Anyone spraying waterbased poly

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Forum topic by dryhter posted 11-26-2009 12:39 AM 28214 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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74 posts in 3805 days

11-26-2009 12:39 AM

Looking for some feed back on spraying minwax water based poly. is it possible, seems like it should be but what are the the results?

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

16 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3569 days

#1 posted 11-26-2009 12:42 AM

I don’t have a sprayer, but I can’t see any potential problems with spraying it. I do use the spray cans of Minwax WB poly for most of my projects.

View redalan's profile


10 posts in 3431 days

#2 posted 11-26-2009 12:49 AM

thin even coats it will run in a sec. gravity feed sprayer work best 4 me

-- Southernboy woodworks

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4076 days

#3 posted 11-26-2009 12:54 AM

I’ve sprayed it, and it does okay. It dries faster than an oil-based poly, and doesnt have the honey color that you get from most oil-based poly. The water can soak into the wood a bit which can raise the grain.

-- -- --

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3554 days

#4 posted 11-26-2009 05:28 AM

This interests me too. Anybody sprayed with a true HVLP system?

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View lew's profile


12428 posts in 3956 days

#5 posted 11-26-2009 05:36 AM

I’ve sprayed it with siphon, gravity feed and even a Wagner power sprayer (Not such great results with this one). As mentioned, really light coats because it runs quickly.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3969 days

#6 posted 11-26-2009 05:41 AM

dumb the minwax and get some general finished high performance water based poly. It works much better and isn’t watered down like the minwax. sprays beautifully

View LesB's profile


1863 posts in 3644 days

#7 posted 11-26-2009 05:43 AM

I have some limited experience with HVLP spraying water base poly. It works well if the ambient temperature is not to high. If it is to warm the spray drys to fast and gets a “orange peel” finish. I would say somewhere around 60-70 degrees would be best.

-- Les B, Oregon

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3554 days

#8 posted 11-26-2009 05:47 AM

60-70 degrees. Then my workshop would be perfect during the winter if I don’t fire up my wood stove. I’ll have to give it a try.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3332 days

#9 posted 11-26-2009 09:05 AM

I’ve sprayed over 15 gallons of Minwax water based through an old Wagner Finecoat cheap HVLP. On vertical surfaces, it will run very easily, so light coats are a must. It’s a bit tricky to get a wet enough coat without running, but can be done with a little practice. Raising the grain isn’t a problem for me. Sanding after the first coats knocks off any raised grain, and I can sometimes get away with only two coats. I also spray it over water soluble aniline dyes. The dyes really raise the grain, but again, sanding the first coat of poly removes the raised grain, and the second coat goes on perfect. For flat horizontal panels, you can lay a very heavy final coat for the second coat and get a really nice finish.

If you look at my kitchen pics in my projects, it was all sprayed with the Minwax.

The downside is the cost, at about $40/gallon. For my next project, I’m going to try the Hydrocote Resisthane from Highland Hardware. It go great reviews in a comparison test I saw a while back, and it’s 25% cheaper.

-- Gerry,

View TheHarr's profile


118 posts in 3740 days

#10 posted 11-26-2009 04:12 PM

I’ve been spraying wb finishes with a cheap HVLP gun for several years. The results has brought my finishing up to a professional level. These days, I would be hard pressed to go back to using a brush. First, I am not a fan of minwax wb finishes. Check out Target Coatings for wb finishes. The BIG TRICK is to learn how to adjust your gun. That takes time and expierence. Read up on it. Second, I very rarely have had a run spraying vertical surfices. If you get a run, just immediately whipe it off and spray over the spot. Spraying wb finishes is very forgiving, you will enjoy the expierence and will be impressed with the results.

Keep making those wood chips.

-- The wood is good.

View DaneJ's profile


56 posts in 3410 days

#11 posted 11-27-2009 05:24 AM

I have sprayed Minwax, Olympic and General Finishes. All pose similar problems. None take kindly to thinning. All of them will run easily on vertical surfaces. If you have ever sprayed clear lacquer it is very similar… you need to wet-out the surface enough to flow and prevent orange peel. Have plenty of light and watch the surface from an angle and watch the ‘wave’ as you spray, this also prevents overlapping too much.

For equipment I use Devilbiss “conversion” gravity feed guns, the “Finishline” model plenty good enough. Get a regulator/gauge at the gun because the slightest pressure variation can have quite an effect on WB finishes. I use the DeKupps disposable cup system, cleanup is a breeze but more important they will never drip because they are not vented and you can even spray sideways or even upside-down.

BTW—just because it is WB does not mean that it is perfectly safe, wear a respirator !!!

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away... Tom Waits

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3778 days

#12 posted 11-27-2009 06:41 AM

I’ve sprayed Polycrlicis it sprays fine (if you know how to spray) I wipe the wood down with water ,let it dry and then lightly sand with 150 use a tack rag spray let dry 2 hours, a very quick sand with 180 and shoot again. If happy let it be if not let dry 2hours and use 180 once more. Depending on wood 2 coats usually works fine.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View EaglewoodsPres's profile


53 posts in 3931 days

#13 posted 11-27-2009 03:06 PM

I have tried to spray WB products, with some moderate success. I only do it now when there is onsite work to be done where the customer is opposed to the lacquer fumes. Thinning is very hard to accomplish correctly. The molecules that make up water borne finishes are thicker thus resulting in the need for a bigger tip. Too much thinning and the finish will fish eye on you. Raising the grain is not too big an issue with a knock down sanding after your first coat as usual. One big problem I do run into is the fact that the finish dries on the spray tip quickly. This can result in an improper fan pattern. You need to keep your spray tip clean at all times. Light coats are a must as the finish will run, especially when spraying vertical surfaces. One thing to keep in mind is that, unlike lacquers, which emulsify the undercoat and combine to make one thick layer, waterborne finishes add succesive seperate layers. I would recommend nothing less than 3 coats when using WB. Hope all the tips her help. I myself have choosen to stay in the stone age and stick with the lacquers. I know that at some point, the laws will require that everyone spray low VOC finishes. But until that happens, my thought is if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. As in the case of cessna pilot, I too am a very satisfied ML Cambell customer. It is a very durable product that is extremely versatile. I do know that they have their own line of waterborne products on the market. My rep has tried to get me to try it but right now I just don’t need to take the time with the learning curve.

-- Chris ( )

View dryhter's profile


74 posts in 3805 days

#14 posted 11-29-2009 04:42 PM

Thanks to all who replied,
As I suspected vertical surfaces are/could be a problem.I will check out the M.L.Campbell line.The advice and suggestions are all appreciated.

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

View bigpops0259's profile


302 posts in 4351 days

#15 posted 11-29-2009 05:49 PM

I’ve tried to spray several poly’s. Didn’t like the results to much fine sanding to finish. Started using wood lacquers like that finish the best dries fast, great results, with little sanding to finish. Sherman Williams has several different glosses. A little pricey but worth it. I think, but who I’m I.

-- Marty Ohio

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