Ultrastar without spraying

ML Campbell states "Spray application only" in all documentation for Ultrastar water base lacquer.
Over the weekend, I was making up some test panels for an upcoming trim-out. Lazy got the best of me, and I didn't feel like dragging out the spray gear (not even the Critter...) for a few 12x12 panels and a few solid strips. The test panels were red oak stained with Minwax Natural, then sealed with Seal Coat with varying concentrations of Trans Tint Honey Amber dye. The test was mainly to test the dye concentration from zero to 8 drops/oz.
MLC US doesn't like to be applied heavily, so I knew varnish-style brushing probably wouldn't work out. I was about to try wiping it on when I spotted my foam brush bulk packs!
Two light coats of "Dull" applied with a $0.25 foam brush, with a light 320 scuffing in between, worked out FANTASTIC! You'd never know these panels weren't sprayed, and the dry / ready to scuff time was identical to spraying.
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As we get closer and closer to being required to use water borne materials, I am pleased to hear that. My current finish really won't spray, but it will touch up if the area is small.
I am still pretty resistive to the Campbell products as I don't like the local distributor here one bit. He doesn't stock the product or care much about it, but some way he has a lock on the distribution. No support for the product means no Robert. Product tech support has saved my bacon more than once, but more importantly, the reps for some of these products can be the real key to success.
But... since MLC seems to be the best of the lot these days, and with more and more cabinet shops changing over as well as what I am required to do now on a jobsite I may be there a lot sooner than I would like.
Did you have to do anything to the finish before applying (i.e., thinning) or did you just dip and brush.
Also, while you are here ( ;^) ) I remember in the past you said that you don't thin before spraying UltraStar. Seems no one does.
But one of the local guys here that sprays the Ben Moore water based always thins about 10%, using distilled water only as he claims our extra hard water had some really bad results with the finish until he switched. I have noticed the water spots on my guns when spraying latex (not in the finish), a little like water spots on a window. And since contaminates are contaminates... I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Nothing, other than the usual thorough stirring.
THIN coats with the foam brush, with the grain. Lay it on, one trip backward, move on... Leave a thin, but wet coat. There were a few odd bubbles, but they easily worked themselves out. I scuffed with 320 and tacked, in one direction only, with a slightly damp paper towel before the second and final US coat.

Straight up. They make a flow additive, but I've never used it. I also have some fish eye preventer on hand, but have never used that, either. Apparently, my equipment knows I'm not afraid to use the fish eye preventer, simply having it on hand keeps everyone toeing the line. <G>

I've heard that extra water often causes WB to dry faster, sometimes too fast. I would imagine there are lots of things that could screw up WB in tap water, as the chemistry is apparently quite complicated. If I were adding water, I'd probably choose distilled myself.
For anything but the brightest woods, I prefer Seal Coat to MLC US sanding sealer, as I like the final color better, and the shellac doesn't raise grain.
As for the distributor, I get mine via a family-owned Pratt & Lambert paint dealer who are terrific folks. Some reps do have a magic way of turning people away. If you've got a prick for a rep, and a comparable product, I'd go with the other guy. <G>
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SNIP

dealer who are terrific folks. Some >reps do have a magic way of turning people away. If >you've got a prick for a rep, and a comparable product, >I'd go with the other guy. <G> I was spoiled for a long time as I had a rep from the paint store and a manufacturer's rep that took care of me. The local guy was a good hard worker, but a latex paint man.
But the manufacturer's rep was great. He was required to attend training classes and he loved selling something besides just paint. He got me to use some of his 15 minute dry enamels, and he was the one that got me to try some of the industrial coatings for metal work as opposed to just using a manufacturer's rendition of Rustomleum.
I found some of the industrial coatings EASIER to apply than the regular off the shelf materials! He is the one that educated me on the differences between solvent thinners, and he was never afraid to experiment with his own product instead of using the company line of "we aren't responsible if you change the formula or application".
He would ask me what I had coming up, and if he had a product he thought I needed to try he would give me quart/gallon/case.
Unfortunately, they moved him into a managerial position and he is no longer available unless he is in town. And due to company changes his acct. reps are young college grads that are just getting started with careers and full time employment. They no field experience, and only know the products they sell from training and "what sells".
Now I buy from whomever is specified on a set of plans, or from a vendor whose product I am familiar with.
Those were the days....
Thanks for the reply.
Robert
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