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Old 04-21-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
Pan
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Gentlemen and Ladies:
First, I want to say thank you to all of you who take the time to add your knowledge and experience to PaintTalk discussions. You represent an enormous pool of knowledge of a deceptively complex subject. Paint... sorry, COATINGS, and their successful application involves chemistry, physics, some math, and lots of head-scratching perserverance (which used to be called the "scientific method" before our public ed system got dumb). I'm not a painter by trade, but needed to learn how to put a professional finish on new cabinets, and months of reading PaintTalk threads got me off to a great start. I know PaintTalk is for those "in the business" but wanted to thank you and pass on what I've learned, and will return to the woodwork after this post.

My wife has been a custom kitchen and bath cabinet designer for over 20 years, and I've built houses and done woodworking for years. We'll soon retire and build a home and she agreed to let me build the cabinets if I could put as close to a factory finish on them as possible given that I won't be using a catalyzed resin or have an oven. I dove into PaintTalk and after a couple months of research purchased a Fuji Q5 Platinum and the 3M PPS. We had two nice pieces of furniture made of notty pine, stained and shellaced, good integrity but 38 years old. Large pieces, one with 13 drawers the other with 8 drawers and a huge mirror over the drawer base. The wife wanted them painted, she has seen them for all of those 38 years and wanted a new look.

After testing the surface and determining the original finish was shellac, I decided to do a light sanding and prime with Kilz oil base to seal the knots and finish with Sherwin Williams oil-based All Surface Enamel. After getting the viscosity right with many test mixtures of paint thinner and Penetrol, three drawers were sprayed and all three had serious fisheyes. Back to PaintTalk and a lot of testing, and no clear ID of the source. The wife says she has never used furniture polish on these, and I know the spray gun is clean, it was brand new. I had my suspicions when removing the primer and paint (3rd time at this point) with a heat gun, I was looking at a bubbling pool of sap around the knots. As they say, "light bulb moment". I used a heavy duty cancer-causing, climate-changing stripper which did a good job on the sap, then followed up with three scrubbings using clean white rags each time with denatured alcohol, xylene, and acetone, repeating the acetone scrub until no further stain showed on the rag.

At this point I decided to try a water-borne coating and had a gallon of Cabinet Coat tinted, and switched to B.I.N. for the primer. The B.I.N. is so thin and dries so fast it was hard to spray, but a light sanding with 220 took care of the less than perfect surface. The Cabinet Coat was very thick and I found no combination of air cap and pressure that didn't throw drops at the margins. No fine fog here! I tried various things and what worked best was a very heavy coat, "wet like a lake" as they say, that looked scary it had so much texture, but it ended up flowing out beautifully. I used a 1.8mm air cap. The thick coat takes a lot longer to harden up, but it looks great. And no fish-eyes staring back at me. I tried to attach two photos, hopefully you can see them. Knobs are still loose so the paint can harden.

As for the Fuji Q5, I can see a long and happy friendship ahead! It's great at what it's designed for, and I could not be happier with it. I have two large airless sprayers, and they are great at the larger jobs, but for small stuff too much overspray, and the cleanup is a PIA.

Sorry this is so long. I mainly wanted to say thank you, I could not have done this without all you all's information.

One other thing: anybody who lives in the South and uses shellac is crazy. I'm in North Florida, and the first thing I learned about shellac finish is when the humidity is higher than about 55%, two swipes with sandpaper and it's loaded up and ruined. It feels hard to the fingernail, but to sandpaper it's like sanding a block of beezwax. Anyway, thanks again, it's back to the woodwork for me...

Pan
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:19 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your process and experience. It looks great!
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:27 AM   #3
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Glad to have you join and share what you went through.
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