Spraying a finish- stain

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Blog entry by James Lango posted 12-01-2008 06:49 AM 2295 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Can anyone give me advice on spraying on stain.
Every project I ever built was always hand stained. Now i hear/read more and more about spaying stain on. It seems to have its advantages, even coat, and less time consuming. From what i read, I would spray a stain on then rub off the excess. Can someone share their ideas or tips with me? I have a small (1/2 quart) spray gun and compressor- used for auto paint. Can i use that? If so- is HIGH pressure OK to spray stain? OR do i have to go HVLP? Would appreciate your tips and ideas THANK YOU

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9 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5124 days

#1 posted 12-01-2008 07:06 AM

It is messy. Watch the over spray.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4685 days

#2 posted 12-01-2008 07:20 AM

Yep, fast but messy. Same idea as brushing, though: put it on, let it set, wipe off the excess.

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View gizmodyne's profile


1784 posts in 4900 days

#3 posted 12-01-2008 07:55 AM

I wouldn’t bother. It is too messy. And you have to wipe it off anyway. If you want to spray, spray dye.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View James Lango's profile

James Lango

186 posts in 4344 days

#4 posted 12-01-2008 08:02 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. I am going to try it just to see how it is to do. Can i spary at about 50-70lbs of pressure with my auto paint gun?

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View Steve2's profile


75 posts in 4381 days

#5 posted 12-01-2008 11:41 AM

Spray at 1/2 that or less – check the manuf data sheet. Go at 60 lbs and you will be doing the buildings a block down the street too. :)

-- Regards, Steve2

View Steve2's profile


75 posts in 4381 days

#6 posted 12-01-2008 05:28 PM

AMEN to Barry’s comment – I think, with all due respect, you underestimate what you are getting into. Again, carefully check the manuf. data sheet for all aspects. Do NOT spray miniwax if not experienced.

-- Regards, Steve2

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4578 days

#7 posted 12-02-2008 02:53 AM

if its oil i wouldn’t bother. oil has enough open time to be fine and is just a total mess when spraying. if it is water based though you will want to spray because the wb stains have much less open time so you need to get it on there fast.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4685 days

#8 posted 12-02-2008 04:20 AM

James, sounds like you’ve decided to try it. I’d start with the pressure and material turned way down and gradually increase. The thing I like about spraying is that you don’t have to work so hard to get into all the nooks and crannies. But has anyone mentioned how messy it is?

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View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)


6181 posts in 3623 days

#9 posted 11-21-2010 09:56 AM

When building a set of coffee tables recently, I decided to spray on stain. I was tired of the arduous process of wiping stain on spindles by hand. I had an old HVLP siphon gun that I dedicated to spraying stain. Wow was that quick! I didn’t find it made any more mess than wiping or brushing stain. I ran my gun at 40-50 psi with the fluid control knob cut back a bit. You could spray with 30 psi if you have a gravity feed HVLP gun. I reserve my Porter Cable gravity feed HVLP gun for spraying lacquer where the spray pattern is more important.
I wiped the stain off after spraying. The first table took 45 minutes to stain by hand. The next two tables took a total of 20 minutes to spray and wipe off. I can clean my gun in 5 minutes with a couple ounces of mineral spirts.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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