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Old School
24,017 Posts
I've been playing a game of too little/too much when spraying water based poly onto vertical surfaces.
If I put enough on to get a "full coat" then I risk getting runs. If I hold back on putting enough for a full coat, then I find I get orange peel. Is there a magic method for applying "just enough"?
(p.s. The project is too large to rotate it around so everything is horizontal when applying the finish.)
The age old question. There is not just one trick that will do it for you. It's a lot of practice. It's knowing your gun, having the air pressure right, fluid and atomization right, and other details. There's the distance from the piece, size and shape of the pattern, how fast you move, and having an overlap.

I prefer to spray vertically. Less of a chance for "stuff" to fall on the wet coat. If you get pooling or puddling by spraying horizontally, that would be a poor finish. Ideally, many thin applications work best. You want them wet enough, but not to the point of running. I use a lot of light on the subject piece, so I can see a glare on how wet its getting. Your pattern should be wide enough for coverage, but narrow enough to get enough material to get a wet coat.

Depending on the size of the piece, if you spray from the bottom up, or from one side to the other, you can judge your overlap. It might be easier physically to do it that way. The idea is to keep what you already applied wet, as you move up, or across the sheet.

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