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Expert's Corner — spraying

TIP: Avoiding Orange Peel

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Orange peel is an irregular or bumpy surface in a sprayed finish caused by spraying a liquid that is too viscous, or thick, with too little air pressure, or by moving the spray gun too fast or holding it too far from the surface. When defined in this manner, the methods for avoiding orange peel are obvious. To reduce or eliminate orange peel, thin the finish or increase air pressure (or both). If you’re using a turbine rather than compressor, you can’t increase air pressure. So thin the finish. Also, arrange lights so you can see how the spray wets...

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Tip 2: Never Spray Outside. Ever.

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Tip 2: Never Spray Outside. Ever.

Another concept we drill in finish training is controlling the environment in which spraying occurs. It always amazes me how many finishers tell me that they prefer to spray outside, because it is just easier than creating clean, controlled conditions in the workshop. While this may seem convenient to you as the technician, it is not at all appreciated by your spray gun, or the product being sprayed. Aside from the obvious risks of contaminants and unpredictable lay down of product, the primary problem with outdoor spraying is the unpredictability of wind. The slightest random breeze outdoors will wreak havoc...

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Tip 1: Strain Product: Always

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Tip 1: Strain Product: Always

Straining is a topic that we talk a lot about in our Prep to Finish paint training program (preptofinish.com). Conventional wisdom and common sense dictate that straining is a great way to remove contaminants from product while it is still in liquid form. This is certainly true, but there are other, more subtle considerations that make straining a good idea.Specifically, building the habit of straining ALL product every time you load your cup gun is cheap insurance at a deeper level. As the product world transitions more into waterborne platforms, the practice of shaking a can of product is not...

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Happier Product

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Happier Product

I’ve always said, it’s not the elephants that’ll kill you, it’s the mosquitoes. The little things that quietly sneak up on your finish, that you don’t realize until it’s too late. We all focus heavily on spraying technique as paramount to achieving high level sprayed finishes. While technique is important, product control begins before you even pull the trigger. Here are a couple of tips to help eliminate product based variables. This is about product handling. Sometimes, finishers take for granted what the product itself needs in order to be happy in the process. Product happiness directly relates to spray gun...

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Applying Finish With or Across the Grain

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It’s common to be instructed to apply a finish in the direction of the grain, called “with the grain.” Doing this is usually best when brushing a finish, but it’s rarely necessary when wiping or spraying a finish. Brushing with the grain is best because the grain will help disguise the brush marks, the ridges and troughs caused by the movement of the bristles along or across the surface. If you brush across the grain, the brush marks will stand out in contrast to the grain of the wood. There are exceptions, however. These include solid or veneer with their...

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