Finishing furniture HVLP or Hand finish?

I am closing in on completing my first real piece of furniture.. a bed. I am very nervous about finishing this. Afraid I am going to ruin the whole thing. I have been leaning towards using a gel finish as it looks like the most forgiving. But every show I watch, shows people using an HVLP spray finish. I am looking for opinions on which way to go. Thanks
Stacey
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Stacey wrote:

If you already have an HVLP spray rig and haven't used it I'd practice on some scrap before using it to finish a completed project. If you haven't purchased the spray equipment then you'd be better off hand finishing.
Now having said that, if you plan on making more furniture and think you will need spray equipment then get a decent HVLP rig.....they aren't cheap but then the work you put into your projects isn't cheap either.
JMO
Gary
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I don't currently have an HVLP.. but I have seen several cheaper units at Rockler for around $100. Assuming the bed turns out well, then i am on to 2 nights stands and a dresser. So this could be a definate ongoing thing. I would definately practive before hand either way.. just trying to figure out which would be best.

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I don't like hand finishing anything unless it's an oil finish. I currently use an airless rig for spraying but just bought an Accuspray 19 cup and gun (considerably more than the Rockler gun) and haven't had a chance to use it so I'll be practicing shortly.
From what I've read on the inexpensive HVLP your looking at it should work fine for most wood finishing applications though most often you'll be thinning your finish products substantially to get them to spray correctly. Like anything, it takes practice and you've already indicated you'll do that. It will, in the long run, make finishing your projects much faster. I couldn't imagine not using some type of spray equipment on some of the large projects I've done.
Let us know how the projects turn out.
Gary
Stacey wrote:

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