Grab your torch and pitchfork, people.
Though I am a big fan of handwork, traditional construction methods and old stuff in general, I am a slave to modern spray finishing methods.
I first learned how to apply finish with a brush and a rag. And I was never entirely happy with the results. Then, when I was hired at Popular Woodworking, I was introduced to the Binks 2000 spray system and the magazine’s awesome spray booth.
I was instantly hooked.
I love spray lacquer and everything you can do with it, such as toning. But mostly I love how fast it is (I can apply three coats in an hour) and how it is almost foolproof, which is a word I hardly every use when discussing finishing.
We had to give up our beloved spray booth when we moved our corporate offices several years ago. I needed a pre-catalyzed hug that day. So I learned the ins and outs of HVLP systems and started spraying at home.
During the last 15 years I’ve become a fairly good hand finisher, especially with wiping varnish and oil/varnish blends. And I use that skill during the winter. But when it’s even a little warm, I’ll spray.
Like today! I needed to paint this table based on a piece at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and broke out the HVLP system. I applied three coats in about two hours. And no brushmarks.
(Note that I try to use water-base finishes whenever I can. When I spray solvent-based stuff, I wear a respirator and gloves. That stuff is nasty. So hold your comments; I’m spraying milk paint in the video.)
If you are interested in spray finishing, check out Bob Flexner’s “Understanding Wood Finishing, Revised Edition.” Also, “Flexner on Finishing” has a lot of good spray finishing information in it. And if you don’t want to spray, then definitely check out “Finishing 101” – the best basic finishing book I’ve encountered (it’s also by Flexner.)
Now that you know my dirty secret, it’s time to fess up about my other vices. Next week, I’m going to torture helpless animals, smoke unfiltered cigarettes and eat a pound of chicken-fried bacon. While wearing a skirt.
— Christopher Schwarz
You can download the music to this video here from the Free Music Archive.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.