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post #1 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Birch plywood painting help

Hi guys, building some basic birch cabs and I need the outside painted. I have edge banded the end grain (not really happy with the way it came out, but to late now). What is the best way to get a good finish? What do I need to sand to, any special primers and/or special paints? Do I sand after primer dropped, and after every paint coat? They would like a semi gloss finish, what would be best for that?

The inside will be the batter wood with a clear coat. Thinking I will poly that for durability.

Side question, is there a better way than edge banding, if it will be painted?
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post #2 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 09:43 PM
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Hi guys, building some basic birch cabs and I need the outside painted. I have edge banded the end grain (not really happy with the way it came out, but to late now). What is the best way to get a good finish? What do I need to sand to, any special primers and/or special paints? Do I sand after primer dropped, and after every paint coat? They would like a semi gloss finish, what would be best for that?

The inside will be the batter wood with a clear coat. Thinking I will poly that for durability.

Side question, is there a better way than edge banding, if it will be painted?
If you are looking for the best finish this means spraying it. Finishing the inside of cabinets can be problematic with overspray and orange peal. It makes it easier if you use a pressurized sprayer. Harbor Freight makes a 2 quart model that comes as a kit with the cup, sprayer and hoses. By using such a system it allows you to fit inside the cabinet easier and will spray at any angle. https://www.harborfreight.com/profes...kit-93312.html

I would clear coat the inside first. This will make it easier to mask off to prevent paint from getting on the inside.

As far as primer, any will do but I found that Bushwacker white lacquer undercoater works the easiest. I don't know if they have quit making it but I can't find it online this evening. The idea is to level the surface with the primer first. Usually you find defects in the surface while you are priming and it gives you an opportunity to spackle those spots. It helps and makes the job easier to sand the primer as much as possible with a random orbital sander with 220 grit paper on it. Then just hand sand the places you can't reach with the sander.

I don't care for latex paint on cabinets. It's soft and gummy and doesn't provide the water protection that other finishes do. A common good finish for cabinets is just the old fashion oil based paint. It takes a long time to dry and may smell like paint for a month but when fully cured is a very good finish for cabinets. A better quality finish would be a pigmented conversion varnish. It's a very good finish and dries about as quick as lacquer. For conversion varnish you would need to use a vinyl acrylic primer. There are pigmented lacquers which are very easy to work with but don't do well around water. Water gets under the finish and causes the wood to swell and the finish cracks and flakes off. It's easily fixed though and usually just the front of the sink cabinet is affected. It just depends mainly on if a person is sloppy with water letting it run down the front of the cabinet.
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post #3 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys, building some basic birch cabs and I need the outside painted. I have edge banded the end grain (not really happy with the way it came out, but to late now). What is the best way to get a good finish? What do I need to sand to, any special primers and/or special paints? Do I sand after primer dropped, and after every paint coat? They would like a semi gloss finish, what would be best for that?

The inside will be the batter wood with a clear coat. Thinking I will poly that for durability.

Side question, is there a better way than edge banding, if it will be painted?
If you are looking for the best finish this means spraying it. Finishing the inside of cabinets can be problematic with overspray and orange peal. It makes it easier if you use a pressurized sprayer. Harbor Freight makes a 2 quart model that comes as a kit with the cup, sprayer and hoses. By using such a system it allows you to fit inside the cabinet easier and will spray at any angle. https://www.harborfreight.com/profes...kit-93312.html

I would clear coat the inside first. This will make it easier to mask off to prevent paint from getting on the inside.

As far as primer, any will do but I found that Bushwacker white lacquer undercoater works the easiest. I don't know if they have quit making it but I can't find it online this evening. The idea is to level the surface with the primer first. Usually you find defects in the surface while you are priming and it gives you an opportunity to spackle those spots. It helps and makes the job easier to sand the primer as much as possible with a random orbital sander with 220 grit paper on it. Then just hand sand the places you can't reach with the sander.

