HF HVLP & Oil Based Poly Help

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Forum topic by Scott posted 11-05-2015 05:29 PM 711 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 1354 days

11-05-2015 05:29 PM

So I’m about ready to finish building my first piece of furniture. I bought a HVLP from harbor freight. I cleaned it out good and resealed all the connections. I’ve read mixed reviews about people spraying oil based poly. I have a bunch of minwax fast drying poly. I was going to cut it with about 10-20% mineral spirits.

Does anyone have any experience spraying oil based poly? Thanks!

P.S. with a baby on the way, I had to go with the HF HVLP

9 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5659 posts in 2812 days

#1 posted 11-05-2015 05:38 PM

I assume you purchased the gravity feed gun? If so, that gun will work fine.

Thinning the poly slightly with mineral spirits is fine. Sometimes I spray it right out of the can. I have used Deft Poly with good results, but it takes 24-48 hours to dry. That is the main reason I now use lacquer. Rudd is a good brand of lacquer.

Honestly, I have never been happy with a Minwax topcoat. Ultimately you can try spraying on a scrap board. Use the same type of lumber you will use for your project, and prep it exactly as you plan to do with the real thing. This includes sanding, staining, and 2 topcoats. That will give you a lot of information about how the product sprays, and how your project will look.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ScottM's profile


646 posts in 2145 days

#2 posted 11-05-2015 05:47 PM

I have a HF sprayer, but I have the “turbine” model. I’ve only sprayed water based poly out of it so far. The results have been pretty good, but I still need practice. I too have wondered about spraying oil based products through it. The thing I read the most about doing that is CLEAN UP. Your replies will help me too decide if I ever want to try oils with it.

View Scott's profile


111 posts in 1354 days

#3 posted 11-05-2015 06:06 PM

Where do you get your finishes from? I have the blue and orange big box stores near by but they don’t really have anything good….

View ScottM's profile


646 posts in 2145 days

#4 posted 11-05-2015 06:22 PM

Not sure who you were asking, but I get everything from the chain stores. I like the water poly because it dries fast. I can put 3 or 4 coats on in a single day. Lacquer would be like that too but I haven’t really looked for a quantity that I can test/spray with and I know the chains don’t carry it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5659 posts in 2812 days

#5 posted 11-05-2015 06:45 PM

Paint stores like Miller paint. Most carry a selection of Poly and Lacquer.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ChefHDAN's profile


1062 posts in 2848 days

#6 posted 11-05-2015 08:59 PM

Scott, I tried spraying oil poly once, and perhaps I didn’t cut it enough to get good results, what I got was a boatload more work to remove my screw up. If you’re determined to shoot oil take pinto’s advice and practice well with something you can burn before you shoot your project.

I’ve got a small HF HVLP gun and have found that the minwax WB poly (blue can) shoots very well and sometimes needs to be thinned a bit on very hot days. It dries fast and since I shoot outside this is a plus for crap not getting embedded.

Lot’s of different opinions here and one day I’ll try lacquer, I like what I’ve read about the ability to refinish/respray simply with lacquer, but as a dad with 3 kids I will tell you that I put poly on everything like it’s franks hot sauce. I’ve found that about 3 coats with a final good rubbing with 0000 at the end gives me a very durable finish that doesn’t have an overly “plastic-y” look and feel.

Good luck & I’ll look to see your results in your projects.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View MrUnix's profile


6714 posts in 2198 days

#7 posted 11-05-2015 09:13 PM

I don’t do a lot of oil based poly (I wipe it on), but I’ve sprayed a boatload of oil based enamel with the little HF purple HVLP gun and have never had a problem – it’s all turned out great. But you have to thin it quite a bit… a lot actually :) For enamel, I usually use around a 60/40 mix (60% enamel, 40% mineral spirits – or Acetone if shooting Rustoleum as per the instructions on the can). You may need to experiment on the ratios, but once you get it dialed in, that little gun can put down a really nice finish.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View tomsteve's profile


784 posts in 1218 days

#8 posted 11-06-2015 12:30 PM

the major components to using a spray gun are gun set up and gun control. with right air pressure, fan pattern,fluid flow, distance from surface, and speed of travel poly goes on perfect for me unthinned.

very wise to practice.

View OSU55's profile


1672 posts in 1988 days

#9 posted 11-06-2015 03:27 PM

OB poly is about the easiest finish I’ve sprayed. A little practice on cardboard and scrap should have you going. It takes so long to dry that it’s easy to get a smooth laying coat. Don’t get it too thick or it will run and sag.

On the other hand, I refuse to spray OB poly. Because it takes so long to dry, every surface the overspray touches ends up with a sandpaper surface. The knit lines from sanding through a coat are a pita. I much prefer WB poly. Solvent lacquer is great for a lot of things, but I got concerned about blowing myself and shop up and didn’t want to invest in an explosion proof fan. I use Target Coatings WB poly and lacquer, as well as flake shellac. For readily available BBS stuff, many have good things to say about Rustoleum Ultimate poly.

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