What to practice spraying on - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-28-2017, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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What to practice spraying on

With some new spray equipment in hand, I'm ready to have another go at spraying lacquer. My goal of course is to practice building several coats, leveling and polishing to gloss. The question is: What should I be practicing spraying on?

Since what I'll ultimately be spraying is most likely mahogany, I could practice on that, but it can get expensive to have multiple pieces to test on. The alternative is to use the same board and remove the finish after test spraying, but removing finish is a pain.

I was thinking about luan plywood. It's cheap and similar to mahogany except that luan's grain is so open.

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-28-2017, 01:19 PM
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You can practice on about anything.

When I first started spraying lacquer I learned on the actual piece of work. Lacquer is so forgiving that it is easy to recover.

George
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-28-2017, 01:51 PM
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Lacquer is pretty easy to work with and get the gun adjusted. I would practice on a project and work out the problems as you go. Something goes wrong, an hour drying time and you can scuff sand it and go again.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-28-2017, 02:34 PM
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Get some white melamine and tint your lacquer with a small amount of color. If you are spraying correctly there will be no lap marks or runs just an even color on the panel. 2' square is a good size, don't lay it down flat, stand it up so you have to spray vertically. Also look at your atomization, it should look like glass when wet. if there is texture you don't have enough thinner, if it runs, you have too much thinner. After you spray you can wipe it off with acetone and try again until you get it right. This is also a great way to learn how to do toning or shading. Try to get an even color with no streaks, if you can do that you can easily do other techniques like the starburst effect. I also recommend learning to spray dye stain. It's the best and fastest way and you can easily control blotching.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-28-2017, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. Based on my earlier attempts at spraying lacquer, there's no way I'll be learning on my actual project. I did want to simulate what my real project would be though. On my earlier attempts, I was either getting orange peel, or what looked like zillions of tiny bubbles in the finish. Suspecting contaminated air, I've since gotten a better filter separator, so we'll see how it goes this time around. Ironically, I've sprayed dyes and shellac with great success, but lacquer seems to be my nemesis.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-28-2017, 05:32 PM
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I keep a 1/4 sheet of 1/8" Masonite around for finishing. I use it to adjust my sprayer or set the project to be sprayed on as if it was a drop cloth.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-29-2017, 08:26 AM
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I probably have the strangest test object for setting up the gun before start of spraying. I use the lid of my garbage can. It is large and it hangs vertical and I do not care what is the color scheme of the inside.

George.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-29-2017, 12:11 PM
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I use 1 ft square scraps of Formica. I have a bunch of em hanging around.

Dave in CT, USA
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