Budget friendly water based poly suggestions

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Forum topic by SweetTea posted 08-29-2017 11:21 AM 1251 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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477 posts in 1432 days

08-29-2017 11:21 AM

So I have a large stained kitchen cabinet project coming up. 29 cabinets, 47 doors and 29 drawer fronts. I am looking for suggestions on a somewhat budget friendly water based poly clear coat. I will be spraying this clear coat with an airless spray rig, although I should note that when I get done and get paid I will be picking up an LVLP gun for future projects. Never really used lacquer. Not sure that I would feel as comfortable using it.

I get a 30% off discount at Sherwin Williams. So I am considering picking up several gallons of their satin water based poly. Are there any other recommendations for water based poly that won’t break the bank? I would love to use General Finishes water based poly but it just isn’t in the budget right now.

5 replies so far

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1364 days

#1 posted 08-29-2017 11:29 AM

The price of polyurethane even if that is GF is negligible compared to the usual price of such job and if I were your customer I would certainly have a second thought going with someone who saves on material.
Plus with your airless you will loose half of your polyurethane covering everything around that is not cabinets. Buy your HVLP upfront (you can ask the customer for the advance and explain them that they will get better job with a more appropriate tool) and save on material by ding less of it.

View OSU55's profile


2647 posts in 2762 days

#2 posted 08-29-2017 12:16 PM

If its a cheap wagner style airless, good luck. You better test with wb poly. I really doubt you can get enough atomization – it will probably be a bumby mess. If you have an air compressor large enough, a cheap HF gun will atomize solvent lacquer. SW has a good pre cat that will work for kitchen cabs.

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477 posts in 1432 days

#3 posted 08-29-2017 12:37 PM

My airless airless is a Graco that was over a grand new. I have used it before to spray water based poly with excellent results. Only thing that I don’t like about it is the amount of material that it waist. I doubt that a $60 HVLP gun from Harbor Freight would give a comparable or better finish. Correct me if I am wrong though.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6241 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 08-29-2017 02:35 PM

Actually a lot of guys report excellent results with the HF gun, not a $60 one though….the $16 one (this one, I think). But that doesn’t matter…if you get good results with what you have, I’d say use it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OSU55's profile


2647 posts in 2762 days

#5 posted 08-30-2017 05:50 PM

I didnt compare the HF gun to a $1k Graco but a cheap Wagner. How much is the sw wb poly? My preference is Target Coatings EM9000. Dont know that it meets your bgt requirements.

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