My name is Greg Saunders and I am the field Rep for Annex Paint and Lacquer in Reseda California.
The California Wood finisher is a unique and rare creature whose technology, materials and operating climate are changing on him all the time ( as if running a business isn’t hard enough) I have started this blog to log the various changes and developments in the wood finishing industry and to document all of the tips and tricks I have come to learn over the years. Your input is welcome, Ask a question and I will get you an answer. If I don’t know the answer I have the names and numbers of chemists, the AQMD reps and Manufactures in my phone book I’ll get the information and publish it for all to have.
Specifically I service the wood finishing industry, cabinet and furniture shops, large and small in the LA area from Long beach to Oxnard. We sell and deliver several different brands of Lacquer, Pre catalyzed lacquer, Conversion varnishes, polyurethanes, polyesters, and stains in both water base materials as well as nitrocellulose based materials. We carry Gemini, Simpson, Renner, Old masters stains and a host of others. If we don’t have a product you are looking for it we can often get it for you. We custom match and tint stains and Lacquers as well we provide Free delivery and on site assistance to our customers.
Wood working and finishing is a passion of mine and I enjoy what I do. for this reason I have gotten this blog going to share tips tricks and useful information to my customers and all those that are wood workers whether professional or Hobbyists.
Visit our new on line catalog, we are building it as we go you are welcome to place orders and leave comments : www.annexpaint.com
California is a unique region for the wood finisher, we have the strictest regulations in the union such that most of the major national manufactures don’t have much reality on how to apply their own Low VOC materials that are specifically manufactured for this region.
Going green is becoming a reality as the quality of water-based products comes around to the lacquer standards. While the various authorities a talking about tightening even further the regulations on the allowable standards for VOC compliance. Spraying Water based materials is a different kettle of fish requiring a certain amount of education and the proper equipment. I will be featuring information on how to use these new materials as well as what I am finding when these newer materials are applied in the fields
Add all of the above factors together with the current economy and we find our selves in challenging times. In future posts I’ll be discussing the various products I come across and how they perform. I welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.
Ok, that title might be a little sensationalized, there aren’t really any dangers to catalyzed conversion varnish> it does have its own properties that you do have to be aware of. And if there is any statement that is un-true its “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” There is probably no greater lie in this business or any other for that matter than that. Knowledge is everything in the business, the problem that we have in the finishing industry is that there is an amazing lack of complete documentation from manufactures’ on their products.
In this day and age of extreme litigation some companies feel the less you say the better. It was in fact from this viewpoint that I began the wood finisher’s blog; to help fill in some of the holes in the education of finishes on the every changing product.
And on that note; recently we had a customer whose finisher elected to be the chemist as well as the applicator that is probably one of the second biggest mistakes of finishers around the world and yes I have done it myself, and have gotten away with somethings, Getting lucky and having some alchemist experiment work early on in your career is a curse in disguise. Because you are mistakenly lead to believe that you know what you are doing with the chemistry of a product that you didn’t develop and sooner or later you end up doing something really stupid and the job goes to hell in a hand basket quickly.
Case in point where a finisher was behind in production of a high end polished out finish using a solvent based conversion varnish he decided to add a more than the correct amount of of the acid catalyst than was called for to get it to dry faster.
And what happened?? The job seemed to go well and went out the door on time then a month later the piano that was being refinished became stickie, it was still clear but the finish now had a tackiness where it had previously been smooth and lustrous. What happened?
No doubt the maid did something wrong and sprayed grape juice on the piano? No, it wasn’t the maids fault ( although I have had maids, tell me they only cleaned with warm water only to sneak up on them later and find them with a heavy degreaser commercial cleaner in one hand and a brillo pad in the other). Agnes was innocent this time.
No what happened was that there was too much acid in the coating. There is an exact number of acid molecules that have to match up with their counterpart in the coating for them to cross link and create the reaction of hardening and when the additional acid molecules had nothing to link up with the migrated to the surface of the coating and created the stickiness.
The good news is that you can simply wipe if off the surface and the coating is fine underneath. You might have to do that 4 or 5 times until all the UN-cross linked material eventually rises to the surface but that is far better than having to strip and re finish.
The Bad news is when you have gotten there you have just ruined your relationship with the customer and the only thing you can do is blame the manufacture for a bad product because you certainly don’t want to tell the customer your finisher is also and underpaid chemist and was the one that made the error– no wait did I just say that??
