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Spraying waterborn finishes

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Forum topic by Shopsmithtom posted 772 days ago 2160 views 3 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2780 days


772 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

I volunteered to help a friend with some finishing work & rather than do a lot of experimenting, it seems to make sense to look to the collective experience here, first.
He’s built kitchen cabinets & is planning to spray with waterborn (don’t know the brand right now) finish.

I’ve done a lot of spraying, from cars to wood projects, but nothing water based. I’ve got several HVLP guns with fluid tips including .5mm, .8mm, 1.0mm & 1.4 mm.

I’m looking for advice as to a starting point to begin practicing from someone who’s sprayed these finishes including fluid tip size, pressure, product reduction, etc. Thanks

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you


19 replies so far

View danriffle's profile

danriffle

66 posts in 2158 days


#1 posted 772 days ago

Sorry, Tom,

Haven’t found any water based that work as nicely as the post catalyzed conversion varnish, so we don’t use them.

Dan

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8475 posts in 2233 days


#2 posted 772 days ago

I did some water based spraying (very little), but I did not have to reduce the product – used it as-is out of the can (I used general finishes water based clear polyacrylic) with a 1.0mm tip and it worked well for me. spraying techniques are fairly similar to oil/lacquer I presume and you want to spray a healthy thick-looking layer.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Milo's profile

Milo

849 posts in 1904 days


#3 posted 772 days ago

I disagree with Dan. Water based can work JUST FINE, but you MUST be patient with them. They need between 2 weeks to a month to fully cure to your piece. They are fantastically easy to work with, being water based, and a snap to clean up after, and nowhere near as toxic as some other finishes.

I’ve sprayed WB finish before. You’ll want to experiment a bit with the water percentage you add (based on the manufacturers recommendation). Just like anything else, practice.

ALWAYS filter WB finish. You a fine filter.

My HVLP didn’t HAVE pressure settings (your thinking a compressor?), but I used both .5 & 1.0mm tips. Again, I would practice to see which you prefer.

WBF spray on milky. It clears while it drys. You want the constancy be were the grain just starts to blur. NOT a complete white out, and not clear. You can add extra coats as soon as it dries. Another plus for WBF. I advice not trying to go with a single coat.

DO NOT USE steel wool on WBF. Use one of those 3M brillo pads. You always want to rough up the surface you are spraying. WBF bind physically to what you spray it on, it does not “burn” in like traditional finish. Bubbles can be removed easily by gently blowing across the surface with a fan or hair dry (heat setting turned OFF!).

btw, I almost always padded on finish. But then again, I was doing tabletops.

Hope that helps.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2780 days


#4 posted 772 days ago

Good stuff so far…more is certainly welcome.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View killerb's profile

killerb

150 posts in 983 days


#5 posted 772 days ago

I spray both solvent and water base. Good water base products like General finishes poly or endorovar spray like solvent. I have also sprayed some Aqua coat products. The general finishes sprays well and dries in a heavier coat . The aqua coat does well sprayed in a thinner coat. I have also sprayed agaualante by ML Campbell. That sprays like regular solvent base. You should filter any finish you spray. Never had any water base product take 2 weeks to cure. Maybe if you want to rub it out, you need a week . I spray with a 1.5 tip in one gun and a 1.4 in another. I use 1.0 for shellac. Good guns should spray water base the same as solvent. Hope this helps. bob

-- Bob www.bobkloes.com

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3958 posts in 2649 days


#6 posted 772 days ago

And there are pre-cat lacquers and varnishes available as waterborne,
boatloads of info here. I have never had to wait more than three days to rub out, and indeed have sanded to flatten for next coat within hours.
Definitely avoid steel wool. I usually first pad on some Zinnser SealCoat 2lb cut shellac to avoid grain raising with the finish coats and to impart a bit of the warmth one gets from nitrocellulose.

I have a Porter-Cable conversion gun with a 1mm nozzle/needle, and spray Target EM6000 right out of the jug (filtering of course) and my compressor is just the PC pancake model. I started out using ML Campbell MagnaLac, but being a home shop guy I was always nervous about the fuel-air bomb I was creating without a spark-proof fan to clear the shop. I’m totally sold on waterborne now.
Best of luck!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2640 posts in 1162 days


#7 posted 772 days ago

I spray waterbornes exclusively, more specifically, crystalac super premium. It sprays beautifully, levels nicely and dries very fast. It does not require 2+ weeks to fully cure; it only needs 72 hours.

I spray it with a Qualspray QS-125WB gravity gun, pressure at the gun @29 psi with a 1.2mm tip.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View FreshSawDust's profile

FreshSawDust

66 posts in 914 days


#8 posted 772 days ago

I have had good results with General finishes polyacrylic and Zar Aqua. Both sprayed full strength through the 1.4 tip in my HF gun.

-- TJ - Perryville, Missouri

View KarenW's profile

KarenW

110 posts in 773 days


#9 posted 772 days ago

Having done this for 30 years I prefer a straight lacquer or a pre-cat lacquer for most of the pieces I do. Occasionally I have to use a WB product (due to customer preference) with a 1.5 tip and a bit lower pressure. Never had to reduce, never had to do anything special except to remember to go a little lighter on coats than I would with pre-cat. Oh, I always use an extra coat for good measure.
And I prefer General Finish though I’ve just done a couple pieces with the Rustoleum WB poly and found it adequate.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2162 days


#10 posted 772 days ago

I prefer water borne finishes I guess I’ve shot them for years so I don’t feel their that much different than any other material .In my experiance none of them I’ve ever used has taken 2 weeks to dry ,that sounds like BLO not water borne, most of them can and must have the second or third coats applied within 2-6 hours, and can be buffed in 12 hours or less. I also like water base material because it’s fumes are far less toxic then oil base material and your gun cleans up with water,no expensive smelly solvents . I would suggest just shooting some on some cardboard before shooting your friends project.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2640 posts in 1162 days


#11 posted 772 days ago

+1 on practicing on cardboard.

Also, I didn’t mention it but I spray full strength too; no thinning.

The crystalac I mentioned, the recoat time is about 30 minutes.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View KarenW's profile

KarenW

110 posts in 773 days


#12 posted 772 days ago

Thumbs up to the cardboard suggestion!
That’s how I started when I made the move from all hand applied to shooting.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2071 posts in 1225 days


#13 posted 772 days ago

Glad to hear some good things about the Crystalac as I have a gallon that is about to get used. Does it buff out and behave like lacquer when dry ? How is it with very fine (1200 to 8000 grit) wet sanding after cured ?

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2780 days


#14 posted 772 days ago

Thanks to all for the input. As always, this site/forum is such a great resource on all things woodworking. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2640 posts in 1162 days


#15 posted 772 days ago

David, I haven’t done any buffing, but according to the instructions it can be after 72 hours.

It’s good stuff.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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