I don't care for latex paint on cabinets. It's soft and gummy and doesn't provide the water protection that other finishes do. A common good finish for cabinets is just the old fashion oil based paint. It takes a long time to dry and may smell like paint for a month but when fully cured is a very good finish for cabinets. A better quality finish would be a pigmented conversion varnish. It's a very good finish and dries about as quick as lacquer. For conversion varnish you would need to use a vinyl acrylic primer. There are pigmented lacquers which are very easy to work with but don't do well around water. Water gets under the finish and causes the wood to swell and the finish cracks and flakes off. It's easily fixed though and usually just the front of the sink cabinet is affected. It just depends mainly on if a person is sloppy with water letting it run down the front of the cabinet.
Should have mentioned I do have an HVLP system. Thank you for the info. The cabinets are for storage in their dining room, so no water to worry about.

What do I need to sand to after each coat of paint? 220? Also, what would be a good top/clear coat?
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post #4 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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There are pigmented lacquers which are very easy to work with but don't do well around water. Water gets under the finish and causes the wood to swell and the finish cracks and flakes off. It's easily fixed though and usually just the front of the sink cabinet is affected. It just depends mainly on if a person is sloppy with water letting it run down the front of the cabinet.
If I do the lacquer, do I need a special primer?

Do they sell this at a home Depot/Lowe's store, or do I need to go to an actual paint store?
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post #5 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 11:09 PM
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If I do the lacquer, do I need a special primer?

Do they sell this at a home Depot/Lowe's store, or do I need to go to an actual paint store?
You could use lacquer over a latex primer but the solvents in lacquer would lift an oil based primer. With lacquer if I couldn't get the white lacquer undercoater I would just use lacquer sanding sealer. It's clear but would function well except for covering the wood. Might take an extra topcoat.

You probably would have to go to a real paint store for lacquer products. Sometimes the box stores have black or white lacquer but they would be unable to make any other colors. You might talk to Sherwin Williams. If they don't have what you need in stock they can get it.
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post #6 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 11:20 PM
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Should have mentioned I do have an HVLP system. Thank you for the info. The cabinets are for storage in their dining room, so no water to worry about.

What do I need to sand to after each coat of paint? 220? Also, what would be a good top/clear coat?
220 would be good for sanding. I just wouldn't use anything more coarse than 180.

It wouldn't need a clear topcoat. You just use the sheen finish you want and if you get it smooth and level you should be able to spray the finish coat and call it done.

A cup gun will spray the exterior of the cabinet alright. It's the inside that is a problem, getting everywhere. Then the gun is designed to make a fine mist which swirls around on the inside of the cabinet and sticks to the wet finish. Then when it dries the surface feels like sandpaper. You also have to keep the gun pretty upright. If the cabinet has fixed shelves it's nearly impossible to paint everywhere. When I finish cabinets I use a pressure pot that holds two gallons of paint attached to a 25' hose. There isn't much to think about or fight, you just spray it all. The only worry is putting on so much finish it runs.
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post #7 of 31 Old 04-18-2019, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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A cup gun will spray the exterior of the cabinet alright. It's the inside that is a problem, getting everywhere. Then the gun is designed to make a fine mist which swirls around on the inside of the cabinet and sticks to the wet finish. Then when it dries the surface feels like sandpaper. You also have to keep the gun pretty upright. If the cabinet has fixed shelves it's nearly impossible to paint everywhere. When I finish cabinets I use a pressure pot that holds two gallons of paint attached to a 25' hose. There isn't much to think about or fight, you just spray it all. The only worry is putting on so much finish it runs.
so the openings are about 22x28x18 deep. Should I try it with a gun, or just go right for the brush?
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post #8 of 31 Old 04-19-2019, 07:39 AM
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so the openings are about 22x28x18 deep. Should I try it with a gun, or just go right for the brush?
If you are going to use lacquer then you couldn't use a brush. The finish dries so fast you can't brush more than a tiny spot with it. You might as well try your sprayer and see what happens. It might also help to use a retarder thinner. This will slow the drying time down to where orange peal is less of a problem. With that you might have a greater chance of runs though.