For note, most catalysts are made such that you have about 10% play in your mix so if you put in 10 ounces of catalyst in a gallon and you are only supposed to put in 9 you will probably not have a problem. But that being said, measure it out and be as exact as you can if you want to experiment call tech support of the company you are dealing with and get their input on how far you can go on something. All paint stores have tools to help you measure exactly, measuring cups etc.
You can see in the following picture a piece of a piano that was sprayed with an over catalyzed varnish and as you can see there is enough “stick” that it is being held up on the “gluie” aspect of the coating alone.
If you have questions about a coating you are always welcome to email me or post a reply to this message and we’ll get back with you on the matter
Adhesion promoters are a very useful tool to have in your belt as a finisher, as you will see in this very informative video by master finisher and good friend Thomas Craven, of Thomas Craven studios in Van Nuys California.
Back painting glass is what we are doing here, the other uses for this product are where you have to paint rubber or plastic, this product was originally designed for painting plastic bumpers and parts for the automotive industry ( Rubber bumpers on cars, 30 years ago that was a joke). Another use is painting over plastic laminates. I had a customer that bought some very expensive custom cabinet doors from Italy, they were a laminate that had a custom wave C-N-Ced in to the door, the customer made a mistake and got the wrong color, we used the adhesion promoter on these and fixed the color.
Tom is using the CIC mustang adhesion promoter to back paint glass that is going to be used as a black splash, this is a cool little technique and is very popular. It has high tech ultra modern look and is easy to do, getting the paint to stick to the Glass is the tricky part.
An adhesion promoter is in essence a spray on glue that bonds to the glass and then bonds to your paint and thereby promoting adhesion, Simple Right? yes and no.
There are a few key application points that Tom goes over in the video that are very Key, two light (underline) coats. this is not a coating in itself you just want enough to get so stick.
NEXT POINT, you apply your paint while the adhesion promoter is still tackie. don’t let it dry and then paint over it you have defeated the purpose.
The CIC mustang is a great product as it sprays out very light and doesn’t clump or clog, when looking at the glass you wouldn’t know that there was anything other than the color coat, and guess what you can get that product and other fine CIC products on my web site at http://www.annexpaint.com. if you have questions you are welcome to write to me at email@example.com.
and here’s the video:
Thomas Craven, has been a master at getting the high gloss full fill polyester finish and so I asked him to help me do a how to video on the subject. The video pretty much says it all. if you are interested in doing this your self you can contact me at http://www.annexpaint.com for help in getting the materials to do this with.
If you are interested in having a this finish done professionally contact Thomas Craven via his web site at http://www.tcwoodfinishers.com/ If you do contact Thomas let him know you saw the video.
Thomas Craven of Thomas Craven studios, ( http://www.tcwoodfinishers.com/index.html) has done a phenomenal short video series on refinishing a pair of Vandersteen speakers.
He has 6 short videos in all which are very concise and to the point, clearly covering the points of proper prep and application for doing a professional paint Job.
After proper preparation they applied 4 coats of pinnacle polyprimer from Ellis paint. applied in two applications, sanding in-between coats. This gave him and exceptionally hard finish that was very smooth,
Probably one of the most common mistakes of beginning finishers and professionals alike is applying too much paint too quickly, for the sake of speed they whammer on two heavy coats and walk away only to have it bubble or crack on them later. When the first coat doesn’t have a chance to dry properly and then is covered over by successive coats the later layers will dry quicker and harden, then when the earliest layer finally dries a week or two later it will shrink, the later coats already dry and unable to contract will be pulled together and will crack.
The best practice is sneak up on a high build by successive light to medium coats
The videos are all linked together, there are two introductory videos which go over the project and the prep following that you have two more short videos of the spray applications
After that they applied the polyprimer they applied a flat Clear Conversion Varnish. Conversion varnish is a catalyzed coating which is very hard and durable. CIC coatings is the brand of Conversion varnish being used, I’m very fond of this this particular product as it has been specially formulated to be applied right out of the can with out thinning or retarding, it lays out incredibly smooth and dries quickly.
These products can be obtained through my store Annex Paint in Reseda California If you have any questions about these products feel free to contact me.
Greg Saunders 818-439-9297
If you are interested in having a specialty coating on your furniture contact Thomas Craven at the above web site.
Graffiti has become a major scourge ruining art work and defacing property, to combat this, the field of anti-graffiti coatings has come into it’s own.
The best products I have found in this arena are the Monopole products, and the best of their line up is the Permashield Premium. Which is a product that I carry and support.
That being said, there is a special cleaner that is used with this product that will make the job of graffiti removal easy and simple. We have put together a short video of the steps to using the Citrus Clean Super #9800.
