Need help with finishing Blanket chest

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Blog entry by shopmania posted 07-21-2010 11:08 PM 1578 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My brother and I have spent a good deal of time lately building a blanket chest our of quarter-sawn white oak. We have the inside lined with aromatic cedar (not fully installed yet, till after we put the finish on the rest of the project). I thought that I wanted to spray on the stain and the topcoat (was planning on polyurathane). I bought a turbine HVLP sprayer, the one from Rockler, which I wanted to get eventually anyway, b/c I keep reading/hearing that it puts a better finish on. I have a couple sets of shelves built with oak plywood and oak faceframes that I planned to cut my teeth on the sprayer with before I tackle the blanket chest(planning on poly only for the shelves). Was just looking for some tips online today, and can’t seem to find much. Was planning on building a 3 sided “spray booth” with some 4×8 sheets of rigid foam insulation with foil backing, and putting a 14” hole in the middle one with a fan behind it, and a filter in the hole, to direct the overspray OUTSIDE my garage. Also wondering if I should thin the stain or the poly with mineral spririts. It seems that I’m reading that thinning the poly will help it dry faster and make the overspray residue less sticky.

Just looking for a little guidance here. Does this sound like a good plan?

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

2 comments so far

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4399 days

#1 posted 07-22-2010 02:05 AM

Have sprayed poly before, thinned a little to help it level and not orange peel, don’t thin too much or it may run on the sides. Not sure about the overspray I always covered everything with old sheets then sprayed with a fan in the door. Bare wood soaks up allot on the first coat, that one I usually thin and wipe on to get a seal coat, last two or three I will spray, used to be thats all I used (because thats all Norm ever used), tried catalyzed lacquer last few projects and love it, dried fast and no residual oder, poly took awhile to get the smell out especially on insides of projects, but it’s hard to beat the durability of poly. When I did finish with poly I made sure I sealed off the room and not let anyone in for a day so not to stir up dust. Good luck!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4434 days

#2 posted 07-22-2010 04:23 AM

I have only sprayed shellac, but I did thin it just a bit. Also, I found that when I first started it worked best to adjust the spray to a “lighter” setting and make several passes to keep from getting runs. It takes a little longer that way, but sanding out runs is not very fun!

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

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