evening out spray painted piece

hi...
i spray painted this primed piece of MDF. After it dried, the paint seemed uneven. you can see the overlap parts and other unsightly marks. This was my first time spray painting so I guess I'll live and learn. however, for this piece, is there anyway to smooth everything out?
thanks...
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If you want it as smooth as possible (assuming you are using typical spray paint cans) you should spray the piece with it facing up. Let the paint fall onto the piece and spray it thick. It won't run that way and you can avoid some overspray problems.
You may also be able to coat the entire thing in clear... But generally spray paint is a bad idea if you want a nice finish. We spray the small parts we use on our drills (www.autodrill.com) but for large parts and/or high production runs, we have them powder coated. Not sure you can do that with MDF as it uses static, right?
Some wood finish experts can chime in with better ideas I'm sure.
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2004 3:00 PM Subject: evening out spray painted piece

my
this
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I'll have to let the autobody guys know about that.

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Make sure to explain the difference between spray paint and spray guns. Spray paint comes in a can and the stuff they generally use is froma spray gun.
...You are kidding, right?
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Joe - V#8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com
Northern, NJ
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spray
Your point is well taken Joe, but really paint is paint. I'd much rather mix up paint and shoot it with my gun but to the point of spray bombs, one can get very good results with a bomb. At least, in the context of this discussion. Like I said, paint is paint and it's much more about how you put it on than it is about what type of container it's in. I use bombs frequently, for various small things and I'd bet you could never point out a piece that was painted with a spray bomb in a lineup. Not that I'd try to use a bomb for large scale coverage, or for certain types of paint, but for small scale, it can be perfectly acceptable.
The OP has spray problems that are much more basic than which type of application he's using. If he's getting the type of blotchy coverage he's describing, a good gun isn't going to help him any.
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 21:57:34 -0500, "Joe"

Paint from a can, especially lacquer, can be rubbed out to finish worthy of a classic car. You need to use more coats from a can before rubbing, as the gun lays a thicker coat.
I've finished many solid body guitars using spray can lacquer and high quality auto body products to rub it up to a mirror finish.
My local auto body paint store will even custom mix colors in PPG paints and sell them to you in a spray can.
No kidding... <G>
Barry
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wrote:

spray
I usually send owners home with a custom mixed bomb of enamel matched to the color of their car. Save me from dealing with a lot of pesky stone chip and scrape touch ups. Spray it in the cap and touch it on with a fine brush. For larger areas they can mask and spray it if they are even a little bit capable.
Likewise, I've finished a few guitars with bombs. I really prefer one of my guns for a guitar but there have been times when I just used a bomb.
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 15:47:16 GMT, "Mike Marlow"

Me too, but I lived in an apartment and had no air source. <G>
I'd run outside, spray, and hang it back inside to dry, with a fan drawing the stink outside.
Barry
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 15:08:34 -0500, "Joe"

Not to mention the fact that it needs to be baked in an oven (400 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes, IIRC) You might be able to get the powder on if the air was dead still, and you let it fall on the piece, but it'd probably start the wood on fire while the powder was curing, or at least cause some very nasty warping or cracking.

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Canned spray paint can give excellent finishes. If any of the edge will show, you really need to get it sealed as it will absorb tons of paint compared to the top surface. A very light sanding between coats with 220 paper or steel wool will get rid of any dust nibs that are stuck in the paint.
There are very few, if any, that can achieve finish results in one coat. Spray again crossing the pattern of your first work. You will get better results to give it 5 thin coats, than to put it on too heavy and get runs. The object is to give it a full wet coat that does not run.
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----------------- If you have runs then sand it down. If it's just blotchy then spray it again....and again...and...I've just sprayed a bed base using those smallish cans you get at the DIY. (won't do that again). But, the finish is good. It just takes a few more coats than you might want to give it. And of course you only get a finish that is as good as the preparation of the MDF primer. I sanded each primer coat to 600 wet&dry and the finish is like glass. (don't do it in the lounge like I did.... next big thing I make that needs painting is getting built in smaller bits that can be sprayed in the garage before I assemble the whole damn thing...boy the wife was only upset with me.)
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my
this
First - contrary to another comment I saw posted here, spray painting is a perfectly acceptable procedure and will yield excellent results if done properly. Powder coating does not yield fine finishes. It's a durable finish but it is not a fine finish. Spray painting is.
Two things will cause an uneven finish. One is bad application. Make sure when you spray you don't hold the can or gun too far away. No more than 12 inches with a can, 6" with a gun. Spray in slow, even and adjacent coats. You should not see a dividing line in the overlap between two passes. Each pass should blend in with the previous pass. You want to spray a wet coat - which is to say it is flowing on, not dusting on. You want to put it on so that it shines as it goes on but does not run. Imagine yourself stretching a piece of thin plastic wrap over the piece. That's how you want your spray to go on. It's really not a big deal whether you spray with the piece vertical or horizontal. Horizontal will yield fewer runs, but will puddle and that will be as big of a problem as a run. Concentrate on getting the flow right as you spray and not on cheating it. Watch your spray from ahead of it. Watch it flow on to the piece and gauge your speed and distance by what you are seeing.
The other thing that will cause your problem is poor surface preparation. MDF soaks up everything that touches it so you really have to prime it very heavily, especially on the edges. Very heavily. As many coats as it takes to achieve a good solid, even color and texture. Knock down any dust nibs with 600 grit paper and thoroughly clean it. You should not sand down through the primer when doing this. You're just looking to knock down the nibs. Use a sanding block to keep from sanding divots into the primer. Prime in the same manner as I described above. Remember that with something like MDF or wood, which unlike metal, will soak up paint, you don't want areas that are sanded through the primer or you'll end up with an uneven finish.
Practice, practice, practice. Shoot on scrap and get a feel for the technique. You'll screw up a lot, but you'll get it. Post more questions if you get frustrated.
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On 25 Nov 2004 20:00:55 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Ah10201) calmly ranted:

You need to practice a bit more to learn what a wet edge is, Ah. When you spray, the edges are thinner and can leave dry overspray. That shows when the paint dries. When painting, you need to overlap the passes just enough to eliminate that overspraying; to keep the wet look of the pass intact as you move down. Proper side lighting helps immensely. It lets you see the gloss of the wet area and keep that intact.
Lt your paint dry thoroughly (48 hours should do it) then sand it down a bit with 320 grit paper and wipe it down with thinner. Let that dry and give it another coat. It should look better this time now that you know what to look for.
Drop by a local body shop and ask to watch the painter for a few minutes. He'll show you precisely what you need to look for if I didn't explain it well enough.
And check for Andy Charron's "Spray Finishing" book in your library.
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 07:53:43 -0800, Larry Jaques

I was also taught to spray into the overspray. In other words, to move each pass towards the direction of the spray, so that the bounced finish from each previous pass is covered with a wet coat.
I really don't know if I'm explaining that right. <G>
Barry
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