Woodfinishers Weblog

Wood finishing forum for professional finishers

Full Grain Fill Finish produced with Pinnacle Polyester and Pinnacle Polyurethane

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

Greg Saunders
Annex Paint
greg@annexpaint.com

December 7, 2012 Posted by | polyurethane, speciality finishes, Tips and Tricks, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Spraying out the CIC Centurion Conversion Varnish

I have been using the CIC conversion varnish now for over a year and have been very impressed with both the product and the manufacture. There are a few things to know about this product that I have come to learn over the course of the last year of handling the material that I wanted to pass along. One of the values of this Blog is that I can document the things I have to tell people over and over, I’m sure that I’ll continue to go into shops and explain the same thing to people but it helps that I can refer people to an article on the matter.

 The Centurion Water based conversion varnish is a water based product that can be thinned with water (imagine that!). As with any coating product you can over thin the material. There are essentially 4 things in a coating: resins, binders, solvents, and pigment (color). The resin is the paint itself; the binders are the chemicals that hold all the various parts together, the glue if you will. The solvents are the chemicals that keep the paint liquid until you apply it. Once you have applied the paint, the solvents evaporate leaving a hard coat of paint. Colorants do just that add the color, different paints require different colorants or pigments,

 So now, all these things work together, the various components of a coating have different chemical properties and different tolerances. You can only put so much pigment in a clear lacquer before you have gone too far and your final product will be chalky and flat or might not stick because there is too much of the dye powder and not enough of the binder to hold it all together. The same goes with solvents you can thin down a lacquer with lacquer thinner to a point where there is not enough binder and the chemicals no longer work together. Think of a bag of concrete add a little water and you have a drive way, too much water and you have a mud pit.

 Ok the basic theory now being covered, you thin the CIC Centurion water based conversion coating with water, no more than 20 % and that is pushing the limits. Generally you thin a coating so that it will spray or roll out well if you have to thin it further than that you are using the wrong equipment and most likely need to get a larger tip size for you spay gun. (see the article form Thomas Craven on spray techniques elsewhere in this Blog)

 Here is a picture of what can occur when you over thin the water based Conversion varnish (or any water based product for that matter)

An orange peel so bad you don’t know what you are looking at. What has happened here is that there is too much water and so the binders can hold it all together. This project had to be stripped down and re-done.

FYI, sometimes the material comes to you in the can and it is very thick and has to be thinned down.  Ok that’s is something that you would expect to have to do and here is how you do it:

1.   The first thing you have to do is have the right equipment, if you are trying to spray a water based product with a small tip size then you will be forced to over thin the material to get it out of the gun. Your regular lacquer and automotive gun is usually a 1.4mm which is too small.  I have use a 1.7 mm tip in an HVLP cup gun with success but prefer to use a 2.0 mm. The Centurion works great out of an airless or better yet the air assisted airless, don’t use the extra fine tip as you might “Sheer” the material (a term use to describe what happens when the material is subjected to too much pressure) your finish will come out grainy as if you had fine sand al through your material. 

 2. The next thing to do is make sure that you material is not cold, the warmer the material is the more fluid or less viscous it will be factually for every 10 degrees warmer your lacquer (water based or solvent ) will be 10% thinner.

That mean that if you leave a bucket on the concrete floor of your shop and overnight it cools the material down to 50 degrees, you can make it 20% thinner by warming it up to 70 degrees.  Now you can reduce your labor by warming your materials as you won’t over thin the stuff and have to put on more coats to make up for all the thinner that is going to evaporate on you. you would also be saving money on thinners as well. if you are using water based materials, water is cheap Labor however is not.  

With water based materials you can actually put them in the micro wave and warm them up this is not a practical thing. Keeping the buckets off the concrete is one step. Pulling your cans in to the office overnight is another, generally the office is climate controlled. Grainger’s sells bucket heaters that belt around a 5 gallon pail, others have wrapped a heating blanket around a pail. Warm it up, no hotter than about 90 degrees. ( if you have decided to apply this principle to a solvent base material don’t blow yourself up with a jury rigged heater)

3. Sill a little lumpy with your gun spitting material instead of laying on and even coating… thin it another 5%.

4. If it  is still lumpy and or not flowing out at this point it to add a small amount of retarder. Here is an example of that scenario this is a Centurion Conversion varnish that has been tinted Brown, with the all the Pigment the materials are not flowing out.

 

Looks pretty crappy: what solved this was adding lacquer retarder. A mixture of 50/50 water and glycol either EB: Lacquer retarder.

I use to say that you could use any ol’ lacquer retarder, that however is not the case. Lacquer retarders like Margaritas are not all made the same. The Valspar Lacquer retarder when mixed with water foams up and turn into a clear solution, there are chemicals possibly acetone in there mix that do not mix well with water, that’s not to say that it is a poor retarder for lacquer.  Some companies make water based lacquer retarders

If you get the MSDS and it say the primary ingredient is glycol either EB then you are set. A.G. Layne, Sunny side, CIC and other manufactures have retarders that are primarily Glycol EB, Any retarder when mixed 50/50 with water and goes into solution will work.  

