Spraying lacquer preheating work space

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by MICT posted 12-14-2017 03:36 PM 2414 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MICT's profile


4 posts in 940 days

12-14-2017 03:36 PM

I have read a lot of different opinions on spraying lacquer in the winter but have never seen this question asked, so here it goes. I build rustic furniture and sell to stores in the area. I sell all my stuff unfinished and the store owners finish the pieces. I want to start finishing my own stuff so I can get more money for the pieces and I will be able to sell the pieces to more locations. I have an insulated 12×15 storage building I would like to use for finishing. The only heat source I have is a 30,000 btu propane direct vent space heater. Obviously I can’t have the heater running when spraying but would it be okay to heat the building, turn the heater off, and then spray the finish? I would leave the heater off after spraying and open doors and windows after the finish is dry before starting the heater again. I’m just a hobbyist. Sell a few pieces a week. Building bars mainly right now. Not really looking to spend money on a spray room setup right now. Just want to use a building that is not in use.

7 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6158 posts in 3589 days

#1 posted 12-14-2017 04:01 PM

Heat, ventilate, spray. Yes the heater needs to be off when you spray. This is true for any volatile chemicals.

Once the dust settles you can run the heater again to help the finish cure out. A room held at 65-70 degrees is ideal for curing finishes.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4352 days

#2 posted 12-14-2017 04:02 PM

Welcome to ljs
When spraying there are a lot of things to consider like: having good ventilation, having good light, having a area free from contaminants such as dust.ether having a compressor that has enough volume to spray with or purchasing one of the newer electric sprayers, using a respirator, and maintaining heat long enough for the finish to dry. You may want to think about a water base finish instead of Lacquer so you can leave your heat on without risk of fire or explosion.


View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2440 posts in 938 days

#3 posted 12-17-2017 07:52 PM

petroleum based Lacquer and thinner, in itself, is very flammable.
once it is vaporized into the air – it becomes EXPLOSIVE !!
the smallest spark or static electricity could “potentially” set it off.
as said above and all over the net in painting forums – ventilation – ventilation – ventilation

a very good quality respirator is a good idea. (not a paper medical mask – RESPIRATOR).

try to imagine spraying gasoline into the air inside a closed building – - – what precautions would you take ???


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4639 posts in 3009 days

#4 posted 12-17-2017 11:42 PM

Good points are made above. I have an unheated shop in SE IL and spraying lacquer is my finish of choice. I use a slower drying lacquer branded Deft here and it is used extensively on gym floors.

I don’t care for flaming hot air heaters in a wood shop under any circumstances because they are a very high risk. Even the pilot light is a problem. Fine wood dust and finish vapors are as John said VERY explosive. The air passages in the heater capture the dust and vapor and will accumulate to the danger point surprisingly quickly. To mitigate that risk, I have invested in radiant “flash” heaters. These are tube style electric radiant heaters that resemble a fluorescent light. In fact, the auctioneer called them that, but I knew what they were and how they were used, so I got the two $2500 heaters for a grand total of $6. On the factory line they were butted end to end and the product passed under them where the radiant heat released the “flash”, the evaporating solvent that was pulled away quickly by huge fans. There was little enough danger that the insurance companies didn’t complain loudly.
So, with that background, I preheat the product under the radiant source, preheat the lacquer in the gun in a heated bathroom and then spray in a “wind tunnel” that carries the overspray outside very quickly. When all is sprayed, the product remains under the radiant heater until mostly dry, about 30 minutes or so. There are no other heaters in the shop, but I am still pretty cautious about vapor build up. Stepping outside for a few minutes and coming back in reveals quickly how strong the vapors are. They settle to the floor if the air is not moving, so check there too. My shop is a distant relative of the corn crib….air turnover is frequent.

The waterborn finishes are a good option and my testing on a rocking chair restore shows the water based polyurethane to be durable. I don’t use it because it is not a serviceable finish…very difficult to repair.
Good luck.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL All my life I've wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2440 posts in 938 days

#5 posted 12-17-2017 11:51 PM

I discovered DEFT brushing lacquer back in the early ‘80s for finishing military plaques and LOVE IT !!!
just know that it has ZERO UV inhibitors and blockers. strictly an interior product.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6245 posts in 3269 days

#6 posted 12-18-2017 12:02 PM

What you want to do will work, and lacquer can dry in very cool temps. I would be cautious of any electrical stuff in there that might spark while the lacquer fumes are in the air….true finishing booths have explosion-proof everything and you don’t know what “expensive electrical” is until you try to do that.

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

View OSU55's profile


2648 posts in 2765 days

#7 posted 12-18-2017 04:21 PM

Waterborne is an option. I use it because of situations like yours. Take a look at Target Coatings EM6000 lacquer – it burns in like solvent lacquer – very repairable. Look at their other finishes while there – not sure about any lacquer for a bartop

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