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Edge Treatment & Finishing Help - Frame & Panel Headboard

6301 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  a1Jim
Howdy lumberjockers! I'm building a frame & panel headboard for our queen bed. Here's the sketchup model I made to get the wife's approval:

I posted the sketchup model here in case its helpful for someone else. I have all of the components done and the joinery completed. I've never used 'real' woodworking joinery before, so I'm pretty excited about it….mortise & tenons for the rail / post connection, and stub tenons & grooves for the panels & stile / rail connection. Here's what I have so far:

There's also a top piece that you can see in the sketchup image. My wife wants the whole thing painted satin black, so I just used poplar and baltic birch ply for the panels. Ok, so here are my questions:

1. Any ideas on what type of edge treatment and / or molding might look good?

Its' a pretty simple design, and I don't want to go overboard, but I was thinking maybe a little corner-bead applied molding on the inside of the panels might look nice. I'm at least going to break all the edges a little either with the router or by hand sanding, any thoughts on radius for this type of piece?

2. Any suggestions on the finishing process, particularly any recommendations on sealer / primer / paint?

I have a brand new Earlex 5000 HVLP sprayer that I got on sale from Highland Woodworking. I haven't used it yet, so I'd love to give it a shot on this project, though I know its probably not optimized for paint. I'll be spraying either in my garage or outside, and I'm thinking of building a little knock-down booth from PVC & plastic sheeting. Either way, I'll have my Tyvek® suit and 3M organic respirator on.

I'm wondering if I should go with a black lacquer vs. latex or oil paint. What type of sealer or primer should I use? Can I / Should I top-coat with something clear for a little more protection? Also, I was going to sand through about 320 or so, does that seem reasonable ? Any other tips on getting a nice smooth black satin finish?

I'm planning a trip to the local Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore stores, but was wondering what advice the LJ experts might have!

Thanks in advance! I love this community!
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I vote for a simple small lambs tounge stopping about an inch or so from the corners. The trick of course is finding a router bit with bottom bearing that will fit in the space you have.

Matte black lacquer would be a good finish choice because of its quick drying if you have any experience spraying lacquer.
Thanks Miles. The good thing is that I only have it dry-fit together, so I can disassemble to route. Would you do the lambs tongue chamfer only on the 2 center stiles, or on the rails and/or posts too?

I've sprayed solvent-bourne and water-bourne automotive finishes back in the day, but that was always in a downdraft spraybooth with pro equipment. I haven't sprayed lacquer before, but the quick flash time sounds good for my dirty shop. Any tips or tricks?
Hi David;

Nice work on both the sketch up drawing, and the headboard.

I would use a lacquer also.

Someone's wife is going to be pleased. Someone might get more tools. :)
Hi David,

The HV5000 will easily spray latex paint using the 2mm needle that came with the kit. I, however, do not recommend latex as a furniture finish, ever. In this case lacquer would be my choice. I've been using water-base for about 20 years. Get used to it now. I would spray a gloss then rub it out to the sheen I want. Utilizing the 1.5mm needle with the lacquer will produce beautiful results. As far a sealer, my preference is shellac. It's spray-able and compatible with everything. If you have any questions about the sprayer itself feel free to contact me at 704-812-4364.
Thanks for all the great ideas. I think I going to try SW's KEM aqua primer surfacer and water-based lacquer. I'm probably going to need to spray in my garage if I want to get it done any time soon (due to the weather), and I have a gas furnace and hot-water heater there unfortunately. I'd prefer to use solvent-based finishes, as I expect they will lay down somewhat similarly to the auto finishes I've sprayed in the past, but I'd prefer not to incinerate my home. Sam, am I OK to spray this water-based stuff with the factory 2mm tip or is the 1.5 needle set a necessity? I'm sure shellac would be a great sealer, but after spending a few year selling auto finishes I think Im' a brainwashed 'system' guy, so at least for this first go around I'm going to stick with a matched undercoat & basecoat.
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I would recommend the 1.5 because the finer atomization gives a better finish overall, however if the water-based stuff is fairly thick it may spray just fine, without thinning, using the 2.0. Test on a scrap first.
Hi David, Love the layout. was browsing LJ for some design ideas for my Arts and Crafts Panel Bed and came across yours. I looked at the Sketchup model for your headboard but still couldn't determine one thing: what thickness panels did you use (plywood, I think) between the stiles/rails? My design is very similar to yours and I'm considering using 1/4" (I'm making mine out of Cherry) but wondering if ply that thin might not give the whole unit enough strength? On the other hand, I think the foot and headboard likely get most of their strength and rigidity not from the panels but by the size/thickness and joinery of stiles and rails. Any thoughts from you or others? Thanks for sharing a great project!
I don't think you need any detail on the top rail the square edge goes with the design you have now. Along with the other finishing suggestions you might consider a dye/stain General finishes makes a good one. The advantages of a dye/stain you can see grain through it and you can control the color by adding additional coats,the more you coats the darker it gets. Your Earlex will easily spray the Waterborne dye stain on and all you do is wipe off the excess for a good even coat.
You've done a great job on the head board.
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