Eric, I used to be a professional pseudo-antique furnitue finisher
making pieces for museum displays. A chippy would knock the piece up
in plywood and it was my job to make it look like an ancient, genuine
Tudor, or Victorian or whatever period piece. I remember I always used
a spray gun, and finished most things in cellulose. Cellulose as you
probably know is what they uised to finish cars with in the old days.
It sprays nicely, and is very easy to rub down between coats, and the
equipment cleans up easily because cellulose remans soluble even after
it dries. Clear cellulose can be mixed with colours to produce the
wood effects you want. I used to buy all my tins of cellulose from a
car refinishing supplies shop. I suspect they still sell it, as it is
good for touch-up work. You also buy your cellulose thinners from the
same place. You can (if you really hunt around) still buy cellulose in
spray cans, but of course there is one big, big disadvantage in doing
that: you can't mix up your own colours. Also, with a spray gun and an
airbrush, you have much better control. You can, for axample, create a
darker, aged patina in the little nooks and crannies of your piece
As for paint pads, yes, you can use them for most kinds of oil-based
paints and varnishes. In fact, today, I have been varnishing my
104-year old floorboards using paint pads. Much nicer to use than a
brush: no brush strokes and no loose hairs coming adrift.
I've been using a mini foam roller and water-based gloss with
good results. The finish is slightly dimpled but I happen to like
it that way.
Regarding cellulose, is the finish hardwearing enough for fitted
furniture used every day, for example?
Is it feasible to spray an assembled piece of work in-situ - for
instance the guts of a large fitted wardrobe - and get a decent
finish right into the corners? I realise you'd have to mask off
On Wed, 20 Aug 2003 20:06:08 +0000 (UTC), "Woodspoiler"
Yes, because it is much harder than French polish for example.
I seem to recall having a problem with spraying interior corners
evenly. I can't remember if I overcame that problem by refining my
technique somehow. I suspect I did. I suspect the trick is to spray
into the angle first using a narrow spray and a smaller spray gun,
then spray the large areas afterwards. If you do have a problem with
it, why not spray the inside of the panels *before* assembly?
Alternatively, paint the inside using paint pads and something other
than cellulose (stain/varnish for example)...
marks showing. You should use a decent quality paint and an equal choice
in the quality of paintbrush will help.
You need the slower drying linseed oil based paint that gives wider open
times helping to eliminate brush marks completely.
A few tips on brushing methods can be found here:
Vehicle Painting Pointers: http://www.stephen.hull.btinternet.co.uk
Coach painting tips and techniques + Land Rover colour codes
I have been using foam brushes for stains and varnishes for the exact same
problems the OP had with brushes. I get them from the local pound shop in
packs of 20 in 3 different sizes so I have never bothered cleaning one.
The results are on a par with a gloss roller but much easier to use.
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