Airbrush or spray gun? And other spraying issues - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-09-2016, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Airbrush or spray gun? And other spraying issues

I've been making small projects that are too time consuming to brush or wipe on, so I decided to try spraying. Then I had an idea...an airbrush! My projects are rather small and I wanted to minimize off spray as much as possible.

I've gotten most of the kinks out of spraying my stains on, but when I get to the final protective coat (struggle the most with poly) I seem to lose all sense of what's going on lol.

At first I would get 3/4 thru and then...the runs. Ok that's user error, so I'd try to adjust.

Next problem was the finish not having the sheen it should, as in if I sprayed semi gloss it would look satin. Gloss would look semi gloss. On the the next...

Current problem is that I've discovered orange peel. I'm finally getting the sheen I want but not without the orange peel effect. I feel like I'm going from one extreme problem to the opposite problem.

I didn't put any materials or thinning ratios in because quite frankly, I've tried just about every combination of finish and thinner in each problem I've had, along with spray pattern and air pressure.

I understand that spraying is not something you perfect the first time. I feel that I can do it, but can't seem to get consistent results. No matter how much I search for answers online, I haven't found a guideline for spraying, as in: spray this material, thinned this way, at this psi. I just assumed with what you can find online that a guide like this would exist.

I did also buy a small touch up spray gun, as I figured it would be better for applying the top coat, but I still have the same problems.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
John



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post #2 of 6 Old 02-09-2016, 12:04 PM
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You might try a faster drying finish then polyurethane to spray. Shellac or lacquer would spray a lot better. You could still get runs in it but since it dries fast you can usually shave them off with a razor blade and sand it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-09-2016, 11:22 PM
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The sheen is too low because you're thinning the finish too much. You might have better luck with a detail gun instead of an airbrush. It will handle more viscous materials but still is small and easy to control.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-10-2016, 07:27 AM
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I have used an air brush to spray lacquer. Cannot tell you any details because it has been too long since I did this.

However, I had no problems with it. Typically with lacquer I either do not thin the first coats or thin very little. Slowly thinning as I apply more coats.

What I used was a cheap air brush. Not one that you would use for the real fine detail air brush finishes.

George
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-10-2016, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. The spray gun I have used is a detail gun. I think the reason I've had problems with it is that I was too used to the airbrush. It is just a cheap spray gun, as I wanted to see how I worked with it to justify buying a good one. Air pressure seemed to be one of my issues. I was trying to spray around 25psi to keep offspray to a minimum. I did better last night at 50 psi.



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post #6 of 6 Old 02-10-2016, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus8881 View Post
Thanks for the replies. The spray gun I have used is a detail gun. I think the reason I've had problems with it is that I was too used to the airbrush. It is just a cheap spray gun, as I wanted to see how I worked with it to justify buying a good one. Air pressure seemed to be one of my issues. I was trying to spray around 25psi to keep offspray to a minimum. I did better last night at 50 psi.



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50 psi is a bit much. It sounds like the finish was too thick. I use cheap sprayers too and find with most sprayers including the expensive ones 35 to 40 lbs is a better range. The more expensive sprayers just atomize the finish into a finer mist which in most cases is unnecessary for wood finishes. They are better suited for automotive paints.
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