Airbrush, Critter, and other spray questions

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Forum topic by Tedstor posted 04-17-2011 02:57 AM 2163 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tedstor's profile


1625 posts in 2053 days

04-17-2011 02:57 AM

Up until now, I have been content with simply slapping a coat of BLO or Danish on my projects and calling it a day. Biggest reason being that any finish beyond that is a bit intimidating to a rookie like me. However, in an effort to improve my hand tool skills, I’ve made a few hand tools (ironic, I know). The small scale of such projects requires patience and precision. Something my demeanor lacks and has made the quality of my work suffer. But being tools, they would be great guinea pigs to improve my finishing skills.

1-I have an airbrush kit that I used when I restored my ancient power tools. Can shellac, laquer, or poly be effectively applied to wood with an airbrush? The cups only hold about 3 nanoseconds worth of product, but we’re talking about finishing a mallet or a bench hook here.

2- Critter- Anyone own one of these? Looks like a super simple, straight-forward spray tool. Gets great reviews on amazon. Will one of these work with my 3 gallon pancake compressor?

3- Any other suggestions for breaking into the world of spray finishing. I’m a man of modest resources. So as much as I’d love a $300 spray gun, with a dedicated booth, and 400 gallon compressor- it ain’t happening. I’m definitely looking at the bang/buck ratio.

5 replies so far

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 2464 days

#1 posted 04-17-2011 03:15 AM

You can get a pretty decent gun for about $35. If you are doing smaller projects, woodriver also has a mini gun, though I haven’t used it but your 3 gal compressor should work if you are only doing small thing like mallets, etc.

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#2 posted 04-17-2011 03:29 AM

I would suggest you take a finishing class with your fellow Virginian Charles Neil

-- Custom furniture

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2481 days

#3 posted 04-17-2011 03:51 AM

Airbrush are designed for thin finishes like lacuqare thinner, acetone, dyes can be mixed with solvents. They are great for touch ups repairs.

If your spraying varnishes, lacquer, shellac, the gun you linked is not right gun.

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2108 days

#4 posted 04-17-2011 04:45 AM

I have a Graco sprayer I purchased at Lowes for $135. It is designed for lacquer and really heavy paint. If you want to see videos of it in action, check out their website – I personally have the HV3900 and have used it on large and small projects. With a little mineral spirits, clean up is easy too.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4407 posts in 3381 days

#5 posted 04-17-2011 06:20 PM

I bought the Critter for use on some smaller projects. Been VERY pleased w/ it. Easy to adjust, clean, store. I use it most for shellac now.
It will work on the pancake comp. Being a siphon gun and using thinned finishes, it does not become an air hog. Wouldn’t want to use the pancake for an all day job though.


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