LumberJocks

All Replies on Is there a spray alternative to Arm R Seal for large projects?

  • Advertise with us
View Sabre's profile

Is there a spray alternative to Arm R Seal for large projects?

by Sabre
posted 08-23-2019 01:21 PM


22 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

1387 posts in 410 days


#1 posted 08-23-2019 03:04 PM

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1880 posts in 1999 days


#2 posted 08-23-2019 04:41 PM

Have sprayed Arm-R-Seal a couple of times.
With large enough tip on HVLP, can spray it straight from can. But it works better thinned by 10-20%. Use paint thinner in summer, and fast solvent like naptha in winter.
It is not made for spray application, and it is very easy to create runs on vertical surfaces.
There are better options for spray application. Lately most types can be found in both solvent system, or water based. Such as:
- Pre-cat lacquer
- Catalyzed Lacquer
- 2K Polyurethane
- Catalyzed Conversion Varnish

To be blunt, there are so many choices in spray coatings for wood, it will make your head spin. Everyone has a favorite, which is usually it’s the one with least number of bad habits, or least objectionable to use; the one they can get most easily/cheap when needed.

Suggest the best way to pick one is via working with a local industrial coatings supplier.
[Yes, skip big box stores, Woodcraft, and Rockler – go to an expert finish supplier to professionals]
Use google maps and look for a Sherwin Williams, Mohawk, Sikkens, PPG, Lor-Chem, M.L. Campbell or Chemcraft; wood finishing products distributor. Go talk to the folks at your local finishing store and they will help you pick a product that works for your capabilities and project needs.
If you are one of those buys only on internet; Target Coatings has a loyal following and many different WB spray products as well.

PS – for a table top, I like to use a KCMA rated table top finish. Getting best table top durability has always been a challenge for water based coatings. The best are generally catalyzed (2 part) solvent based polyurethane systems. In the last couple years, mfg have finally released some WB coatings that are almost as durable as solvent based system. These are nice as they reduce the burden for full body suit PPE when spraying nasty chemicals. If you are making tables for restaurant, probably still want solvent system; but for home table – water based chemistry will be lot less of hassle.

As always,
YMMV and
Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1457 posts in 3354 days


#3 posted 08-23-2019 05:58 PM

FWIW, I restored a table over 17 years ago for our kitchen. When it finally got inside the house it was/is still used daily, although it had several years of exponential abuse while three children grew into adults. Two of which are girls so there were nail polish and nail polish remover accidents. The table is a late 1800’s QSWO split pedestal table with 4 leaves that can seat 12. I finished it with WB poly from a blue can I bought at the HD, and applied it with a brush in several coats and lots of sanding. I’m sitting at the table now and while there are a few dents and dings from the last 17 years the finish is fine and does not have a “plastic-y” finish. Since then I’ve gone over to spraying with my HF HVLP guns and still have good success with the same poly out of the gun, without needing to thin. I suppose if I did go to some of the higher end products I might kick myself and call myself a fool but for all of these years I’ve gotten good results without any real PITA processes or expensive products.

just my $0.02, Nice shop space and a nice build, is that a PSA sign in the back with the crossed cannons?

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2089 posts in 1108 days


#4 posted 08-23-2019 06:07 PM

I have come to like the water based products for large pieces. If the project is level it seems to smooth itself out very nicely. WB Varathane is my favorite.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View PPK's profile

PPK

1521 posts in 1314 days


#5 posted 08-23-2019 06:48 PM

I’m kind of right there with ya. I’ve been tempted to spray Arm R Seal many times. But the cost is a little prohibitive. You end up using a lot more material when spraying. I’ve just ended up biting the bullet and wiping it on.

You know though, when I stop to think about it, if money isn’t the issue, you should try it out. One some test pieces (vertical) and see what you can do. Time is money, and spraying saves a LOT of time…

Really sharp looking table. My favorite wood is hickory. I’m in process of building a hickory dining table right now.

-- Pete

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

316 posts in 1035 days


#6 posted 08-23-2019 07:38 PM

Not quite the same as Arm R Seal, but I am using the High Performance waterborne from General for the first time and am quite impressed. Sprays easily out of my cheap HF gun from the can. Pre-finished all my plywood on this project with it before final cutting and assembly. I will see how it does on vertical surfaces when I do the final topcoats before delivery.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2200 posts in 3948 days


#7 posted 08-23-2019 08:15 PM

I have not used Arm R Seal but I have had good results from Varathane brand water bases poly. For table tops I like their floor grade finish for its durability. I apply it with a good quality brush however ambient temperature and humidity can be crucial to it’s drying to a smooth finish. Be aware unless it is labeled otherwise water based poly is crystal clear where as oil based is usually amber.

With water based poly I have found that a room temp of close to 70 degrees F is best. That temp allows the finish to flow out smooth before it starts to dry. High temps or Low humidity will cause it to dry faster and may not allow it to level out leaving brush mark ridges. You do have to watch for drips and runs but they are easily spotted because they are white in color. I have only sprayed it from a pressure rattle can so I don’t know how it would work in a HVLP setup but I would expect it to be fine, particularly if you were careful to use multiple light applications. The first coat will definitely need a light sanding. I usually apply 3 or 4 coats rubbing the last coat out after it has cured for several days with white 3M pad and paste wax.
Here is a web site describing how to use water based poly: https://www.familyhandyman.com/woodworking/staining-wood/water-based-finishing-tips/

-- Les B, Oregon

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#8 posted 08-23-2019 09:41 PM

Thank you all very much! I appreciate the options, links and guidance you’ve sent! I’m retired now so I have plenty of time (well, within my sweet hearts patience) to walk through each of your recommendations on some scraps and see which works best for me. Thank you also for the comments on the shop, I appreciate it.

