Advice needed on bulk finishing of paneling

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Forum topic by tpcolson posted 10-31-2014 09:03 PM 914 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tpcolson's profile


4 posts in 1070 days

10-31-2014 09:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish water based spray gun

I am faced (due to laziness and a disease called “Serial Home Renovator” ) with a rapid (very soon) requirement to complete a cabin renovation. My quickest and cheapest option to wrap this up is to go with el-cheapo pine tongue-and groove 6” planks (the kind typically used to dress up cheap rental cabins). El-cheapo implies not so much of a smooth, out of the lumber-yard door finish on the lumber.

Not having any desire or time at all to spend 1 minute (or hundreds of hours) prep-sanding hundreds of BF of pine planks, OR, between coat sandings…

What would your recommendations be for a quickie, looks good from a distance, finish strategy? I’m thinking a HVLP sprayer and a WB, like General Finish.

Can I do this with the wood vertical (on the wall) if I do thin-enough coats and dial in the nozzle size and gun pressure? Or even crazier, once they’re nailed to an a-frame ceiling?

What would be the best gun for this type of hair-brained scheme? I have a Dewalt 5-gallon compressor, 250 PSI. And a water separator!

I know you guys are perfectionists, but…this is a rustic cabin! IMHO putting a showroom-furniture looking finish on planking would actually look kinda silly among rough-hewn logs and beams. I’ve ruled out no finish at all, where I’ve seen that in the past looks pretty horrible after a year or 2 of fade.

10 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile


1820 posts in 1410 days

#1 posted 10-31-2014 09:21 PM

IMHO…spraying a water based finish on pine will be awful without sanding in between a coat or two. The first coat will raise the grain and result in a rough looking finish. At a minimum, I would spray, then sand and then put on two more coats. I am not a perfectionist but your plan seems pretty hare-brained unless you want a bad looking surface.

Sorry to give such a negative comment but you kind of asked for an opinion.

View tpcolson's profile


4 posts in 1070 days

#2 posted 10-31-2014 09:30 PM

yeah, I kinda asked for that. I generally feel like I need surgery on my wrists after an hour of sanding, and I’m not a fan of power sanding. Wonder if one of those pole sanders, like they use on sheetrock installs, would do the trick?

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1446 days

#3 posted 11-02-2014 07:30 AM

I like water based acrylic, semi gloss, for a natural finish. As any water based finish will, it raises the grain, but requires only minimal sanding to knock down the raised grain. The nice thing about is that it’s dry to the touch in about 29 minutes, can be recoated in an hour. I’d use a little 1/4 sheet sander with 120 paper. (Confession: I’m a lazy sander too).

As for spraying boards on the ceiling: better you than me!!

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2396 posts in 1730 days

#4 posted 11-02-2014 09:48 AM

Finish it before you put it up if it’s not to late. Much easier.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View pauljuilleret's profile


71 posts in 1074 days

#5 posted 11-02-2014 09:41 AM

I agree with pre finishing it before installing it it’s easier and the other thing to consider is depending on the moisture content when it’s finished it could shrink allowing un finished areas in the toung and grove areas to show up that would then look like the Little Rascalls did it us older folks will remember them but fort me if at all possible finish it before hand if you don’t have an hvlp rig you can also use a short knap roller and strike it off with a good quality brush just defiz the roller first with some masking tape

View B's profile


137 posts in 908 days

#6 posted 11-02-2014 10:41 PM

If you have the option of finishing the boards before you install them,you could nail together some sub-assemblies and run them through a wide belt drum sander. You could even use it with a high grit belt to sand between coats.I have seen people spray cabinets and wall panels after they were installed,but they did have a lot of overpsray and sanding was a pain.You could maybe take a 24”x24” panel and make 2 handles on the back of it,then attach some sandpaper to the front and use that as a large sanding block

-- A poor workman blames his tools. Mr.B, Ontario Canada -

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#7 posted 11-02-2014 11:05 PM

By the time you buy the panels and finish you could just put the regular paneling since your not being fussy.

No painting no sanding,shoot up with finish nails.

-- Custom furniture

View dhazelton's profile


2287 posts in 1718 days

#8 posted 11-02-2014 11:23 PM

Don’t know why you couldn’t use an ultra smooth roller and apply two or three coats to build up to a soft sheen.

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1411 days

#9 posted 11-03-2014 05:19 PM

I 2nd the idea of buying prefinished panels since you want quick and easy. If you want/need to go unfinished planks, you could probably do the whole thing w/o sanding. Alcohol dye (I use Transtint) could be sprayed and help with blotching. Shellac could be sprayed as the sealer & top coat. The shellac can be tinted with the Transtint dyes to even out color. The better the spray gun the better it will look – el cheapo guns probably won’t atomize well enough. If you’re doing a bathroom, the shellac could be top coated with about anything, and since the surface will be rough, it should hold the top coat ok.

View DrDirt's profile


4141 posts in 3163 days

#10 posted 11-03-2014 10:36 PM

Shoot the thing with Shellac
No issues with variation in absorbtion/blotching. And it will seal any sap left over.

Maybe after the surface is sealed, if you want more protection you can hit it with Poly, but no real need.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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