a sweetie.

    • Karen says:

      HI Brooke. I can’t vouch for the 590 because it isn’t the one I used. But from the looks of it it seems to be the version that was out prior to the 890. And yes, what I used on my shed was actually stain! Which appears to be paint, but in fact is stain. You can use the 890 for all of those things, but you’d have to check to verify the 590 is the same. I believe it is but couldn’t guarantee it. ~ karen!

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