Okay, the last hvlp thread went so well, here's a question I've been
meaning to ask.
Everyone (ok, not everyone, but notably Robert, Swingman, BARRY, etc...) has
been talking about shooting lacquer (flammable), oil poly (flammable),
shellac (flammable), stain (flammable).... What kind of explosion proof set
up/equipment are you using? Or are you? (I won't tell if you're not). My
thinking has been that I can't spray any of that stuff since I don't have
the 'right' spray booth with the 'right' fan/exhaust etc... What I do have
is some heavy weight plastic hanging from both runners of one of my
garage/shop doors, a third which basically lays across the inside of that
door (I have it hanging from a piece of conduit laid across the door tracks)
and one more that I can pull across the top as a cover. This creates a nice
booth, but I worry about combustibles.
Any advice on what I should/should not worry about? Your experience?
With that setup you should be more worried about ventilation than
combustion. I paint with a similar setup - hanging plastic from ceiling to
floor making up two walls, but that creates a paint are two car bays wide.
I use a 24" ventilation fan to suck the stuff out of there, and that's often
not enough. Especially when I shoot clear coat on a large area. You're not
likely to ever encounter a combustion problem, but I can assure you - you
have encountered ventilation problems. This stuff is bad to breath and
unless you're using positive pressure ventilation, you're breathing what
you're shooting. No matter how good you think your mask is. It isn't.
Mike, while I agree with your caution about the health danger I disagree with
"You're not likely to *ever* encounter a combustion problem".
Many finishes are quite flammable, especially laquer, and adequate
ventilation is essential for that danger too. Compressor or turbine motors
(even when not within your spraying enclosure) present a spark hazard that
should not be disregarded.
p.s. Here's a tip that I learned decades ago when spray painting cars and
it's applicable when spraying finish on any project. After throughly sweeping
the floor in your spray area, wet the floor lightly (no puddles) and this
helps keep micro particles of dust from being kicked up as you move around
the work area.
Message posted via CraftKB.com
What Mike said.
And don't be fooled by water based finishes. Some have formaldehyde,
ammonia, glycols, and all manner of other nasties in them. In some
cases I think they are probably more dangerous than the solvent based
Every year around here, we seem to have some ignats blow himself up by
spraying something flammable in his garage that houses his gas clothes
dryer or water heater. Don't spray anywhere around any kind of flame.
I often shoot in areas that aren't conducive to proper ventilation, so
I time my spray schedule. I spray, I leave the area. I usually don't
go back into the spray area until it is time to test for dryness, so
that can vary. The point is, I don't hang around. When the sprayed
material can stand some air, I open things up. I don't worry about
Once again, I agree with Mike. Your mask is a must, but it ain't all
it should be. DO NOT - DO NOT - DO NOT save money on your mask. Get
the best one for the job, and change those damn cartridges out often.
I know finishers that have had the same cartridges in their masks for
a year or more. They don't seem to understand that the charcoal
filtering goes stale and won't work.
Wear clear eye protection to keep your eyes from getting any finish in
After seeing an old painter I have known for a long time a few years
back, I noticed he had the shakes. His doctor told him it was because
of his constant exposure to mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, paints,
etc. from the days when they didn't use any kind of protection. I now
wear cheap nitrile gloves most of the time when I spray, and always
when I clean.
Everyone should frame that and hang it in their finishing room.
Got to be a bit careful with them also.
Before converting the manufacturing plant to powder coating, used a
ransburg liquid system with filters to catch the paint solids and
solvents. At the end of the day, they would be taken down and
replaced, the used filters put in a steel dumpster to be taken to an
incinerator. Sometimes they would spontaneously combust on the
forktruck ride to the incinerator. Caused great excitement.
As long as the air is being pulled through them OK, but if you take
them down, wad them up, let heat build up......
Since we are another theme, let's talk about the
various water based products.
I was told that you couldn't "rub out" a water
based products, because it would leave scratches.
Is that true ???
What products do you shoot ?
B A R R Y wrote:
Absolutely not. Of course you can rub out water borne, it is just a
question of technique. These guys say it better than could. Have a
And finally for an idea of some methods:
I don't have it any more, but I used to have a picture of a can of
Oxford coatings wb lacquer sitting on a table that had been buffed to
such a high polish it literally looked like it was sitting on a
I'd bet too, that very few people outside of the professional
community know that the vaunted Piano Lac is actually water borne.
If I were to shoot water borne, I would go with MLC Cambell
Ultrastar. Never used it, but is ease of application, compatibility
with equipment, and its durability is well known and established in
the finishing community.
