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Newsletter #167

 Greeting from Bill Boxer, Sr. Vice President,

Apollo Sprayers International, Inc.

 Next month Apollo Sprayers begins our 50th Anniversary Year. I am proud to be working with a company with such a long history of leading edge technology and responsiveness to the changes in market and the needs of our finishers.



In the coming months we will be celebrating our remakable milestone by offering super birthday specials to our readers. So stay tuned for our email offers and our newsletter specials.



Wishing You & Yours
Happy Holidays and
  A Joyous & Peaceful New Year


December Special: Free Ground Shipping To

48 States On All Orders Over $100 

December 11-December 27, 2015

Click to See All Our Products  

Great Gift Ideas for the Finisher 

December is a great time to make sure your finishing tool chest is well stocked. For the professional or semi-pro, buying tools before the end of the tax year gives you an extra deduction if you need it. If you are a person that’s normally impossible to buy for, you can offer your friends or family a subtle hint in the form of a wish list ranging from Inexpensive to Really Generous.   

Here are some items that make really appropriate gifts either from you to yourself (I shouldn’t have!) or for others to give or receive:




ECO-5 provides the finishing performance of Apollo premium sprayers, yet is affordable  allowing a wider segment of the finishing marketplace to explore, enjoy and utilize Apollo HVLP systems. See photo on the left.





Nour AquaGlide Brushes–  Each AquaGlide brush is individually handmade with detail to quality. This 100% SRT nylon brush is dyed, tipped and flagged for maximum paint pick-up and release with minimal streaking. It is formulated for use with all paints, and performs especially well with today’s fast drying Acrylic paints. They are available in straight or angular sashes. See photo on the right.





Apollo Filter Stand – Apollo Filter Stand  SAVE HOURS IN CLEAN UP AND SPILLAGE The Apollo Filter Stand, an extremely handy and simple device that will save you hours of clean up and keep your workbench clean and free from spills whenever… 






Wet Mill Gauge- Different coatings perform best when applied at different thicknesses. Coatings manufacturers often recommend a particular wet film thickness to give the best results with a particular coating. 




 Grain filler  from Charles Neil “I have tried the oil based products and found dry times, excessive, as well as they tended to seal the wood so stains and so forth could become issues, but yesterday I gave the water base  Aqua Coat a try, and to say I was impressed is an understatement,  so thought I would tell you about it.” 




3 M Paint Prep   An economical and innovative system for mixing and spraying finishing and coating materials with your pressure-fed spray gun.




Spray Gun Lube  Apollo has developed a special spray gun lubricant that is suitable for use with all Apollo spray guns. This revolutionary lubricant took years to develop.





 Teflon Cup   1 Quart cup with Teflon lining.  Use with your 5000 or 7500 series spray guns.





Kleen Again    Kleen-Again easily and safely removes wet or hardened oil and latex paints, stains, urethanes, varnishes and enamels from brushes and spray guns. Made from soybeans






 Finishing Feature Article: by Charles Neil


Spraying Latex Paint with HVLP Systems

HVLP systems are not designed to spray heavier bodied latex paint. However, with some understanding you can successfully do so.

The viscosity (thickness) of latex paint makes it hard for spray guns to fully atomize the paint, meaning that it’s difficult with a lower pressure turbine unit to break the material up into small enough particles to get an ultra smooth surface. 

It is essential that you use a good 4 or 5-stage turbine simply for the added pressure and power. The second thing is to use a larger needle/nozzle. A 1.8mm or larger works best. You will also want to use a pressurized cup. The pressurized cup allows the paint to be pushed to the fluid nozzle because of the added pressure behind the paint. If you look at most professional airless paint sprayers designed for latex paint, they are actually pumps, and use no air. Those systems force the fluid thru a small tip which breaks up the paint, but even then, a glass smooth surface is not going to be obtainable.

I have tried over the years to spray a super smooth latex paint, and have done so to a degree, but latex dries fast and even when adding flow out additives such as Floetrol, that super slick buttery feeling finish isn’t going to happen. The only way I have ever been able to achieve a super smooth finish is to use the latex as simply the coloring agent.

 I thin the paint anywhere from 5% to 10%, 15% upon occasion and spray several lighter coats by first increasing the pressure and secondly reducing the fluid volume. This may not make sense, but if you think about it, you can’t allow more fluid than the system can atomize. Reducing the fluid really seems to help and I have also found on some occasions I could drop to a smaller needle/nozzle (1.5mm). If we can push the fluid thru a smaller opening, just like the commercial pump sprayers, we increase atomization, which is the key to a smooth finish.

I get numerous emails, about this, especially for kitchen cabinets. I have not found latex paint to be a suitable finish for furniture or cabinetry, in a stand alone situation. On the other hand if you top coat it with a quality water base finish you’re good to go. 

I will usually do one or two light coats, just enough to get decent coverage, but again, not trying to get a heavy build, just color. Then I do a good 320 grit scuff sand to smooth. Then I apply a third coat to insure coverage.

 When all the paint has thoroughly dried, so that it will powder when I scuff it, I will give it a gentle wipe with some 320 just to maintain smooth. Then I will apply a clear topcoat. Be aware that scuff sanding will appear to lighten or alter the color, but the top coat will bring it right back. The key is to use as little paint as possible and get a smooth, covered color coat, then clear topcoat.


Usually two top coats are needed to get a really smooth surface.

The viscosity, as well as the flow out of the topcoat is what does the trick. Again latex paint is porous, and thick. It’s made to go on heavy and cover quick and dry quick. Top coats are designed to go on thinner and flow out.

I must also state that even if I buy a pigmented topcoat, I always clear coat. It seems anything that has a pigment added to it, stains and mars easier and just doesn’t have that super smooth finish. 

Many would argue that the addition of the clear coat isn’t needed on pigmented topcoats, but I assure you if you try it you will be sold. It’s just super nice, and they wipe clean so much easier.

I am, as we speak, completing some cabinets for my daughter, and they are all clear coated. This makes a world of difference.

BTW: I sprayed them all with the ECO 4-stage, Apollo turbine system. 

 Woodworking Tip: Wood Prep and the Look of a Finish

The way you prepare the wood for finishing, whether by sanding as most do, or by scraping or planing as some do, has no affect on the way the wood will look with the finish applied. Different finishes add more or less color to the wood, but if you aren’t staining the wood, the way you prepare it has no impact on the appearance under any single finish.

Nor does the grit to which you sand the wood make any difference for the appearance with the finish applied. You can sand to120 grit or to 600 grit and you won’t see any difference after you have applied the finish.

This is somewhat counter-intuitive because the wood is glossier (shinier) when scraped, planed or sanded to a finer grit.

The way you prepare the wood does make a difference if you apply a stain, however. You should prepare all the wood exactly the same, meaning for most of us, sanding to the same final grit.

How to Know How Much to Sand

One of the biggest problems for beginners is knowing how much to sand to remove all the marks created by jointers and planers. Here’s a trick you can use to indicate when you have sanded enough.

Draw some pencil marks on the wood, then sand until these marks are gone. You could even do this a second time to be extra sure.

Use these pencil marks only when sanding with your coarsest grit sandpaper. Don’t draw the marks with the finer grits. Very little sanding is needed with the finer grits to remove the coarser grit scratches. It’s most efficient to sand out all the problems with just the coarsest grit sandpaper.


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