I am nearing the end of my first kitchen cabinet project and it has been a
true learning experience. Having just gotten in my outsourced cabinet
drawers I have started looking an hvlp spray equipment to spray a coat of
poly to protect the natural wood and will be using the same for the drawer
fronts and doors (when I start them).
There seems to be a full gamut of equipment at all price levels, and not
having done this before I figured I would pick the groups brain in an
attempt to spend once on equipment that is appropriate. Besides spraying
poly, my thought is to utilize the sprayer to spray a natural stain on the
door and drawer fronts and then poly over.
Thoughts on gun manufacturer, (I am currently looking at DeVilbiss Finish
Line kit with what I can hope is a large nozzle spread from 1.3, 1.5, 1.8 &
2.2 tips) but there are a vast number out there, my local shop has vaper
guns one with a 2.3 tip, with no other in stock. I am making the assumption,
that depending on how much you thin out the material to be sprayed, you
could in fact thin it out so that a smaller nozzle is needed, or is this a
Thoughts on spray poly and manufacturers? while I did the faceframes with
minwax clear satin since everything else is a lot more prominent I do not
think a change would be noticeable.
I am open for any and all suggestions, tricks
I would ask around at the local shops first
about farming out the spray finishing.
I am in the process of learning how to shoot
myself, but attempting to do a kitchen full
of cabinets is not for the weak hearted or
the less experienced.
To build a room full of pretty cabinets and
then screw up the finish on something that
you have to live with every single day would
Roger is a great guy, and can be very helpful. But he is a supplier
of equipment, not a teacher. His vast experience lies in refinishing,
mostly with MLC products.
Great advice. Excellent advice. As a professional finisher, I can
tell you that the average person will quickly be in over their head
finishing a whole kitchen full cabinets.
You need experience with your material preparation, your equipment,
and your choice of finish materials. You need to have enough personal
experience with each to know how they perform under different weather/
temp/humidity conditions so you will know how to thin the spray
materials, as well as how much to apply with each coat. You need to
see how they perform on the type of materials you are finishing.
It isn't brain surgery, that's for sure. And it isn't that hard as
long as you understand all the procedures and steps, and understand
the importance of timing.
My new favorite colored finish is a super hot Sherwin Williams
finish. It isn't a paint... it really isn't an enamel... it isn't a
lacquer... I don't know what you would really call it. But you thin
to the appropriate viscosity with naptha, and shoot. It only comes in
whites and pastels.
You have to hang 4 mil (!!!!) of thickness without runs (on a vertical
surface!!) for proper coating. It is very temperature sensitive, so
the batch I thin when I am shooting may not work two hours later. I
often need to change pressure and viscosity.
A second coat of this must be applied within 5 hours. No
exceptions... unless the temps fall below 50 degrees, at which time
all curing stops. But if you are in the spring or summer and it is
warm, if you spray another coat on top of the finish after the five
hours it will probably craze badly and force you to strip your work.
If you miss your 5 hour window, you have to wait 18 days to recoat.
But the upside... wow. It allows me to spray out cabinet doors and
drawers in one very long day on a kitchen. When you get the mix
right, it runs out a finish that dries glass smooth. It is "extremely
yellowing resistant", and it dries very, very hard.
I have a Fuji Q4, but this stuff shoots out of my CAS HVLP better. I
found the sweet spot with this material in a half a day, go my mixes
and pressure right in about four hours. I bought a gallon to play
with, and I shot it all up before I ever sprayed a drawer. For me,
that really isn't that much time or investment to learn a new material
an figure out my mixes.
Once again, great thoughts. In my remodel/repairs, I go into houses
all the time where the proud maker of woodworking projects is
absolutely ashamed of their finishing. I would be too.
It is absurd to invest hours and hours in design, thousands in tools
to make sure your joints are tight, your materials are prepared
properly, only to make your biggest woodworking project your test bed
You can search this archive for some great contributions and
instruction on spray finishing.
Somebody smarter than me once said, "practice on your scraps, not on
It is called "Southwest Builder's Fast Dry Enamel". It is a specially
formulated product and apparently not available everywhere. The
product has some limitations as far as application, but I think it is
no less than fantastic.
