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Thread: First time spraying Behlen Waterborne brushing varnish in a HVLP setup.

  1. #1
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    First time spraying Behlen Waterborne brushing varnish in a HVLP setup.

    Up to now I've used Behlens Qualalacq Lacquer on about a 8 items with good to excellent results. I have all, and use all, of the safety devices, etc. But that's a task and I'm always a little apprehensive. But spraying gives the result I want. Thus I'm going to try spraying Behlens Waterborne Brushing varnish. I've been told it can be sprayed. Any critical tips on technical or otherwise processes to making the change to a waterborne product would be appreciated greatly. Thanks, Don M
    Real American Heros don't wear Capes, they wear Dogtags.

  2. #2
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    Today's waterborne products are really great and there are many versatile choices. They spray beautifully...they have to because that's the preferred way to apply them...as long as your gun it setup correctly for the particular product you intend to use. You still need to use personal protection (respirator) and deal with suspended fines in the air like any other finish, but you do not have the explosive and physical dangers within the environment that you do with solvent based products. As with any finish, it's very important you do a little practice when switching products to insure you have your gun settings dialed in and you get a feel for how you need to lay down your coats.

    I'm not familiar with the specific product you mention. I primarily use Target Coatings finishes but also have enjoyed using General Finishes "milk paint" (which is a colored acrylic product).
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  3. #3
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    I think you would be better off using a product specifically made for spraying. Unless Behlens says their brushing varnish also can be applied by spraying, I would look for a different product. If you are set on using it, however, then at least get a #4 Ford viscosity cup and measure it, then pick the correct needle/nozzle set to best atomize it, and/or thin it to best fit with the N/N set you have.

    John

  4. #4
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    Do waterborne finishes raise the grain when sprayed? If so, are you sealing before spraying or just sanding after spraying?
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Daily View Post
    Do waterborne finishes raise the grain when sprayed? If so, are you sealing before spraying or just sanding after spraying?
    The ones I have used do. To mitigate the problem on woods where I want a finish with no amber in it I sand to 220 or 320 grit instead of the more typical 150 to 180. I sometimes also wet the surface to raise the grain and then hand sand with 320 to remove the roughness. The first coat usually still needs a fairly thorough hand sanding but after that it's generally fine. With finishes where I want an amber tone I often first spray a coat of Sealcoat shellac, scuff sand that, and then apply the waterborne topcoats. The shellac really cuts down on the grain raising, highlights the grain, and gives a nice solvent based tint to the wood.

    For me the added work is more than offset by the enhanced safety and otherwise ease of use WB products offer.

    John

  6. #6
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    I do as John does and sand initially a little higher if I'm going to put the waterborne directly on the wood and then knock off any additional nubbies/grain raise after the first coat or two is sprayed with 400 paper or a white abrasive pad.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input, I've sometimes put a thin layer of shellac on before the lacquer depending on the type of wood. It sounds like it's a worthwhile effort to do that before just about any WB application. The extra work for a good result is not a problem for me. Raising the grain was something I kind of forgot about with a WB product (slap to forehead) thanks for the heads up. I have a #4 Ford viscosity cup and some experimentation looks like it's on the horizon for me. Thanks again for the input. Don M
    Real American Heros don't wear Capes, they wear Dogtags.

  8. #8
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    The wax-free shellac will also warm up the wood...many waterborne clear finishes are somewhat "cold" looking without any amber hue. Wax-free shellac or oil followed by wax-free shellac can "fix" that nicely.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Jim & John thanks for the input. I haven’t started spraying WB products yet but I think a seal coat with shellac will be the way I go.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

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