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:
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.
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.
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.
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