Besides, if I did that I could PING Barry when I goof up!
I keep forgetting about the WoodWeb for some
reason. That's a nice little series of posts
on the subject.
My problem is just getting the product
at times. My area is heavy tourist and
very little industrial, so finding the
better finishing materials can be trying.
A lot of finishing folks can't ship certain
products from what I have seen.
The water based stuff sort of appeals to me
but I'm very rookie in the spraying business.
I'm determined to learn the process.
Some of the waterborne products don't "burn in" between coats, so
rubbing out can leave lines where the different layers are.
Quite a few people like Target's "Oxford Ultima Spray Lacquer". This
stuff is waterborne but each coat chemically melts into previous coats
so that it can be levelled and rubbed out properly.
I haven't sprayed it, but have brushed it. I've only used it once so
far, but plan on using it again.
I use one water based product on a regular basis, ML Campbell Ultrastar.
I prefer the dull sheen (same as nitrocellulose) for most furniture,
but have tested satin mixed with 30% latex paint for an excellent
pigmented lacquer look.
With ML Campbell Ultrastar, I certainly can rub it out. There are other
WB lacquers (Fuhr, Target, etc...) that claim the same, but I have no
first hand knowledge of them. Certain products can leave "witness
lines", which are visible lines as you break layers. I haven't seen
them with Ultrastar, and I shouldn't, as ML Campbell claims "full
burn-in" between coats.
I use Ultrastar because it works well for me, dries very slightly amber
- no "blue cast", I can get it locally (Pratt & Lambert paint sellers
can get it), and I get it for $28/gal. Some of the good "boutique-sold"
WB lacquers sell for $25 or more per QUART! 8^(
The problem with statements about what "Water Base" can and cannot do,
are the wide variations between products. In general, home center water
base polyurethanes have never lived up to my expectations. I personally
think they flat-out suck, are way overpriced, and leave a "dead" look.
Where I want a solvent lacquer look, say on red or white oak, I rub the
wood down with "Robert's Sealer", an equal mix of real Turpentine, Seal
Coat shellac, and boiled linseed oil. After an hour or so, I scuff it
with 320 and rub it again. The next day, I apply one coat of Ultrastar
sanding sealer and two coats of clear, in my desired sheen. The sanding
sealer and first coat of Ultrastar are scuffed with 400 grit after
~45-60 minutes, depending on the temperature. The sanding sealer dries
quite shiny, making it easy to see where you've scuffed.
If the room temperature is below ~72F, I warm (DO NOT HEAT IT, only
_warm_ it!) the product in a hot water bath to improve flow-out. I
spray unthinned Ultrastar directly from the can, with no additives, but
run the well-stirred product through medium mesh stainers (from the same
paint store) as I put it in the spray cup. On the Fuji 4 stage, I use a
#3 setup with a suction feed cup or pressure pot, and a #4 with gravity
feed cups. (2) 2x500 watt work lights (Home Depot) set up to provide
low-angle, raking light, further warm the surface and make it easy to
see what I've sprayed. The lights shine across the surfaces,
highlighting missed areas. I haven't seen any humidity related issues
with this product.
I spray the edges, then do one coat the long way, and another the short
way. Each coat is made up of overlapping strokes that move into the
overspray. I apply full and wet (this is what takes practice), but not
overly thick coats. Do not "tack coat" with Ultrastar. If you screw up
big time, LET THE FINISH DRY, then fix it. Both of these procedures are
different than solvent lacquer. Many times, what looks like a screw-up
will dry just fine, but attempting to mess with the wet finish will make
it worse. Building too thick of a shell will look ugly, but most any
film finish product will look like crap in a too-thick shell.
A properly sprayed surface will dry dust-free in 10-15 minutes, max. If
it's not dry, it's too cold, or you sprayed too heavily. Under applied
product will come out gritty. Properly applied, 1 or 2 "Robert's"
rubbings, a coat of either Seal Coat or Ultrastar sanding sealer, and 2
coats of Ultrastar, will still not overly clog the pores of red oak,
leaving a very, very nice look.
If I used an oil-based stain, I verify dryness by rubbing with a clean
cloth, and usually substitute a barrier coat of Seal Coat for the
Ultrastar sanding sealer. Ultrastar goes over natural maple or birch
with just a tinge of ambering, almost water clear.
As usual, use some time, properly prepared scrap, and plenty of finish,
as practice to invest in your finishing skill. No matter what the
product, I usually spray a few ounces on the wall, my bench bases,
practice panels, etc... before I aim the gun at the project.
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