Spray Finish On Site
Waterborne lacquer and a modest spray setup yield quick, quality painted work.
Synopsis: In this article, Tyler Grace explains his method of spray finishing cabinetry, mantels, overmantels, bookcases, and other built-ins on site. Tyler describes his setup of high-quality (but low-cost) spray equipment, including a high-volume low-pressure turbine unit, and the different types of primer and waterborne lacquer that he uses for finish work. He then explains step by step his sequence of priming, sanding, painting, caulking, and spot finishing. The article also includes a sidebar that describes the features of a spray gun and the ideal settings for airflow, which controls overspray; material volume, which controls the amount of wet-film thickness; and air-cap orientation, which controls the spray pattern.
People often ask why I spray finish a lot of my own cabinetry, built-ins, and trim on site. The answer depends on why you’re asking the question. If you’re wondering why I spray finish instead of using prefinished options, it’s because a spray finish means more leeway for caulking transitions, filling nail holes, plugging screws, and sanding joints that need a bit of extra touchup work. If you’re questioning my choice of a spray finish over a brushed finish, the answer is that a spray finish is faster to apply and smoother to the touch. If you’re wondering why anybody would bear the hassle of doing a spray finish on site instead of in a dedicated booth, I’d ask if you were offering me a bigger shop. And if you’re asking why I spray finish on my own rather than pick up the phone and call a painter to do the spraying for me, well, that just comes down to how much control I want over my work, and whether I’d rather pay a subcontractor or myself.
The truth is that spraying on site…