Another note on lacquer, watch the humidity level on the day you spray it. When you get up close to 70% humidity the finish gets water trapped in the finish and makes it cloudy. It's called blush and if you stop as soon as you see it a coat of lacquer on a dry day will make it go away but if you apply more than one coat of blushing lacquer you may end up having to strip it to get rid of it. The retarder thinner allows you to push the limits on humidity because it slows the drying time down which in turn allows more time for the water to get out of the finish. It's really what retarder thinner is made for. I don't use it unless I have to because it makes the finish take longer to cure and harden.
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post #9 of 31 Old 04-19-2019, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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so the openings are about 22x28x18 deep. Should I try it with a gun, or just go right for the brush?
If you are going to use lacquer then you couldn't use a brush. The finish dries so fast you can't brush more than a tiny spot with it. You might as well try your sprayer and see what happens. It might also help to use a retarder thinner. This will slow the drying time down to where orange peal is less of a problem. With that you might have a greater chance of runs though.

Another note on lacquer, watch the humidity level on the day you spray it. When you get up close to 70% humidity the finish gets water trapped in the finish and makes it cloudy. It's called blush and if you stop as soon as you see it a coat of lacquer on a dry day will make it go away but if you apply more than one coat of blushing lacquer you may end up having to strip it to get rid of it. The retarder thinner allows you to push the limits on humidity because it slows the drying time down which in turn allows more time for the water to get out of the finish. It's really what retarder thinner is made for. I don't use it unless I have to because it makes the finish take longer to cure and harden.
Awesome info. Thanks.. the inside is just going to be clear coated, no paint... would a poly be a better option then?
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post #10 of 31 Old 04-19-2019, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Im assuming this is the "Pressure pot" that is being referred to?
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Im assuming this is the "Pressure pot" that is being referred to?
That is the cheapest rig I can recommend. For someone not finishing a large job two quarts should do alright. The one I have holds two gallons of paint and you have to buy the tank, hoses and sprayer separately.
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post #12 of 31 Old 04-19-2019, 04:35 PM
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Awesome info. Thanks.. the inside is just going to be clear coated, no paint... would a poly be a better option then?
Polyurethane is a better finish to begin with and because it's slower drying you would have less problems with overspray and orange peal.
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post #13 of 31 Old 04-19-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome info. Thanks.. the inside is just going to be clear coated, no paint... would a poly be a better option then?
Polyurethane is a better finish to begin with and because it's slower drying you would have less problems with overspray and orange peal.
So, poly with the pressure pot for the inside, and the "paint" lacquer for the outsides is what I'm looking at. Right? Haha. Thanks again all
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So, poly with the pressure pot for the inside, and the "paint" lacquer for the outsides is what I'm looking at. Right? Haha. Thanks again all
If you are going to purchase the pressure pot I would go ahead and spray the inside with clear lacquer. From start to finish you could easily finish the inside in one afternoon. You might be able to get by with spraying poly with the cup gun. It dries so slow there shouldn't be that much overspray and orange peal problems. It would take 2-3 days to finish the inside with poly because of the drying time.

If you do get the pressure pot I would spray the exterior with it too. I think you would be amazed how much better a finish sprays when pressurized. A cup gun barely does the job and an airless puts out too much but the pressure pot is just right.
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post #15 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 07:57 AM
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If I do the lacquer, do I need a special primer?

Do they sell this at a home Depot/Lowe's store, or do I need to go to an actual paint store?

There is a lacquer primer. I would just use that.


Lacquer is one of the easiest of the finish coats to use/apply. It is very forgiving.


George
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post #16 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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So, I just called about 10 Sherwin Williams stores, and they either don't have the lacquer, or have never heard of it! What's my next best option? Do they sell this stuff at Lowe's/HD?

Do I need to go to oil based paint ?
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post #17 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 12:23 PM
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So, I just called about 10 Sherwin Williams stores, and they either don't have the lacquer, or have never heard of it! What's my next best option? Do they sell this stuff at Lowe's/HD?

