I don’t spray finishes enough to feel confident doing it – that is especially true for “complicated” work such as stick chairs (not so complicated to make, but sort of complicated to paint, because there are many surfaces to be coated). I’ll bet I’m not the only one. So, I grabbed my camera as Christopher Schwarz got ready to spray the final coat on his most recent chair and shot the video below. It’s a bit of a dance, moving fluidly around the project… so apologies for the brief moments of Chris’ backside blocking the view.
The legs got good coverage on the first two coats (one coat with the chair flipped upside down, the next with it right-side up), which is why they’re skipped on this go-round. But the general order of operations is to spray all vertical surfaces (legs and sticks) with the fan pattern horizontal, then the horizontal surfaces with the spray pattern vertical.
A few additional notes:
• The paint is Tuscan Red General Finishes Milk Paint (which is actually an acrylic), thinned about 10 percent with water.
• The spray setup is the Apollo Sprayers HVLP ECO-5 5-Stage Turbine system.
• The picture above is the chair shown in the video, but with the addition of a coat of buffed Liberon Black Bison Wax in the color Dark Oak.
• Our spray booth is also the back patio/bier garden/barbecue area/catio. So, we don’t spray when it’s really humid, too hot, too cold, or raining/snowing. And we almost always bring the work inside immediately after spraying, so that it can dry in a controlled environment.
p.s. The chair shown is a variation on the chair in volume 1 of The Stick Chair Journal.
25 thoughts on “Doin’ the HVLP Dance”
Quite a contrast with belligerent finishing 😄
John Porritt sprays as well – it just happens to be liquid propane that’s on fire…..
Did you guys sand in between coats? I think that will be the more painful part then the spraying.
Yes. I put down two coats. Then sanded with an extra-fine sanding sponge. Then the third coat.
Too the Lost Art Logo doesn’t last as long as the shirt, LOL.
I wish you had filmed cleaning the gun. That’s the part that intimidates me.
I’ll film that next time I clean it
Yes to this. I have a gun I’ve never used because I don’t want to ruin it by not cleaning it correctly.
This is really interesting, does it save time when you factor in the setup/cleanup? I found painting my chair exceedingly tedious so spraying is an intriguing option.
I don’t know if it saves time overall including cleanup– but probably at least a little. But it’s a different look for the finish – more even coverage and better lay-out, in my opinion. But for a more rustic/older look, I’d use a brush. (Chris may differ.)
Holy cow, yes spraying does save time. A ton of time. Brushing a chair is about six hours of active work, start to end. Spraying is less than an hour of active work. I’ve timed it out many times.
I like using the HVLP, but IMO getting a 1 gallon pressure pot is where it really excels. No coating pot on the gun itself, and super easy to clean up then.
Thanks for showing this. I recently started using my HVLP and it’s a game changer. I was intimidated by it at first, but like anything practice makes better.
It looks like you put the chair on some 2×4’s that have a decent amount of red paint on them. Is there a reason why? They clearly are not doing the best job of protecting the sawhorses from overspray. 😄
Just to keep the chair’s feet from sticking to the sawhorses, which are covered in sticky gunk.
I noticed you were wearing a dust mask while spraying , instead of an organic vapor respirator.
Not Schwarz, but Fitz did note that he’s using milk paint (well, actually, a powdered acrylic mixed with water, but who’s keeping score). No vapors to be particularly concerned about, only particulates, and the dust mask should do a pretty adequate job of keeping those out.
If he was using conversion varnish or lacquer, then yes, a proper respirator would be called for. But milk paint is about one of the safest finishes out there.
It’s not a powdered acrylic; it comes in a can as a liquid. But still low VOC.
Chris’s backside didn’t bother me, but his socks did 😉
Chris, spraying chairs (and most anything else) will go much faster if you build a simple turntable. A couple of 36″ or 48″ square pieces of 3/4″ plywood with a HD turntable or lazy susan between them is all it takes. Then just spin the top sheet instead of dancing around the piece. Stand it up against the wall when you are not using it. It works very well.
Yeah, but then we’d have to store it for the 330 days we don’t need it.
Thank you. I have never witnessed someone painting a chair with a HBLP sprayer, however, it is most likely that I will have to wait until my next life to invest in one. Back to the brush and drips.
I just re-read/watched this entry while considering an HVLP setup and noticed you buffed the paint out with a wax. Is that a standard practice for you when using general finishes milk paint? I have been buffing my milk painted projects to make them feel…. warmer (?) to the touch, but I began feeling like it was unnecessary.
In an older post you were using an Earlex 5500 for spraying shellac. Have you ever used that system for the GF milk paint. If so did it do a good job and would you recommend it?
Yup. You have to add a little water to thin the paint (less that 10 percent of what is in the cup). And you need the right needle for paint. But the system had no problem atomizing the GF acrylic.
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