ChefHADEN, your correct the cross cannons are a Springfield Armory sign I picked up at the Camp Perry Matches in Ohio last year (first time there, went to watch not shoot). My other hobby is target shooting and that’s where I ran into the issues with the Arm R Seal in past when applying it to a new benchrest stock I had purchased. I’ve attached a picture of the finished stock.
Again, thank you everyone for your advice and sharing your knowledge with me.

View joey502's profile

joey502

555 posts in 2023 days


#9 posted 08-24-2019 12:04 AM

I would recommend against anything oil on hickory. I do not care for the yellowing an oil finish leaves on light colored woods.

I do not think high performance is a good choice for this application either. HP is too pale and dead looking for my taste when applied to hickory. I know a lot of people bash minwax but i have had good experiences with polycrylic on light colored woods when the topcoat is the only finish used. It seems to add a little more depth to the wood. It also sprays very well and is readily available at home centers.

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#10 posted 08-24-2019 11:42 AM

Thanks joey502, I just finished re-reading everyone’s advice and the links they provided. I have minwax and Arm R Seal on hand, and I’ve ordered the HP and WB Varathane from amazon yesterday. I will cut out some test boards today and try spraying and hand wiping each on test boards.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3533 posts in 1985 days


#11 posted 08-24-2019 02:50 PM

Good choice on WB. I prefer water based top coats on large projects like this.

Too late but thought I’d mention the Target Coatings catalyzed product, specifically EM8000

Its really an excellent finish for a table top, sprays very nicely, and did I mention, water based? ;-)

You can add the crosslinker for even more durability.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#12 posted 08-26-2019 11:19 AM

Thanks Robert I will check it out now.

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#13 posted 08-26-2019 11:21 AM

RobHannon, can you tell me what size spray nozzle you are using? I have a devilbiss gravity feed with a 1.3 and 1.8 nozzle.

View hkmiller's profile

hkmiller

159 posts in 586 days


#14 posted 08-26-2019 12:51 PM

Go with 1.3 tip.

-- always something

View Rich's profile

Rich

4953 posts in 1094 days


#15 posted 08-26-2019 01:48 PM


Go with 1.3 tip.

- hkmiller

Why?

-- Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to sound smarter the faster they come at you.

View d38's profile

d38

134 posts in 767 days


#16 posted 08-26-2019 02:41 PM

Awesome looking table!
Lots of good spray choices as CaptainKlutz mentioned.
I’m using Target Coatings 9300 for interior window trim. Sprays great.
I’m sure with your sample boards and test products, you’ll find a good solution.

Nice Savage too. Looks like SSS bolt handle. He does great work.

View hkmiller's profile

hkmiller

159 posts in 586 days


#17 posted 08-26-2019 06:23 PM

Unless what you are spraying is thick, like latex, 1.3 will give you a better finish and finer atomization. I stay lacquer, sealer, conversion varnish with 1.3.

Use 22-29 psi at the gun.

Go with 1.3 tip.

- hkmiller

Why?

- Rich


-- always something

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#18 posted 08-27-2019 01:09 PM

hkmiller, thank you 1.3 it is. I will be spraying a test board this morning.

D38, question; Robert suggested the target em8000 and you mention 9300, reading the info on the Target Coatings site, and doing some YouTube and google searches, it seems these finishes require mixing of cross linking additives and possibly a retarder. I’m concerned that my skill level isn’t at a point to try these on a project of this size yet. Do you consider EM to be similar to General Finishes, Varathane and Minwax in the way it is sprayed? I would hate to run into issues on something as large as this table top.
Also, Good eye! it is a SSS action with a Shilen ratchet barrel. It has a SSS laminate stock as well with 4 layers of ARS that I could not get to lay down smoothly. I ended up knocking it down with 320 grit and applying 2 additional coats of minwax gloss poly and then hand rubbing with automotive micro polishes. The picture does not do the finish justice. Do you compete in benchrest?

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

316 posts in 1035 days


#19 posted 08-27-2019 01:37 PM



RobHannon, can you tell me what size spray nozzle you are using? I have a devilbiss gravity feed with a 1.3 and 1.8 nozzle.

- Sabre

Pretty sure the gun I use came with a 1.4. 1.8 I think will end up too giving you drips with. I would try the 1.3 and adjust until its pretty even.

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#20 posted 08-27-2019 02:04 PM

Sounds good, thanks.

View d38's profile

d38

134 posts in 767 days


#21 posted 08-27-2019 03:51 PM

Sabre,
I’ve only sprayed Target 9300, and GF 450, so don’t know about the others. But these 2 sprayed well. I’ve read on LJ that 9300 is harder to spray than his other finishes. The 9300 seems easy to me (Earlex 6003, 1.3 tip). Like most water based, it looks terrible as it cures, but levels out and dries just fine.
I’m using Target’s 9300 because it has UV inhibitors. I’m doing interior window jamb/trim, and a friend recommended using a UV inhibiting finish since the sun shines on the jambs.
The Target line does not require crosslinker – but using it creates a more durable finish. A commercial bar top would be better with crosslinker. Home tables most likely don’t need it. Jeff, the owner, responds fastest to Facebook Messenger if you want to ask him.
Here’s a blog page on Target’s web page: https://www.targetcoatings.com/2018/06/14/how-to-use-emtech-cl100-crosslinker-additive/
I think the blog’s video gives detailed info on how to stir it in. Read the comments—he says 8000 and 9300 are good for bar tops.
Target 8000 and 9300 are very durable. Other brands may have similar durable products, but I don’t have experience with them.

View Sabre's profile

Sabre

17 posts in 1143 days


#22 posted 08-27-2019 11:12 PM

Thank you.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com