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About my finishes

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Blog entry by Chris Davis posted 11-16-2010 at 07:32 AM 3417 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

People often ask me about my finishes and I am always wondering about how others do their finish too. I feel the finish is the key to any furniture. A bad finish can destroy the look and the value of a piece. I thought I’d share what I do and what material and equipment I use.

As in equipment, I use an air assisted airless. It takes the best of both worlds. Low air volume but without using too high of pressure as in the airless rigs. It works like an airless, which I used for a long time, but reduces the material pressure. The problem with lowering presser is you get those lines at the top and bottom of your pattern. To keep those line form forming the rig introduces a little air at the cap. It works great.

Materials that I currently use on my stained finished are:
Stain: Minwax
Finish: Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer
Sometimes I’ll dye the wood first or even add some colorant to the finish, but I’ll talk about that at a later time.

Stain
I spray my stain with a cheap pot gun. I spray it just to get it on the part and then wipe it down. If it is a large piece, I’ll do it in sections if there is a breaking point (don’t stop in the middle). I wipe it down very quickly just to get the stain rubbed in and then come back and slowly start getting the streaks out. I use paper towels to wipe. I keep a wet one and a partly dry one and rotate them when my wet one gets too wet.

Clear Coat
I spray a pre-catalyzed lacquer with a medium sheen on most projects. I don’t use a sealer because the lacquer is a self sealer. They do make a sanding sealer that sands just a little easier than the lacquer, but since it cost about the same, I stick with the lacquer. Less set up/switch over time.

I spray the sealing coat and sand it with 220 grit paper followed by 220 sponge pad. Careful on the edges with sand paper. Once the parts have been sanded I spray the second coat. All this is done full strength with no thinning. This was the point to where I would normally stop. I now add an additional step. I’ll sand one more time and spray a thinned coat. I’ll thin it a little with regular thinner and add some retarder thinner to it also. By slowing it down, it allows the dry overspray to melt back into the lacquer and give it a little more time to level out.

That is just a short run down of how I finish. Let me know what you do.

-- Watch live video from our shop. http://wwbeds.com/live.htm



10 comments so far

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1399 days


#1 posted 11-16-2010 at 04:39 PM

pretty much the same as you cept i prefer a high pressure spray rig no real reason cept i was taught on one and its the first rig i bought ( if it aint broke dont fix it) i use gemini laq its supposedly a sanding sealer and top coat all in onei use two coats maybe three if i going to rub it out
i just starting getting into dye myself any tips on spraying it

-- As Best I Can

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Chris Davis

1287 posts in 2619 days


#2 posted 11-16-2010 at 04:45 PM

Tell me about how you rubbing out your finishes.

-- Watch live video from our shop. http://wwbeds.com/live.htm

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Chris Davis

1287 posts in 2619 days


#3 posted 11-16-2010 at 04:55 PM

On dyes, spray a doule coat and spray the second one immediately. As soon as you get to the bottom of the board, start in the second. It flashes off in seconds. Spray both coats wet. As wet as possible without running. It’s hard to run the dye, because it dries so fast. I spray the dye very thin. Sometimes I thin a couple parts dye to 100 parts thinner.

-- Watch live video from our shop. http://wwbeds.com/live.htm

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1399 days


#4 posted 11-16-2010 at 04:57 PM

i normally spray three coats of pre-cat laq ( high gloss) give 3 days my dealer says it fully cures in 2 days so give it an extra day then i just start sanding most of the time i can start with 400 gritt maybe 600 if the last coat laid on nice then i work my way up to 2000 sometimes 2500 when i can get the paper then i just use an auto polishing compound and a cloth towel to buff it. i rarely rub anyfinish out anymore i found that uness the customer is specificaly asking for a mirror shine most people are fine wit a high gloss laq

-- As Best I Can

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1399 days


#5 posted 11-16-2010 at 04:59 PM

what thinner are you using i use a mohawk dye and its oil based but laq thinner cuts that stuff so much better when i cleaning my gun out

-- As Best I Can

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1399 days


#6 posted 11-16-2010 at 05:04 PM

oh and i spray lenmar laq wich is just top coat no sealer when i rub out i dont think gemini can be rubed out i do spray a seperate sanding sealer sometime depending on how big the project i planing to rub is

-- As Best I Can

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Chris Davis

1287 posts in 2619 days


#7 posted 11-17-2010 at 07:11 AM

I use a Lacquer thinner for the dye. The dye is Sher-Wood Universal Dye Stain Concentrate. I don’t think it is either a oil or lacquer base. I looked on the can and it is 0.00% Solvents by vol. It must be a straight dye. I buy it in the quarts. It is pretty expensive, but it will last a long time. Just guessing, but a quart will make 10 gallons. It is very strong dye.

I’ve been trying to figure this rubbing thing the last few weeks. Sorry about the questions. When you work your way through the grits how much grits to you skip? Let me know exactly what grits you use in sequence. Also is there a brand of polishing compound you use and do you just use one grit of polish? Do you ever use an electric buffer?

-- Watch live video from our shop. http://wwbeds.com/live.htm

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1399 days


#8 posted 11-17-2010 at 10:33 PM

I use turlt wax polishing compound from autozone i go from 400-600-800-1000-1500-2000-2500-compound
i sand wit a random orbit sander and buff by hand but i dont get to many requests for this either so if i had alot i would go wit a buffeer check out youtube charlse neil got a great vid on rubbing out finsh oh and after 800 gritt i sand across the grain then 1500 wit and so forht just makes it easier when to know to change gritts cause the scrathes disappear. i like ques i aint no expert but i tell you everything i know just use it at your discression lol

-- As Best I Can

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1399 days


#9 posted 11-17-2010 at 10:37 PM

and i buy my dye not in concentrate am i screwing up by doing that 38.00 bucks a gallon

-- As Best I Can

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Chris Davis

1287 posts in 2619 days


#10 posted 11-18-2010 at 04:39 AM

I don’t know. It may be a little cheaper as a concentrate because of how cheap thinner is, but if it is convenient to buy it pre-mixed, then do it.

-- Watch live video from our shop. http://wwbeds.com/live.htm

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