HVLP & Latex: Follow-Up

First, I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Robert (a.k.a. "nailshooter41") for selflessly sharing his knowledge on this subject. Robert definitely knows his stuff, and he willingly takes the time to share his knowledge.
I'd asked here about spraying latex paint with a 4-staje Fuji HVLP. While the paint seemed to go on OK, the luster wasn't what I expected at all. Even gloss paints dried flat.
I was following the instructions that were provided with my sprayer, which said to thin with water and add Floetrol to get 20-30 seconds through the viscosity cup. The Behr "Premium" interior and exterior paints I was using required A LOT of water to get that time through the cup. This was, it turns out, altering the chemistry of the paint in a not very desireable way.
Robert suggested not using the Floetrol, and thinning MUCH less. He suggested starting at 10%. I did thin 10% at first, and it didn't seem to change the viscosity of the paint noticeably. It sprayed just fine. I figured I'd try not thinning at all, and I found that my sprayer (with the #4 needle and cap) worked fine with paint straight form the can. I was amazed, seeing that this paint would take tens of minutes to get through the viscosity cup unthinned.
Another error I'd been making was in the thickness and the timing of the application. I was applying a very light coat, and waiting only 15-20 minutes between coats (as soon as the paint seemed dry to the touch, I was recoating). Robert pointed out that, properly applied, latex will take MUCH longer to cure to the point that it can be recoated. So I fooled around a little with speed of gun movement and distance to the piece, and found that I could apply a pretty wet coat without having any runs. I let this dry for a couple of hours before a recoat. The result was, naturally, many fewer passes to build a sufficient covering. And the results are as they should be; gloss paint is actually glossy when its dry! (And, it is amazing to see the paint continue to level itself out after it feels dry to the touch - a fingerprint put into the paint 20 minutes after application was gone within another 30 minutes or so.)
I like working with water-based coatings primarily because I don't have a proper place to work with laquers, and because cleanup is so easy. Painting a woodworking project is something I do very rarely at the moment, so far confined to a couple of plant stands for use outdoors, a small closet shelving system for SWMBO and a couple of picture frames made with poplar. But having some success with gloss latex now (and it seems so easy, thanks to Robert), I'm a bit more emboldened. SWMBO and I like the mid-century modern and some contemporary furniture styles, and lots of the pieces we've seen and like are painted. So perhaps I'll try making a few small pieces in that style now.
And no, I won't be painting any cherry .....
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
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"Art Greenberg" wrote

Great follow-up ... nice, and ultimately more informative, when someone takes the time to do so.
Thanks,
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/14/08
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Thanks for the follow-up. It's nice to get first hand experience. I bought my Fuji 4 stage just awhile before Robert and exchanged some pictures with him. I don't have near the experience that he does and his contributions are priceless. Many thanks to you both,
Max
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Art,
Thanks for taking the time to update us.
cm in az

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Wow... thanks Art. Knowing you were actually able to help someone out is a nice thing to here. I was glad to help, and glad I was of help.
From time to time this can be a really good community of information on all manner of woodworking and related subjects. I like it a lot when someone has something to offer and they take the time and effort to make their expertise available to the rest of us.
I remember Max (just up this thread) being good enough to take the time to go outside, run his paint gun on his new Fuji HVLP system down to a small spray fan and put some Xs, and Os (or similar) on a piece of cardboard so I could see for myself exactly how small the spray line could go. He emailed me the pictures personally so I could have them right away. Now how cool was that? What a help, too. That wasn't the deciding factor in buying the Fuji system, but it sure was one of the major ones.
Like I said, this can be a good place to be, and it can really be good when someone takes the time to let the guys know how things worked out, and to thank them for their time.
Thanks again, Art. You are a class guy, and I appreciate your kind words.
Robert
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And it's useful to remember that no matter how much bickering or flooding of spam that happens here, there's always people that are willing to help one out.
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