View Full Version : Spraying Finish

Chris Lee
07-06-2005, 9:47 AM
Ok, So I have just about finished up my daughter's bed, except for some touch ups here and there. It is made of poplar and my wife wants it to be painted white. I plan on picking up the HVLP gun from HarborFreight as many people have recomended it. Is there anything special you have to do when spraying paint? Do I need to use a primer first? What type of paint is best for something like this? I know I need to thin the paint, but how much are we talking about?

Any help would be appreciated,


Dave Tinley
07-06-2005, 11:29 AM
As far as a primer goes, you could use one, such as Kilz,etc, and it will reduce the number of coats of white paint you have to apply, but to me its more cost effective to just spray more coats. You can use any latex white paint and I would thin it by 20 percent for spraying, then adjust the amount of thinner after spraying a test piece. You will need to have a test board to get the spray pattern and volume of paint adjusted. I usually use an old piece of cardboard to set up the spray pattern and volume, then I spray the test piece to see how much the wood will absorb. I have the HF guns and they seem to work good.
Hope his helps.

Tim Sproul
07-06-2005, 7:28 PM
I'm in the market for spray equipment. One thing to keep in mind, and it quite important for paint, is that less expensive guns won't atomize as well and the resultant finish quality may show it.

I'd prime before painting. Primer does more than reduce the number of paint layers you need. It adheres to bare wood better than regular paint. It often will act as a barrier to pitch or other things leaching through. You want a really tough paint....I'd avoid regular latex. enamel arcrylic is what I recall but I don't paint furniture......

Allen Bookout
07-07-2005, 4:47 PM
Acrylic enamel is good but my favorite is two part acrylic urethane. It is for automative applications but paints over wood that has been sealed or primed and goes on glass smooth. I have used "Concept" with great results but I just finished painting a base for a bandsaw with "Omni MTK" and it seems to be excellent also and a little cheaper. They are available at auto paint stores. I use a regular automotive paint gun for this type of application and you can use a cheaper gun such as a primer grade and it works just about as well. I do not use latex paint because I feel that it is too soft and therefore not durable enough. Also spot sanding and touchup is a real problem. With enamels and urethanes it is a piece of cake. They both sand to feather edge very well for a recoat.

You might ask the paint expert at your automotive paint store, but I do not use the low pressure guns because I have never seen a finish done with one that is near as good as a job done with a high pressure gun. Using a high pressure gun (conventional) you shoot it between 40 and 50 psi. You can use a HLVP gun and shoot it between 8 and 10 PSI

The paint might seem expensive at about $35 or so for a mixture of a quart and a half but it will cover between 200 and 600 square feet depending on how thick and how many coats you apply. Also they can mix any color that you want with great accuracy.

One of your questions was about thinning the paint. If you go the acrylic enamel or urethane route, the paint store will give you a chart showing exactly the amount of reducer and hardner to use. You can also use accelerators to speed the drying process and flatners to take it down from a gloss to semi gloss to flat or whatever you what.

Let us know what you decide to try and how it turns out.

Chris Lee
07-08-2005, 8:35 AM
Thanks for all the great info guys. I am hoping to get the final assembly done tomorrow and start prepping for paint. I will put up some pics soon.

Thanks again,