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Spray painting advice

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angelboy

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I'm getting very confused as to what I should do to paint a cabinet. The face-frames, rails & stiles are tulipwood whilst the door panel is standard MDF and the carcass MR MDF.

I have a 50ltr compressor and I've just ordered a 'cheap' gravity fed spray gun, 1.5mm nozzle and some 240,320,400 and 600 wet and dry.

What next and what else?

I've looked at old posts and see things about acid-cat 2 pack morells 90% lacquer waterbourne zinsser bin......what? I'm confused!

I don't want to spend £100 on top notch finishes I just want it to be passable as my first attempt. The cabinet is for an in-built WC cabinet so I'm happy if it's a bit ropey as I reckon it'll be a better job than hand painting anyway.

If there's a 'step-by-step' guide or book available that can help speed up the process a little or anyone can give me a 'step-by-step-not-a-million-quid' guide then I'd be grateful.
 

mailee

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Hi Angelboy. I spray paint most of my furniture and use the 2 pack lacquers. But before I started using 2 pack I used acrylic paint for spraying. As the cabinet is MRMDF you will need to seal it with something first. The Zinnser bin is ideal but not cheap. an alternative is sanding sealer which is cheaper. I used to use cellulose sanding sealer for this but you can as easily use shellac sanding sealer but it does take longer to dry. When this is dry give it a good sand with around a 120 grit. Then you can apply your primer. I have used a water based emulsion for this in the past with good results although it does take a long time to dry and will require two or three coats. When this is dry sand with 320/500 grit. For the top coats I have used Ronseal diamond hard acrylic white. this again is water based and will only need slight thinning to spray. The advantage with this paint is quick drying and a good finish due to the quick drying of the paint. Apply two coats of this and allow it to dry fully (usually next day) then wet sand with 600/800 grit and apply two final coats. A gravity fed gun is the best for applying the paint as long as it is not a HVLP gun as your compressor isn't big enough to handle one. One further thing I would suggest is to get some tack rags to clean the panel before spraying. This should be adequate for your cabinet and keep the costs down. HTH. Most of us use the 2 pack systems as it is much quicker to get the job done and gives a harder finish. also the pimers seal the MDF much faster which all helps when you are doing this for a living and time is money. Good luck with the spraying and don't forget to post up the finished photos. :wink:
 

angelboy

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Thanks Alan, I'll give it shot how you suggest and post some pics.

I have read your other posts on spraying and I was going by that but the prices of some of the materials were just too much for this first attempt.

I think when I get round to making a full kitchen then I'll invest in a proper HVLP system and pro paints.
 

thick_mike

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Just some random points(not in any order):
Keep the gun moving parallel to the piece.
Try to keep overlaps even.
Set your spray pattern by spraying with the gun static onto a piece of newspaper for half a second, you want an elongated ellipse. if it's not right you need to change the pressure/volume/thin the paint
Practise on pieces of cardboard before you spray in anger.
Dry your pieces horizontal to avoid sags.
Work out how you are going to paint the piece and then get the piece to your drying area before you start spraying.
 

EssexChris

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You can get surprisingly good results with emulsion sprayed on:-

Sand all parts down with 240grit and 320grit on all exposed MDF edges.
Prime with Acrylic primer (Macpherson trade works well, thin with water)
When dry sand 320grit then prime again.
Sand 320/400grit.

Top coat with Emulsion tinted to your colour (again Macpherson trade works well, thin with water)
You may get away with one nice good wet coat straight from the gun or when dry de nib with 320/400grit and apply a second coat.

Once dry apply a coat of polyurethane varnish, to give a hard wearing finish. Toolstation sell Flag paints varnish its low-cost and fine unless you want a brilliant white as it does yellow if you apply more than 1 coat. this should not need any thinning.

You might even have some paint you could use to practice spraying to try it out before you commit to your project.

The Zinnser bin is also an excellent primer especially for any troublesome MDF although it’s not cheap it does what it says on the tin.


One tip with the cheap gravity feed guns when you have finished cleaning the gun unscrew the cup and make sure no paint remains in the neck of the gun, some of the cheaper guns can have very rough internal finishes and very restricted ports.

Chris.
 
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