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Help with finishing decision on plywood

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Forum topic by Matt Przybylski posted 03-19-2012 03:34 PM 2360 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1845 days


03-19-2012 03:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: painting priming finishing spraying

Hello all,
My sister in law has asked me to make her a cake pop stand for an upcoming wedding. They cost $350 online and that’s pretty ridiculous so I told her I can surely make it for her for cost of materials. Here is what it looks like (the retail version, click the second photo to get an idea of the construction):

http://www.etsy.com/listing/91963271/custom-3-tier-208-cake-pop-stand-by

In any case, to keep cost of materials down for her, I’m considering using big box store plywood and possibly some poplar for the sides. I haven’t made final decisions on how I’m going to construct it but because of cost it’ll be a combination of plywood/poplar and possibly using prefabbed decorative baseboards as that’s what it looks like was used on this. In that case I’d probably opt for pine, possibly pre-primed but could use not pre-primed as well.

In any case, this is my first non-shop project and I don’t want to mess it up but I’ve never finished anything before. I have an Earlex Spray Station 5500 that my wife got me for my birthday this year and have yet to use it. I’m also not sure how to go about finishing this with the white color. Do I just prime it and then paint? Do I have to condition it in any way before priming/painting? Is spraying this overkill, should I just paint it with a roller/brush? Considering the materials being used, what would you suggest I do?

Lastly, I don’t know what kind of primer/paint/whatever else needs to be used to use. As in, do I just use the same thing that I’d put on my walls or is there a special type of paint I should be using?

Any help anyone can offer is greatly appreciated as I’m kind of shooting in the dark on this one. Thanks all.

- Matt

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com


21 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#1 posted 03-19-2012 03:46 PM

For colored projects I take a base coat clear coat approach, using flat latex/acrylic wall paint with brush and/or foam roller to apply the color. Two or three coats rubbed back with maroon stotchbrite, followed by a clear coat of lacquer or waterborne poly.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7180 posts in 2044 days


#2 posted 03-19-2012 03:50 PM

Your HVLP Earlex will be a fun system to use. Practice on scrap first, use the timer cup to get the correct consistency, then use good primer and then paint it.

I like Zinsser primer and Dunn Edwards paint. Others like the Kilz brand of primer as well. There are a lot of good paints to use. But don’t use cheap ones though.

View Kenny 's profile

Kenny

260 posts in 1916 days


#3 posted 03-19-2012 03:58 PM

If it were me, I’d use MDF for the tops, as it’s a lot smoother than ply and won’t need a lot of sanding and filling to get that glass-smooth surface. The sides would be fine made from pine and prefab moldings, no issues there.

As for painting, I’d spray it. But, I’ve sprayed a lot, so my choices may be different than yours. If you brush it, you’ll have brush marks that won’t look all that nice on a decorative piece like that. But runs and sags will be a pain to deal with too.

I’d practice with the gun a bit and learn to spray some, then spray this too.

How long do you have to build it?

As for paint, I’d use BIN as the primer. It’s shellac base, builds well and will seal over anything. It’s really good stuff.
As for a top coat, I’m not 100% sure. I wouldn’t use latex for sure. Maybe a milk paint? It’s probably what I would use, but I’d research it first.

I think to get a good, smooth and seam-free look like the one in the picture has, you’ll end up needing to do some filling of seams and such with body filler (ie: Bondo). Don’t worry, body filler is easy to use and dries hard, really hard, and will be better than drywall mud or any other common woodworking filler.

Good Luck!

-- Kenny

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1845 days


#4 posted 03-19-2012 04:10 PM

@Kenny: Thanks for the detailed reply! I’m leaning towards spraying it but like you mentioned I’ll have to practice first. The last thing I want to do is ruin the whole thing with my first time spraying something.

I’ve got til May 5th to finish it and would probably be starting this weekend since I don’t always get that much time in the shop because of a newborn baby.

For the primer, are you referring to Rust-Oleum 00904 B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer? Excuse my ignorance but remember this is my first time doing any of this stuff so the more detailed the better :) Same thing for the Bondo, seems like there are multiple choices there as well.

Again, really appreciate the help, keep it coming with anything you can think of please.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Kenny 's profile

Kenny

260 posts in 1916 days


#5 posted 03-19-2012 04:23 PM

BIN

Bondo

I like the professional Gold as it seems to to smooth out nicer and just be a nicer, smoother consistency. A little more like warm frosting, where the other stuff tends to be a little stiffer.

It’s not much more either, a dollar or two a can.

Go HERE and there are links for both physical stores and online stores to purchase it.

And this HERE Milk Paint.

And with all due respect to others opinions, I don’t like the idea of a lacquer or poly over latex. Sounds like issues waiting to happen to me. I’d go for a proven method used by experienced finishers. And I’ve watched a well known pro use milk paint over BIN. Good enough for me!

And if you wanted, you could clear over the milk paint, but I don’t think it would be needed. But, I’d look into it just to be sure. I don’t know it all, not by far!

-- Kenny

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1845 days


#6 posted 03-19-2012 04:37 PM

Thanks again Kenny. Unfortunately the Milk Paint link is dead.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#7 posted 03-19-2012 05:38 PM

”And with all due respect to others opinions, I don’t like the idea of a lacquer or poly over latex. Sounds like issues waiting to happen to me. I’d go for a proven method used by experienced finishers.”