The video pretty much spells it all out, If you have questions on the product you are welcome to call me If you would like to order the product you can do so from my web site at http://www.annexpaint.com. IF you would like a copy of the technical data sheet you are welcome to email me and I’ll send you a copy.
Just when you think you know it all, you learn something new. Truthfully, once you get over the notion that you know it all the learning really begins.
Experience is a great thing and is something you gain after putting in your time, But true wisdom is always keeping and eye out for what more there is to know about something and how might things be done better. With that bit of wisdom I’ll tell you about having clean air in your wood finishing shop, something that I have recently gotten a greater appreciation of.
Clean Air does several things for your finishing, all of them good, dirty air is a combination of three things.
3. Water or moisture.
Oil can come from your compressor or from oils in the air the compressor suck in, Likewise, Dirt comes in to the compressor or can be from the compressor, little metal flake from the inside of the tank or little rubber from the hoses that need to be replaced. all of these things can land in your finish and screw it up making you have to wait for it to dry sand it down and then reshoot it. Added time and lost money. Lastly water and moisture, comes from the condensation of the air when it is compressed and
un-compressed and is something that you will always have a degree of, more in the colder humid months.
In the automotive industry and when spraying urethanes and high-end finishes this is vital as the tiniest amount of moisture will ruin a finish. In the wood finishing industry the importance of clean air is often not stressed enough. but that being said when you start getting over 15% humidity in your air you clear coats won’t dry as quickly and wont be as hard or as clear. If you look at a clear coat that is cloudy under a microscope you’ll thousands of tinny bubbles that are quite often water drops that were trapped inside the finish, With water based products you can get away with more humidity but despite that all of your coatings water base or otherwise will dry faster and harder when you have decreased the humidity below 15% for the high end automotives you want to be blow 5%
There is another benefit to having dry air and that is your air tools will last longer.
We installed the RTI PERF 50 system in Thomas Craven’s wood finishing studio and here is a video of him telling you what the system does and how much it has improved his finishing.
The Perf 50 system is great unit designed to handle the air flow of a two booth shop. there is a smaller unit for a single booth application and you can go with less expensive systems than these. minimally you want to have a three stage system that removes oil, water moisture and dirt. the oil and dirt filters are sometimes combined.
I ‘m now certified by RTI to do air quality testing and have the tools to come out to a shop and test the air to see how much moisture and dirt are coming out of your hoses.
If you have any questions about the matter please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment. In the coming months I start having RTI parts and equipment on the annexpaint.com web site for sale.
This is a video of the application of Permashield 2000 by Monopole Inc. IT is a fast dry polyuria clear coat. The video says most every thing to say, this is a phenomenally tough coating that can be applied and then walked on in a matter if hours. This product dries in about 10 to 15 minutes so you really have to move quickly. Best application is to have a few people, one mixing with one or two people applying the coating. This product had been used on baseball stadium concourses as well as on heliport decks, it is very tough.
The reason that I was using it was that it is also fairly thick and so coated over the flecks that I had broad cast into the previous coating. If I were to add another coat of the permashield 2000 we would have a very slick surface
Contact me you are interested in knowing more about this or other Monopole Products.Greg Saunders
While this is a wood finishing blog I recently had to do a remodeling job for a new office and had a concrete floor to cover and make look good. Having been a supplier for the monopole line of water based concrete coatings I decided to use my own products and make a training video out of the event.
The Product I’m using is a 2 component water based epoxy that will stick to anything and as well is inexpensive and USDA approved for food service areas. While I had shot blasted the floor to really clean it that was some what unnecessary with this product as it will adhere to any clean surface including porcelain tile. That is good, really good if you need to put a coating down on a floor that you can’t shot blast.
The down side to this product is that it has a 20-30 minute pot life, that means that you have that amount of time before it starts hardening up on you in the can, yup, that’s right 20-30 minutes. Mix this up and go to lunch and when you return you’ll have a door stop in your bucket. factually it won’t solidify that quickly but you will have wasted that material as it will be beyond use.
While the video, videography, production of this is about as good as terrible I’m posting it any way as there is a lot of instructional data that you should have if you are going to use this product. My goal being to give you and my customers a fighting chance at getting it right the first time.
So once again please excuse the videography there are spots where the camera person zoomed in and left it out of focus. If you can over look these things I hope that you find the posting useful.