Do I need to go to oil based paint ?
My internet is working very bad this morning. Is this the kind of lacquer products you are looking for? https://www.sherwin-williams.com/hom...mer-pl-9527505

https://welovepainting.com/love-sher...chen-cabinets/

Sherwin Williams is a big company making anything from latex wall paint to car paint. You know they have to have what you need. You just need to get past the idiots you have been talking to on the phone.
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post #18 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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So, I just called about 10 Sherwin Williams stores, and they either don't have the lacquer, or have never heard of it! What's my next best option? Do they sell this stuff at Lowe's/HD?

Do I need to go to oil based paint ?
My internet is working very bad this morning. Is this the kind of lacquer products you are looking for? https://www.sherwin-williams.com/hom...mer-pl-9527505

https://welovepainting.com/love-sher...chen-cabinets/

Sherwin Williams is a big company making anything from latex wall paint to car paint. You know they have to have what you need. You just need to get past the idiots you have been talking to on the phone.
I haven't heard of this stuff until this thread, so I'm not sure exactly what I am asking for (but the Smarties on the phone don't seem to know anything beyond latex or oil). I looked up YouTube videos and the colored lacquer seems like a great way to go.. there is one store around here (Sherwin Williams) that is called a "finishing product store" that I will have to wait to call on Monday. I will see what they have.. just so I'm clear about what in asking for...

I'm looking for a colorable/tint-able/pigmented lacquer (customer wants a light grey color) and an appropriate primer for said lacquer. Right??
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post #19 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 02:50 PM
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I haven't heard of this stuff until this thread, so I'm not sure exactly what I am asking for (but the Smarties on the phone don't seem to know anything beyond latex or oil). I looked up YouTube videos and the colored lacquer seems like a great way to go.. there is one store around here (Sherwin Williams) that is called a "finishing product store" that I will have to wait to call on Monday. I will see what they have.. just so I'm clear about what in asking for...

I'm looking for a colorable/tint-able/pigmented lacquer (customer wants a light grey color) and an appropriate primer for said lacquer. Right??
I can understand one of the employees at a Sherwin Williams not knowing about a production lacquer but the manager should. Most of the Sherwin William stores cater to house painting products and the production lacquer is a professional finishing product. They have been making the Opex lacquer for as long as I've been doing woodworking and have used quite a bit of it. I don't know what is available anymore but it used to come in about a dozen different colors. Certainly they would have white and black still. It sounds like the store you are going to have to wait until Monday is a professional store which should be able to help you. What has been bugging me on this topic is not being able to find the Bushwacker white lacquer undercoater. That was some really good stuff. It sprayed very well and sanded as easily as lacquer sanding sealer. This wasn't made by Sherwin Williams but was sold through them at least in my area. https://us.letgo.com/en/i/gsw-bush-w...1-994cc20c20f9
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post #20 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't heard of this stuff until this thread, so I'm not sure exactly what I am asking for (but the Smarties on the phone don't seem to know anything beyond latex or oil). I looked up YouTube videos and the colored lacquer seems like a great way to go.. there is one store around here (Sherwin Williams) that is called a "finishing product store" that I will have to wait to call on Monday. I will see what they have.. just so I'm clear about what in asking for...

I'm looking for a colorable/tint-able/pigmented lacquer (customer wants a light grey color) and an appropriate primer for said lacquer. Right??
I can understand one of the employees at a Sherwin Williams not knowing about a production lacquer but the manager should. Most of the Sherwin William stores cater to house painting products and the production lacquer is a professional finishing product. They have been making the Opex lacquer for as long as I've been doing woodworking and have used quite a bit of it. I don't know what is available anymore but it used to come in about a dozen different colors. Certainly they would have white and black still. It sounds like the store you are going to have to wait until Monday is a professional store which should be able to help you. What has been bugging me on this topic is not being able to find the Bushwacker white lacquer undercoater. That was some really good stuff. It sprayed very well and sanded as easily as lacquer sanding sealer. This wasn't made by Sherwin Williams but was sold through them at least in my area. https://us.letgo.com/en/i/gsw-bush-w...1-994cc20c20f9
I will see what the store recommends for primer..
But I am looking for a primer, and the tint-able lacquer.. right? As I said, this is a new finish for me!
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