Kenny, before you discount any particular approach, you should have direct experience to validate your opinion. I back up my opinion with results that you can see on a number of projects I’ve submitted. And you’re welcome to read my blog on finishing, which is also founded on experience.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1159 posts in 2158 days


#8 posted 03-19-2012 06:30 PM

Matt, I would use the 1.5 mm needle with the 5500. Spray “Seal Coat” by Zinsser, no thinning needed. You could use Rustoleum white which first of all, sprays great with the system, gives you a bright white finish and thinned slightly with Penetrol will lay out nice and flat. Oil based paint will dry harder than latex alone.
Personally I would never put latex paint on furniture, it’s not designed for that, and yet it is great for trim. Latex isn’t designed to be sprayed at all. My personal preference would be a water bourne white poly. I would use it to seal and top coat. The less chemicals used the less chance of mistakes throughout the process. Finishing is not as hard as everyone makes it out to be. That said, I would parctice with the sprayer before I try to do a wedding decoration the first time out.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1845 days


#9 posted 03-19-2012 06:41 PM

@Clint: I know your reply wasn’t directed at me but I just wanted to say that I’m in no way trying to start a flame war here and I asked for more details on Kenny’s post just because his was the most information packed when I read it and needed more details. Remember, you’re dealing with a dummy when it comes to this kind of stuff so I need all the details I can get :) I took your reply into mind as well and continue to do so, as with Sam’s reply as well just now.

@Sam: I’ve got the 1.5, 2, and 2.5 needles so I’ll use the 1.5 as suggested. The “Seal Coat” is clear, correct me if I’m wrong? So spray that first, then spray rustoleum white (which is a primer?) and then spray a coat of poly on top? I have some minwax poly left over from another project so I’d have that covered already. Will the rustoleum white primer be enough to have a nice white color or is there anything else i’d need to spray on top of that?

Also, links to or exact product names would be greatly appreciated as it seems every time I Google the names of what’s repeated here I come up with multiple results and can’t get a good gauge on what I should be looking at and how much it’ll cost :)

Lastly, I think i’m going to go ahead and go with the MDF for tops/bottoms and pre-fabbed pine trim for edges, in case that changes anything.

Again, all the help is appreciated.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7180 posts in 2044 days


#10 posted 03-19-2012 06:55 PM

You should do well Matt.

After your project is made, practice on the scraps. You just might surprise yourself on how well it turns out.

View Kenny 's profile

Kenny

260 posts in 1916 days


#11 posted 03-19-2012 07:45 PM

http://www.milkpaint.com/

That will get you to the Milk Paint

Clint, I have experience with what you state, and it’s not a good idea, nor what I can recommend. Nor do I care to get into a flame war in this person’s post. I stated my opinion, which I am free to do. If you see an issue with what I state, by all means state your case. But I don’t think it should even be necessary for me to state all the things wrong with what you suggest.

If you can not accept someone’s opinion not being the same as yours, then maybe giving advice on a forum is not for you? I will assure you, everybody is not always going to agree with you, and getting your knickers in a knot whenever this happens isn’t going to help matters.

If anyone would like to test my theory, apply a rag soaked in lacquer thinned to a surface that has been freshly painted with latex paint. Then tell me how good of an idea it is.

I still stand by my original advice and I promise no ill effects will come of it. It is a proven method that has been used many, many times, and on some very fine furniture as well.

Good Luck.

-- Kenny

View Kenny 's profile

Kenny

260 posts in 1916 days


#12 posted 03-19-2012 07:49 PM

Earlextech has also provided good advice with the Rustoleum paint. I have sprayed it from my turbine with good results (I don’t own an Earlex, but your machine is nicer than mine, and should do fine)

Either way, use the BIN for primer, and then add a topcoat of either milk paint or Rustoleum, and you will have a nicely finished product that will be very durable and could be sold afterwards to recoup costs.

-- Kenny

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#13 posted 03-19-2012 08:53 PM

Matt, terse as it was, my first response reflects exactly how I finish a piece in color. Results have been consistently great whether topped with sprayed-on solvent lacquer or brushed on waterborne poly. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

Kenny, why would I want to apply a rag soaked in lacquer thinned to a surface that has been freshly painted with latex paint? That’s not part of my finishing schedule.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Kenny 's profile

Kenny

260 posts in 1916 days


#14 posted 03-20-2012 01:44 AM

The rag with lacquer thinner is to demonstrate the effects of lacquer thinner on latex. Within seconds, the latex will bubble, lift, crack and do all sorts of strange things because they are not “compatible”.
You run this same risk when spraying lacquer over latex. It can lift, peel, bubble and do all sorts of nasty things.
There is zero risk of adverse reaction between BIN and milk paint, as BIN is shellac base and compatible with nearly every paint and top-coat made. Milk paint can not harm the BIN, and is 100% safe to spray over it.

Matt is admittedly new to this. I’d like to give him some fool-proof and fail-proof advice where nothing can go too terribly wrong and ruin his project, which just so happens to be important to his sister and will be at her wedding.

I feel milk paint and BIN are quite simple to mix and spray, and are very easy to get outstanding results from.
Both can be sanded should he get a run, and therefor allow for easy recovery from mistakes. And with some mid-coat sanding, a glass smooth finish will be easy for even a first time painter to accomplish.

I also know from experience that milk paint is far easier to spray than lacquer or poly. It’s one of the easiest products I’ve ever sprayed, as is BIN.

Sorry Matt, I didn’t mean for my comment to start a flame war here. I just really want to see you make the most of this project.
Good luck.

Clint, I’ll leave this alone now, as I obviously don’t know what I’m talking about….

-- Kenny

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1845 days


#15 posted 03-20-2012 03:03 AM

I really appreciate everyone’s help on this and the time spent giving advice. When completed ill be sure to post the project up.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

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