You do have to be careful with it; it really does dry to the touch in
about 15 minutes on a 70 degree day. You won't leave a fingerprint in
about 20 - 25. This is IDEAL for site finishing where you have to
worry about bugs, breezes, opening and closing doors, etc. It is dry
before disaster can strike.
Although, expanding on the downside a bit: I very meticulously clean
every bit of my guns, breaking them down to removing the blocks and
all assemblies to clean them. Every single time, even if it is just
between coats. One of my amigos just ruined his new CAS gun by
leaving this stuff in the gun between coats. (Oops...) He also had
problems with the timing, and he had something else to do so he missed
the 5 hour window. It really did craze the finish, and he really had
to strip sand to repair the cabinet finish.
Then that big baby went back to the Pro Classic enamel line so he
could brush out his finishes. What a weenie! BTW, this stuff touches
up great with a real hair artist's brush. Great. But in the actual
application, it must be sprayed and cannot be brushed, rolled or
However, if you are used to using the super fast lacquers, or the
conversion lacquers, characteristics in shooting and mixes are
similar. I actually found this stuff when I was looking for something
to replace another commercial grade coating I lost access to a few
It says you can use it on metal as well, but I haven't tried yet. I
don't know what the actual price is as I get a fair discount at SW. I
think it is supposed to retail for about $58 a gallon. Even at that,
it is worth it.
Conversion Air System. These guns "are" and they "aren't" true HVLP.
The real HVLP guns are powered by an impeller and will pass through
many cubic feet of air under low pressure through the gun, much
standing in front of powerful fan. That, coupled with about 5psi of
pressure to the cup give you HVLP.
A CAS gun is usually a reconfigured high pressure gun. These are made
to be used with a bigger than average air (no turbine) compressor like
you use to
power your framing or roofing guns. Inside this gun are baffles and
other sorcery to reduce the pressure of the air to the aircap while
keeping the air flow high. You must still use water (and preferably
air) filters with these guns as the air from the compressor is still
A CAS gun will usually look like an auto paint and body gun with a
gravity fed cup on the top. If you are used to shooting high pressure
guns, it is a walk in the park to get used to these guns if you are
used to the proper thinning protocols for HVLP shooting. Mine has a
happy spot of about 50 psi at the compressor, but I am probably only
pulling about 35 - 40 psi at the gun. To be a true "certified" HVLP
compliant with California low emission standards, the aircap must have
the max psi out stamped/etched on the aircap, and I believe the max is
I love my Fuji for lacquers, stains and dyes, but I like my CAS
equally well for shooting primers and colored coatings like enamels
Thanks! It makes it worthwhile to take the time to post if you think
you are helping someone out.
Glad to be of assistance.
If you get in the middle of that SWB stuff from SW, let me know if you
need some help. I can shoot you the pressures, needle size and mixes
I used. I can also show you how to slow down the cure time a bit, and
*gulp* speed it up! I actually got a batch that cured fine that dried
to the touch in 10 minutes! Not SW approved of course, but it worked
Yep.. pictures would be very sporty. You can
get a throw away digital cameras for $100 and
they are basically point and shoot.
Now if we just had a newsgroup to post the
Personally I don't think there is a simple answer to this. I have a cheap
paint sprayer (compressed air type) and a pretty good one. I never use
either. Instead I prefer to use atomizers. I have sprayed many dozens of
gallons of lacquer with a tiny $10 atomizer. I have also sprayed a
considerable amount of various varnishes. I even made one from a peanut
butter jar for spraying latex. There are probably a lot of people who will
tell you you cannot spray latex without an airless sprayer. I used it to
paint under the eaves on a house, a wood swingset, wind turbines (roof
type), house trim, and a lot more. It would not work well for painting
I have a box of various paint sprayers that I didn't like for one reason or
another. They all sit in the box while the atomizers get used.
If you are going to paint a car then I'd say you need a good paint gun. For
a three or four square foot kitchen cabinet I'd use the atomizer.
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