The Finishing Store
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Newsletter #163


Greetings from Bill Boxer, Sr. Vice President, Apollo Sprayers International, Inc     

On January 1, 2016 Apollo Sprayers begins celebrating our 50th Anniversary Year. Apollo Sprayers International is the oldest continuous and original company solely manufacturing HVLP technology.

It got me thinking about the early days in California, when John B. Darroch visited shops with the Apollo 500, a single stage machine that sprayed thinned nitrocellulose lacquer and stains fantastically.  The machine was a workhorse and some of them are still around.

Years later I was at a woodworking show demonstrating the dual turbine Apollo 1000, surrounded by a large group of woodworkers. Suddenly a guy in the back yelled “My Apollo just went down. What are you going to do about it?” I was about to say I would meet with him in couple of minutes, when he laughed and said “HA, got ya. It’s an old Model 500 that I’ve used for 21 years and it owes me nothing.”

As all finishers know, the coatings world has changed totally over the last few years and so have our machines. Right now we are selling the ECO 5, 9.5 PSI, 130CFM, a huge change from my old blue 500 at 2.3 PSI and 60 CFM.


The world is changing quickly and we are staying ahead of the curve.

This month Scott Burt tells you how to tackle three jobs on the Honey Do list with a little less pain.

Enjoy the summer.



HVLP for the Win! By Scott Burt

Summer has rolled in pretty quickly, and appears to be about half over already. With all the unseasonal rains that most regions have seen, I’m not sure when it started. June felt much more like April. Time flies, and here we are.

That brings me to the critical matter of the summer Honey Do list that we all hope to complete while the weather is amenable. Most of us who are handy and have tools usually find ourselves in “weekend warrior” mode at some point during the season.

Speaking for me, I find some of the tasks to be tedious. The power of denial is amazing in terms of what we can overlook on our own homes. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we would prefer to get our home based tasks completed as efficiently as possible, and get on to the business of enjoying life on the weekends.

That said, here are my top suggestions on ways to leverage your HVLP gear and take some of the pain out of home painting.

#1: The Bulkhead 

You know, that wooden or big steel monstrosity with the rusty, peeling Bilco doors that swing up and open to your basement. As a residential painter, I usually find the bulkhead to be one of the ugliest items around the outside of my customer’s homes.

So if you have one, here is how you can turn that big frown upside down. Here’s how I handle the steel monstrosity. The first key is to properly clean the bulkhead with a stiff brush. Maybe give it a good scrub down with damp rags. A quick scuff sand at 220 grit, and then remove all dust. Already, this is a great excuse to break out some power tools to accelerate the process.

This is where it starts getting good. If you have a 5 stage HVLP, there are some great new product technologies that are entirely sprayable through your unit. Waterborne Direct to Metal (DTM) paints are a life save. They are rust inhibitive and require no primer. Check your local Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore dealer and pick up a gallon. It is a pretty quick dial in with your gun, and easy clean up. Just be sure to properly mask (exterior blue tape and plastic) where the bulkhead attaches to the house.

In the old days, we used to do these with brush and roller. HVLP has been a game changer, turning ten hours of frustration into about 3 hours of excitement with a much better result.

#2: The Deck Rail   

For those with decks that have spindle rail systems…you would probably rather have root canal than brush those spindles out with stain. (See the above before photo.) Here is another case where a quick scuff and vac gets your ready to roll out the HVLP and save yourself a weekend or two. Deck stain products are low viscosity (thin) and spray very easily through a good turbine system. They are also available in waterborne formulations these days. Even if you are committed to oil stain, the cleanup will take a few more minutes, but think of the pile of hours you are saving by spraying. While you are at it, spray out any lattice work that you may have on the property. Another case of HVLP to the rescue.

#3: The Front Door    This is one of the hallmarks of curb appeal. Nothing pops on the front of your home like a freshly painted front door. And this is another case where brushing is just not so much fun. To tackle this one, carefully pop the hinge pins, and remove the door from the opening. Hang some plastic over the opening just to keep bugs out of the house. Take the door out to the garage and lay it out on sawhorses.

Once again, a quick scuff and vac, and you are ready to fire up the HVLP. As above, select a good waterborne exterior paint. It is best to pick a higher sheen, semi-gloss or gloss, for appearance and durability. And, have fun with color. The front door is a great place to put a little punch of color.

If you do this in the morning, you can have the door back in the opening by the end of the day. Then, crack a cold beverage and gloat. front door photo

Remember, always take a good 20-30 minutes to break down your gun and clean thoroughly. I usually run a bit of warm water through it upon reassembly. Taking that time to pay homage to the gun that just gained you so much free time is good karma for next time you pull the trigger.

May your exterior features be the envy of the neighborhood this season! Scott

Products of the Month:

Safe Coat & Aqua Coat all coatings, stains and fillers

Erecta-rack- Click here to learn about this super product. (video)  Erecta-rack info

Apollo Filter Stand- saves hours cleaning up spills

Soy Gel Quarts and Gallons – SAFE, EFFECTIVE STRIPPER Fast, safe, non-toxic – non caustic – biodegradable 

Finishing Tips By Bob Flexner:

Secret of Sheen – the Second Coat Is Most Important

The second coat of finish you apply to a project, after you have sanded the first coat smooth, is the most important coat because it provides the depth and sheen. Sometimes you can improve the depth with additional coats, but nothing equals the difference obtained from the first to the second.

Most important in this instruction is that you have to sand the first coat smooth to obtain the full effect. If you don’t sand this coat smooth, the roughness will telegraph through the second coat and reduce the depth and lower the sheen.

The surface will also feel rough. A further point to emphasize is that you can’t ever achieve the full effect of a finish with just one coat, no matter how thick you apply it. This rule holds true for all finishes – even oil finishes.

Spray Pattern Heavier on One Side

A spray pattern, with all the controls on the spray gun wide open, is supposed to be an even, elongated oval shape. If the pattern is heavier on one end than the other, the likely cause is that one or more of the holes in the air cap is plugged up. It’s also possible that the fluid nozzle has been damaged.

To determine which, rotate the air cap one-half turn (180 degrees) and spray again. If the disrupted pattern switches sides, the problem is in the air cap. If the pattern stays the same, the problem is the fluid nozzle.


To clean the air cap, soak it in acetone or lacquer thinner to dissolve or soften the obstructing matter, then blow it out with compressed air if you have it. You can also use very small-diameter picks supplied with spray-gun cleaning kits such as the one offered by  (please link)

Be very careful trying to use a toothpick, because it might break off in the hole and be difficult to remove. Above all, you don’t want to use any metal that might damage the hole.

If you determine that the fluid nozzle has been damaged, you will have to replace it. The fluid nozzle and needle are usually sold in sets.



See how many words you can find. Look for words horizontally and vertically. You can print this page, including the puzzle, work offline,
and then highlight words as you find them.

Summer Projects