Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Spray or hand finish?

  1. #1

    Spray or hand finish?

    I've read many of the questions and answers re. spraying versus finishing by hand here, but still have a question. I build furniture, mostly as a hobby, but also to sell. I don't build a lot, just one piece at a time. I've mostly been using shellac and rubbing varnish. I pre-finish pieces, then assemble them so that I don't have problems with corners, etc. I'm happy with the final results, but am tired of the tedious process. A professional cabinet maker/friend has offered to sell me his Graco HVLP system. I will buy it if I'm confident that it can give me a finish as good as what I've been getting. I know it will be faster, but will the quality be as good once I've practiced? Does lacquer look as good as a wipe-on finish? Thank you for the help--it's a great forum!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Unless you want to put more projects through your shop I'd stick with what you are doing. It's predictable and you are happy with the results. Spraying won't look any better, just faster, and there will be lots of learning until you are satisfied. The only reason to got to spraying would be if you want to change to some finish that can only be sprayed.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Adding to John's comments, by moving to spraying, you'll also likely change the finishing products you use. It's not generally "fun" to spray any kind of slow drying finish like oil based varnishes, so you'll be changing your finishing regimen accordingly. Many of us use water borne products because they are much safer to spray, both for personal health and for the required spraying environment. The shellac you mention is also fine and sprays beautifully. Solvent based lacquer would require a proper spray environment with explosion proof ventilation and probably a higher level of personal protection, too. It's also not something you'd want to use in your shop if it's attached to your home. You could use it outdoors, but that can have its challenges depending on where you live, etc.

    I do encourage you to explore the idea of spraying but also agree with John that you may or may not actually benefit from it from what you are doing now if you like the results you are achieving.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    If you look at spraying as a different tool to get the same result, you will be OK. The different tool will require different products put through it and slightly different skills but you look for the same colour and texture results at each stage. As I said in another post in the last day or so, the end results of spraying and hand rubbing are the same unless errors are made along the way.

    As far as the Graco unit is concerned, find out why your friend is getting rid of it and what he is replacing it with, and whether you want to spend the money. Learning with a simple cup or gravity gun will let you know if you want to pursue this without much cost. Cheers
    Every construction obeys the laws of physics. Whether we like or understand the result is of no interest to the universe.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts