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painting supplies and process

Looking at the Doctor diffraction thread, some good info and discussion on painting cabinets. But I wanted to have a more basic and broader discussion and not derail Bill's thread.

I want to start painting cabinets, but know next to nothing about it. I have viewed Brad's videos and also got some details from Nick, but there's still a lot to go.

I don't have a compressor or spray gun, so let's start there and then move on to paints, prep and process and finally how do you restore and maintain the cabinets.

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Comments

  • You might want to break this down further. Roller or spray? Water based or solvent? Singe stage or two part / conversion varnish. You might consider a basic book on finishing; Jeff Jewitt, Bob Flexner, and Michael Dresner are good.

    As an example you can get a good finish with foam roller and General Finishes Milk paint. This is durable flat paint with decent leveling. Because it's flat it doesn't show many flaws. The initial finish can show scuffs that are removed with a damp micro fiber cloth.

    rjj45
     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • Thanks John, good point - I am looking at spray, specifically with compressor and spray gun.

    suggestion for compressor - good and cheap and a bit higher end but Great and same for spray gun would allow me to do some research and start setting some funds aside. If I can use the setup to do both two parts auto spray as well as wood finish, even better.

  • You did say cheap and that would be me. Harbor Freight $15 spray gun 1.4mm tip? https://www.harborfreight.com/painting/paint-sprayers/20-oz-hvlp-gravity-feed-air-spray-gun-62300.html If it gets dirty throw it away and get another one. For the little stuff, but has very small tip, $14 https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=detail spray gun Harbor Freight air compressor $149. Might as well order replacement reed valves ($7) they will break. https://www.harborfreight.com/21-gallon-25-hp-125-psi-cast-iron-vertical-air-compressor-61454.html
    Go ahead and laugh at me guys but he did say cheap. The wife says I'm so tight I squeak when I walk.

    rjj45ani_101
  • For a smaller touch up size gun I love my ANI 150, I ordered it from a place in England for about $160 with two different size tips. Come on you have got to like the brand name, but seriously it sprays extremely well, the only down size is that the paint cup is small, so you can't do large projects with a single cup. I also have a tekna gun, but that is a bit more expensive. I would stay away from cheap direct drive compressors, and go with the largest belt drive that's within your budget. Don't forget to get a quality pressure regulator and water separator, and when shopping pay attention to the cfm ratings of the paint gun and compressor, you don't want a compressor that can't keep up with the gun you choose.
    Hey you never told me how that tube amp sounds.

    ani_101
  • If you are going cheap I like oil less compressors. IMO it's too much $ to keep oil out. I like lacquer so fish eyes from oil are what drive me toward oil less. I use a 2 hp oil less Devilbiss pancake compressor (NLA) with a 11 gallon HF secondary tank.

    Depending on what type of paint and clear you plan to spray will drive your gun selection. I started with the HF guns and I still have one of their step up guns. I prefer to have separate guns for paint and clear.

    ani_101
     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • Cheap is always good!

    But tell about the compressors, especially oiled and oil-less? Does oil-less means less psi / cfm?

    My two prime areas for painting are:

    Wood finish

    • Water based varnish for veneer / hardwood
    • water based heavier stuff like duratex / acrytex sound coatings - should i spay these or just stick to roller - but i don't like the roller streaks

    Auto-finish

    • two parts paints
    • primer
    • clear

    epoxy - can this even be sprayed? but i have seen some type of epoxy coatings being spayed - just not sure what

  • @ugly_woofer said:
    For a smaller touch up size gun I love my ANI 150, Come on you have got to like the brand name,

    Hey you never told me how that tube amp sounds.

    The name is great!

    The tube amp is great - for all my prejudice about low wattage tube amps, 50 watts per channel of tubes takes care of the bottom end and drives regular low efficiency speakers well, this is driven by a tube DAC and the combination is awesome! I would definitely like to build a kit if i can figure out how not to electrocute myself!

  • I guess I’ll give my 2 cents.
    Starting with compressors.
    If I was looking to buy a home shop compressor there’s 3 things I would look for.
    1. Duty Cycle (recovery time)
    2. Voltage requirements
    3. CFM’s @ 40psi
    1. Duty cycle is the specification that the cheap compressors don’t mention because it’s probably embarrassing.

    • 50% duty cycle means if it takes the compressor 2 mins to fill it needs 1 min of cool down. Then restart.
      -100% duty cycle mean that it can pretty much run non-stop with no cool down.
      Oil-free compressors usually have a low duty cycle do to the rpm’s and heat they create. When the compressor creates heat it creates moisture fast. Which can be doctors to a certain point. If your stuck on buying Oil-free, look into California Air compressors. Myself I would be looking for a oil lubed, name brand compressor I can get parts for, that has the pump and motor separate (belt driven) for the fact that the pulley has a fan built into it to pull the heat from the pump.
    1. Voltage requirements for the simple reason as most of us don’t have much for power in the garage. A dedicated 15-20 amp circuit is probably what will need. So don’t buy to big and not have any power for it, unless your going add the circuit then go crazy on compressor size.
    2. CFM’s comes down to what you all plan on running with it. 9 times out of 10 cheaper tools require more air to run because of the cheap parts that go into them. If it’s pretty much for spraying only I would want the best I can get @40psi. That’s usually the max for most HVLP, RP, HTE or conventional guns. If your spraying any material over 40psi you have other problems. Hope my .02 helps.
  • wrt duty cycle and capacity, as most of my projects are small it's not often I run out of capacity. The refill time and cool down time helps to remind me to stop spraying.

    I bought my oil less compressor as a disposable unit. I use it to run my nail guns and paint projects. My usage is low so it's lasted me over 7 years so far. It is probably time for another compressor. I am interested in Mcgivering an aftercooler and may be dryer on my next compressor.

     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • I use to do a lot of head and intake porting with my air die grinder. They use a ton of air @ 90 psi, so I splurged and bought the best oil lubed compressor I could afford. It has a 230 Volt single phase, 5 HP motor and 60 gallon tank and 100% duty cycle. Let's just say I have never run out of air :) I change the oil (synthetic only) twice a year and blow down the holding tank every month or so. I've had it for about 20 years now and it still runs like new.

    Another thing to consider, oil lubed compressors are relatively quiet (some more than others). Mine is in my attached garage and when it runs you can't even hear it in the house. I started out with an oil-free 20 gallon unit and that sucker was LOUD! So loud that the next door neighbor complain about it.

    Also don't skimp on your filter/regulator/water-separator. The last thing you want when spraying paint is water or oil in the mix...

  • does the ail makes it's way into the spray - i guess this is where the filter/regulator/water-separator would be important? As i understood, the vanes that draws the air into the tank are spinning in oil to have a better seal and hence can move more air at higher pressure or something like that compared to oil less that have lower efficiency due to the vanes not having a good seal...

    Brad, thanks for the recommendation on the oil less ones. any good starter brand or family to look into the oil lubed belt driven ones?

    The California air 1 hp is less then 4 CFM @40PSI the 2hp ones are 6 CFM and the 4hps ones are 12CFM. I can maybe stretch to the 2hp ones for both the outlay and or size (8-10 gallons), the 1 hp ones are of course more pocket and footprint and weight friendly (1-8 gallons).

    So, how much CFM and how big a tank. Too small a tank and I am waiting to refill i guess. For the oil lubed, are they quieter than the oil less ones?

  • Oil lubed compressors like mine don't have rotary vanes, they have cylinders/pistons/rings like a car engine.

  • @ani_101 said:
    Cheap is always good!

    But tell about the compressors, especially oiled and oil-less? Does oil-less means less psi / cfm?

    My two prime areas for painting are:

    Wood finish

    • Water based varnish for veneer / hardwood
    • water based heavier stuff like duratex / acrytex sound coatings - should i spay these or just stick to roller - but i don't like the roller streaks

    Auto-finish

    • two parts paints
    • primer
    • clear

    epoxy - can this even be sprayed? but i have seen some type of epoxy coatings being spayed - just not sure what

    Hi Ani,

    I'll throw in my $0.02 worth. 1st of all Craig's recommendations for compressors is spot on and mimic my compressor setup which I also bought about 25 years ago. Filter/regulators/water separators are not that expensive and simply eliminate any possible issues with painting.

    Brad is also giving you great advice. He's a pro so he knows his stuff! I've been shooting water base products exclusively for over 15 years and have had a couple different guns. My recommendation is to spend enough to get a decent gun to eliminate frustration. The one I own and recommend is a Warwick 904HE HVPL. It's way better than I am but when I can do my part it lays down a super smooth finish with little over spray. It is an iWata 400 clone that uses the same heads/tips etc. as the real deal. It also has stainless steel passage ways which are critical for water based products to eliminate corrosion build up. Also a get a plastic cup rather than the aluminum one for the same reason. IMHO, a gun like this is worth the extra money.

    BTW, if you want to shoot Duratex and other stuff like that, get a really inexpensive gun with a massive tip so you don't screw up the good gun.

    HTH

    Jim

  • Large oil-less compressors get expensive. What do you guys think about the HVLP turbine sprayers made by Fuji Spray and Earlex. I currently finish my woodworking projects with brush on Polyurethane, spray can Lacquer or occasionally water based poly. The brush poly is a lot of work and there are still some brush marks and some unevenness to the finish. The spray can Lacquer is expensive and I would like to try using tinted and colored lacquer which could be sprayed with a spray gun. The Fuji Spray Semi-Pro2 is a 2 stage unit for $439 but they have some 3 and 4 stage units for under $900.

  • Good insight Jim. Having a cheap HF gun on hand for trial and thick stuff is good.

    Are the filter/regulator/water separators are add-ons units or are they replaceable maintenance parts?

  • @ani_101 said:
    Good insight Jim. Having a cheap HF gun on hand for trial and thick stuff is good.

    Are the filter/regulator/water separators are add-ons units or are they replaceable maintenance parts?

    Something like this from Harbor Freight works well https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-compact-air-filter-68230.html when teamed up with a disposable on the gun attached to the gun air pressure regulator. All are inexpensive and eliminate any issues. BTW, you can spend a lot more but these work well for hobbyists like us. I suspect Brads setup is much, much nicer and much more expensive and capable of high volume commercial work. Yes, I am envious! =)

    BTW, my workshop and paint booth are in my basement. Shooting water based has almost no smell which keeps the family happy.

    Jim

    ani_101rjj45
  • Does this filter only removes water condensation or oil too? or a separate oil filter is required?

  • edited July 24

    @ani_101 said:
    Does this filter only removes water condensation or oil too? or a separate oil filter is required?

    There are many different filter available. The one I have does both and I think I got it on Amazon. This is similar to what I bought a few years ago.

    NANPU 3/8" NPT Compressed Air Filter Regulator Combo, Air Filter Pressure Regulator Gauge Kit Water Separator w/Pressure Gauge, 150PSI

    I have air piped into my basement from the compressor in the garage. This is mounted to the wall before the hose connections. I do use 3/8" connectors for best air flow. Then this disposable filter is attached to the adjustable pressure regulator at the gun.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/disposable-inline-moisture-filter-68224.html

    Inexpensive and effective. I've never had a problem with oil or water in the paint or top coat finish.

    HTH

    Jim

    ani_101hifiside
  • @Shawn_K said:
    Large oil-less compressors get expensive. What do you guys think about the HVLP turbine sprayers made by Fuji Spray and Earlex. I currently finish my woodworking projects with brush on Polyurethane, spray can Lacquer or occasionally water based poly. The brush poly is a lot of work and there are still some brush marks and some unevenness to the finish. The spray can Lacquer is expensive and I would like to try using tinted and colored lacquer which could be sprayed with a spray gun. The Fuji Spray Semi-Pro2 is a 2 stage unit for $439 but they have some 3 and 4 stage units for under $900.

    I really like the Keda dye for tinting lacquer. It's a universal dye for just about anything including making your own wood stain. Apparently, it's used a lot w/lacquer to give a candy look on guitars.

  • Here's a photo of the disposable filters that I run before the paint gun. They catch any moisture or oil that gets past the separator.

    Glad to hear you like the tube amp, I plan to buy or build one in the future.

  • Thanks Nick. What's a separator? Is it the same as the moisture filter that Jim linked to?

  • edited July 25



    Harbor Freight calls it a filter, but yeah Ani it's the same thing. Here's a pic of a Milton version, and a regulator. Be careful of what you buy at Harbor Freight, I know a lot of people like that place, and that's fine, to each his own, but the thing about HF is, QC is non existent, so you may get a product that is pretty decent, and I walk in behind you and buy the exact same thing and it's complete crap. Right now HF has a recall on jack stands, gee what would you really not want to fail...something holding a car up? I own a HF floor jack, and it lifts a car just fine, but after the car is in the air, Snap on jack stands go under it. Also be cautious of items meant to spin at high speeds, such as grinding wheels, I have seen top brands, with real QC, fail in catastrophic fashion. Okay, sorry rant over.

  • I completely agree with Nick regarding HF/quality/safety.

    I have an aluminum, modular, Wilkerson brand filter/regulator that has 1/2" NPT inlet and outlet ports.

  • I
    Agreed. I bought a HF regulator for my rattle can cart and it lasted 2 days. It has a Devilbiss one now with no problems.

  • Filters and Regulators
    I would recommend 10 microns and below for painting. The lower the better but that comes at a price to. There’s hundreds of brands out there as suggested above. We use Sharpe filter/regulators. Just remember if you have a compressor that puts out 150psi make sure the filter and regulator are capable to take 150psi. A 25ft hose for painting Only is another great idea to keep contamination to a minimum (Flexzilla) makes a great hose that can be bought about anywhere @ $25-30.

  • Trying to balance between cheap and frustrating and good and expensive is always tricky, especially for things that I have no experience in.

    Though I prefer to go for good, rather than cheap, at least I won't have the excuse of "it's not me it's the tool", but then if I don't get the results or something else shiny catches my eye. Plenty of very expensive stuff some sitting in boxes, some maybe used a couple of times...!

  • Any opinion or experience on airless sprayers?

  • @ani_101 said:
    Any opinion or experience on airless sprayers?

    Like Graco or Wagner?

  • @ani_101 said:
    Any opinion or experience on airless sprayers?

    And if your asking about the Turbine style ones. My paint Rep says the 5 stage ones are coming around. Anything less than the 5 stage ones have big atomization problems. He was going to try and see if the shop can demo one through his company.

  • I have only seen the Graco and the Wagner type ones, and the Graco ones seem to be better built, but they mostly seem to be used for home painting - walls, etc...

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