Reply by OSU55

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Posted on Finishing Birch cabinets and workbenchs

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2385 posts in 2468 days

#1 posted 03-21-2016 11:46 AM

Investigate Transtint dyes. They sound expensive ($17 for 2 oz bottle) but are highly concentrated and go a long way. I prefer Transtint already dissolved to Transfast or other powders, but it’s the user’s choice. TT can be added to both shellac and WB finishes to add color.

Yes, both shellac and WB poly can be sprayed. Any spray gun will spit them out, but not necessarily provide even a decent finish. Shellac is fairly easy. Cut it to 1 to 1-1/2 lb cut and about any sprayer will work. Waterbornes are another story. Unlike solvent finishes they can’t be thinned and thinned until they work. They need a gun that atomizes well, and I never had much luck with cheap guns (I use a CA Technologies HVLP CPR-G) , but others may have recommendations for <$100 guns that work well with them. Remember, people have different expectations – what one calls good another may think is bad and vice versa. Shellac and WB poly need different tips and needles due to the different viscosities.

This and this might help some as a start with learning about guns and spraying. It’s a new set of knowledge and skills to acquire. It’s not that it is hard to do, but can seem little complicated at first.

I can’t emphasize enough – test, test, test. I create panels of the wood I’m going to finish, and then go through the entire finish schedule (a list of all steps and any blending of materials), from sanding through to the final finish, and keep notes. The notes are then put in a journal for future reference. I scrape of all finish and coloring and reuse the panels (handplanes and Stanley #80).

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