Further note on this product: epoxies are great primers and are very hard and this one is one of the best, that being said, epoxies will “chalk” up in the sun light so you don’t what to have and epoxy in the direct Sun light, if you need to use and epoxy primer to get your top coat to stick then top coat the epoxy with another product, in the industry urethanes are generally used over the epoxies heavy equipment painting, tractors oil rigs, farm equipment and things of that nature are generally primed with and epoxy and then top coated with a polyurethane. the polyurethane is UV stable and will not fade in the sun light and the epoxy is the hard tough protective coating. The “Chalking” doesn’t effect the integrity of the coating just the look. So this application is in side a garage and will have little to no sunlight.
The real trick with this product is getting it mixed and applied quickly. For my application we also applied a color sprinkle to give the floor a little depth and quality. so for this we would coat a section of the floor and then sprinkle in the colored flakes and then move on to do another section.
In the next video we applied the top coat of permashield 2000 and that is another fast dry product that cures very fast.
You are welcome to contact me with questions on this product and others.
In the next video we’ll do the top coat.
Lately in the los Angeles area there have been a number of new lacquer and pre-catalyzed lacquers hitting the market, some good some not so good, some inexpensive and others not. Being the “Prove-it-to-me” kinda guy that I am, We decided to test them all out and see how they stood up to a few the industry standard tests.
The first thing we did was a spray out of 5 different Pre-Catalyzed lacquers over both a stain and raw wood. How well did they go on? how fast did they dry? How good do they look in the end and most importantly how tough are they,were the questions we wanted to know the answers to.
Inexpensive is good but if the customer calls you in 6 months and you have to go re do the work saving 5 dollars a gallon just cost you two hundred in time and labor not to mention damaged reputation. The place to save it is not on the coating.
Pre-catalyzed lacquers were designed to hold up better in water and wet areas like the kitchen and bathroom. PRe-Catalyzed lacquers are self sealing, but work best with a vinyl sealer. For out little test we didn’t use a sealer, but for a kitchen or bathroom I wouldn’t skimp on that.
We took four other brands and our own brand and tested them all. We videoed the test so that you can see what we did. The CIC Pre-Cat Lacquer turned out to be the best, it isn’t the cheapest but it looked the best and was the toughest, this is the product I sell ( surprise, surprise :) ) . that being said. two of our competitors turned out more favorably than I expected , the other two didn’t do well at all,
All of the panels were sprayed the same. there was no effort to throw the results one way or the other.
It is my effort and propose of the this blog to properly and accurately educate finishers on the subject of finishing.
My self and my fellow sales associate, Martin Gonzales, are train finishers and are more they willing to come out to your shop to demonstrate our products and train your staff on proper techniques for getting the products efficiently and effectively for your customers. feel free to call the store and ask for a demonstration.
Here is our test capture forever on digital video:
The subject of how to get that full grain filled high gloss / high polished look without over building a lacquer to the point that it cracks has come up from time to time. I recently had a customer who builds and finishes custom walnut tables to a mirror finish that are gorgeous beyond belief have a serious fracturing issue. He had been building up pre-catalyzed lacquer beyond what the manufacture recommended. While this had worked well in the short term, cracks and fracturing of the finish began showing up after a few months.
The best solution I have found for this problem is the use of polyester sanding sealer. This is a great system however it is not something that should be attempted by someone new to the business of furniture finishing as there are three components to mix and if not done right will never dry. Eight to twelve mils of this material may be applied in one application to fill wood grain and or pores and it won’t crack and fracture like lacquers and conversion varnishes do. This is the finish used on pianos. Once you have applied enough polyester sanding sealer to fill the wood grain and pores you can then block sand it smooth and flat. You can then go straight to final sanding and polish if you wish. This would provide the hardest most durable finish. However, polyester does turn yellow over time. An alternative is to top coat the polyester with non yellowing lacquer or high grade two part polyurethane like the Pinnacle brand we have sold for years now. This polyurethane has UV inhibitors added to it to slow the effects of yellowing that are typical of polyurethanes.
Thomas Craven has been a finisher in the valley for many years and has consistently produced excellent products. He and his team have mastered the Polyester/ Polyurethane finish as you can see in this video. You can reach Thomas Craven through his web site at: http://www.TCWoodFinishers.com
If you are interested in purchasing these products you can contact me through the Annex Paint Store web site at: http://www.annexpaint.com
- Anti Graffiti coatings
- AQMD rules
- CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish
- Conversion varnish
- Finishing failures and the fix
- From the Chemist
- Funiture stripping
- Gemini coatings
- Pre-Catalyzed lacquer
- speciality finishes
- Spray techniques
- Stains and glazes
- Tips and Tricks
- Ultra Wood Coatings
- Wood finishing