Spray-Finishing Done Right
Getting a blemish-free finish is easier than you think
Synopsis: Contrary to popular belief, there are many easy-to-operate, reasonably priced spray systems out there, writes Andy Charron. It didn’t take him long to get proficient, and he shares his tips here. You’ll learn what types of booth you’ll need, depending on the finishes you use. Charron also talks about preparation and thinning the finish to a sprayable consistency. He strains the finish and talks about accessories you’ll need and how to adjust the gun. He advises that you spray the least-visible areas first, and he advocates a spray strategy. He offers tips on spraying uniformly, on drying, and on cleaning up. The article also includes side information on correcting spray-finish problems.
Quite a few woodworkers I know are unenthusiastic, even fearful, about spray finishing. They believe the equipment is too mysterious, too costly and too hard to master. In fact, just the opposite is true. There are many simple-to-operate, reasonably priced spray systems out there. It took me less time to become proficient with a spray gun than it did to master a router. Best of all, the finish from a gun is often so smooth that I don’t have to rub it out. Following sound spraying principles and knowing how to use the equipment helps me produce virtually flawless finishes.
Where to spray
The best place to spray is in a booth where a powerful exhaust removes overspray and dust from the air. If you’re spraying solvent-borne finishes, you really have no other choice than to use an explosionproof spray booth. But they’re costly. You don’t need explosionproof equipment to spray waterborne finishes, and they’re getting better and better. You only need a place that is well-ventilated and clean. If you have the floor space, you can build a spray room that has…