Spraying stain


I have never sprayed stain before but would like to for my current project. I think it would be faster and more even. This project has a lot of detail pieces that would be easier to spray.
Anybody have any hint or tips for spraying stain? Or something online I could read?
Thanks
Andy Arhelger
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On Mon, 06 Mar 2006 14:23:42 -0600, Andy Arhelger

Dunno. I'd ask the guy who wants to know if you should clean a spray gun when you're done. He might know.
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If the wood you're using has a tendency to absorb stain unevenly (e.g. pine or maple), I'd consider dying or toning as an option. The only between staining and toning is that the pigment gets mixed in directly with the finish, so you're sort of "painting" the color onto the wood. It looks just like stain in the end, but it's a lot more controllable and even. There are lots of different ways to do it from buying pre-pigmented poly finishes (like Minwax Polyshades if you shop at the Borg) to mixing aniline dye with a water-based finish. In any case, spraying works much better than brushing when toning. When you brush, the finish tends to pool up in the crevices and inside corners, making it darker there.
Flexner's book on finishing is only $11 on Amazon in soft-cover. It's $11 really well spent.
Josh
Andy Arhelger wrote:

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Do you have any equipment Andy? If not, then now's probably not the time to start. Spraying does require a certain mastery of the equipment - after you acquire it. Not that it's a difficult thing to master though. Anyone should be able to pick it up with a couple of hours of practice on scraps and some pointers.
Assuming you already have a compressor, if you're looking for a decent gun to get started, here's a link to a good gun that will serve you in a multitude of ways, should you ever decide to spray more than just stain...
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber
This gun will do just about any small to mid sized project, as long as you don't try to shoot latex through it. I've never had any luck shooting polyurethane with any of my guns, so it probably won't be any better at poly, but those are the only two materials you'll probably have trouble with.
Lots of guys have posted comments about various other guns they've purchased on-line and from places like Home Depot. Good information in those posts - do some google searches. As far as the difference between HVLP and regular guns (like the link I posted), it's really a wash for what we do in woodworking. The real difference in material consumption, overspray, etc. is not that great and standard siphon or gravity feed guns will serve very well. The advertised differences make HVLP pretty appealing, but you'd be lucky to achieve these results. Couple that with the amount you're spraying and the difference becomes quite negligible. It's not like you're spraying a gallon of material that sells for $200 per gallon as those of us who also paint cars encounter. Likewise the difference between siphon and gravity feed. Neither is going to offer the woodworker a huge advantage over the other. All guns offer adjustments that enable them to do whatever the woodworker will need.
Be careful with the detail pieces. Though you are correct that detail is easier to stain with a gun than by hand, it's also easier to screw up. Guns make everything easier - including shooting some gorgeous runs into your finish.
Hints for spraying:
Clean is king. Keep everything clean - your gun, your surroundings and your project. No oils around. Just think about the word contamination before you spray. When you're done you should be able to make your gun look like the day it came off the shelf.
Don't let anyone convince you to put an oiler in your air line. You most likely don't have any tools that require a line oiler and you'll come to despise them the first time you shoot fish eyes into that masterpiece project. Oil goes into air tools, not into air lines.
Drain your compressor before *every* shoot. Periodically throughout the shoot if you're shooting a lot and have a small compressor that has to cycle a lot to keep up with the gun. Even more so in the hot weather. Put a water trap in the line downstream from the compressor.
Here's a link to a must have product. They're available at most any automotive parts stores, by several manufacturers.
http://www.motorguard.com/air_3_3.html
I have one of these on every one of my guns and wouldn't consider spraying without one. They last for a long time so if you bought the two pack at the parts store you'd be set for years.
I'd also get an in-line regulator to mount on the gun. By the time you put a filter and a regulator on a gun you've got quite a bit of hardware sticking off there, but it's very handy to be able to adjust the gun where you are and not have to walk back over to the compressor.
Whatever gun you end up with, read the directions carefully. Then read them again. Then go out in the shop and try the gun out by doing what the directions tell you. Experiment with all of the settings. Do this before posting a lot of questions about how to do something. It's much better if you understand what the controls on your gun do while someone is trying to explain things to you. Each of the controls will make a pronounced difference in the spray pattern or characteristic, so you can't go wrong or be confused by experimenting.
Hope this helps get you started. I know it won't answer every question. DAGS on some of the spray painting topics over the past year or two and you'll find a ton of really good information.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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I use an apollo paint spayer (HVLP) and I have very good results. I mix my stain with the sanding sealer and I get a very even color and it saves me time. You will lose some of the grain appearence so if you are using a highly grained wood this may not be what you want. The stain and sanding sealer dry in about 5 to 10 minutes on a warm day. Then I spray the lacqer. This works for me . I dont do this for a living just a hobby but I do get good results
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Mixing the stain with sanding sealer sounds like a good idea. I will have to give it a try. You don't sand after this do you? That would remove some of the color.
I have an HVLP sprayer but have not sprayed stain. And this is an oak project but I don't want a lot of the grain to show so this might be good.
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Yes I do sand after each coat. I usally put on 2 to 3 coats of stain with sanding sealer. I sand with 300 grit. its a very light sanding. works great.
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I use my Critter for stain.

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