5. You mix the lacquer retarder 50/50 with water and then add no more than 5% of that to your centurion conversion varnish. The more you add the longer its is going to take to dry. When you mix this up make sure that it has gone into solution before you add it to your material, and when you do add it stir the conversion varnish while adding it slowly. Dump it in too quickly and you can “Shock” the material. Meaning that the two materials will react against each other and separate  

 In the first picture above, the walnut the job. The containers of conversion varnish that has been over thinned were allowed to thicken up by letting some of the excess water evaporate off and then they were retarded with the above mentioned 50/50 mix of water and retarder and the job came out fine.  

If done correctly you’ll have a rock hard finish that is as smooth as a good nitrocellulose lacquer finish.     

Ok, That’s my story and I’m sticking to it of you have questions feel free to send me a line.

Greg Saunders

Annex Paint

http://www.annexpaint.com

December 23, 2010 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sucess story using the Rexcell water based conversion varnish

Walnut Kitchen Island finished with W/B Conversion Varnish

 This is a story from  a gentleman who is a retired air force officer whose hobby is cabinet and furniture building, As you’ll see he is an incredible cabinet builder.

 As his shop is in his garage with limmetted space and no spray booth Dennis was interested in water born products but needed something that was super tough. I suggested the Rexcell  Water based Conversion varnish. As you will see it turn out stunningly beautiful.

Fore note: this product is no longer manufactured by Rexcell but is now being manufactured to spec by another American manufacturing company, the product is as good or better than before, It has been referred to as three different manufactures Renner, Rexcell and now CIC. It is all the same product, a water born Conversion Varnish.

Here’s is the Story Dirrect from Dennis : 

FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH WATER BASED FINISH

 I have been building wooden furniture and cabinets as a hobbyist for over forty years. Over this period I have sprayed, brushed and wiped on all the standard finishes that hobbyist woodworkers usually use. Because I’m in my upper sixties in age, I have looked upon the new water based finishes for wood with skepticism. I recently finished a kitchen island for my daughter’s new kitchen. It’s a walnut cabinet with a maple butcher block top. It measures 50 inches long by 30 inches wide by 36 inches high. And, I sprayed a water based conversion coating (called water based lacquer) for the protective finish. This was my first experience with a water based coating and I’m extremely pleased with the way it turned out. I chose it for it’s touted durability which was demonstrated to me by Greg Saunders, a sales representative for the Annex Company of Reseda, California. Greg showed me samples, coated with the product I used, that he placed in his home shower for approximately two months and the durability was impressive. ( You can see this test in another post on the Blog)

 The material I used is made by the Rexcel Company, and is a water based conversion varnish, meaning that it is tough enough for counter tops and moisture resistant for high moisture areas)

I used a Goldenstar HVLP air spray gun (Advertised as being especially for water based finishes)

( This is an inexpensive but quality spray gun that Annex paint sells)

Fluid orifice: 1.7mm (this size is recommended for this water based product)

Pressure required: 15-50 psi (I used 30 psi)

 I was spraying in 90 degree summer weather and therefore added 3 percent of regular lacquer retarder. Greg, the sales rep, said I could thin the product with water by about 10 percent but I used it full strength and it seemed to spray very well. I am used to spraying regular nitro cellulose lacquer and I used the very same technique with this water based lacquer. It appears milky in color when it first goes on but otherwise it sprays on like regular lacquer. You have to use the same caution on vertical surfaces as with regular lacquer. A good technique is to use a big piece of brown cardboard to adjust your spray volume and pattern before tackling your project.

 I sprayed three coats and sanded lightly between coats. I probably could have gotten by with only two coats. Remember, each coat of this water based finish lies on top of the previous coat. It doesn’t melt into the previous coat as with regular lacquer. As with regular lacquer, this product dries quickly and can be sanded within 20 minutes and recoated. It was hot and dry when I sprayed so weather conditions might alter the drying times. After the third coat, it was a bit too glossy for my preference so I waxed with a steel wool pad which resulted in a soft sheen that I was looking for. I’m totally happy with the way it turned out.

 I kept a bucket of water and a rag nearby while I was spraying. A couple of times when I got runs, I immediately wiped it off, let it dry, sanded lightly, and recoated. I really enjoyed the water clean up – of the runs and the clean-up of the spray equipment. A word here about clean-up – and this attests to the durability — if you wait until this finish dries, you can’t clean up with water – it takes acetone. I sprayed the first coat with my regular glasses on (plastic lenses). I got overspray on my glasses and I still haven’t gotten it off. However, acetone on my plastic lenses would probably not be smart.

 I made a silverware tray at the last-minute for one of the cabinet drawers and I brushed on two coats of finish with a foam brush. That went on very nicely too. Will I continue to use water based finishes? — definitely yes, especially for kitchen and bathroom furniture. Will I use it for living room furniture? – the jury is out, but I’m hoping to.   

Here is another picture of Dennis’ work. For note this stunningly beautiful Kitchen Island was built by Dennis for his daughter who recently returned from active service in the Military in Iraq.

Walnut cabinet finished with Rexcell water based conversion Varnish

 For his privacy, I have left out Dennis’s contact informations, However, you are welcome to comment on his work and ask any questions on this blog. If you are intersted in contacting Denis for custom work please send me an e-mail and I’ll foreward it on to him.

 As always if you have finnishing qustions you can leave me a comment here on the Blog or write to me dirrectly at : greg@annexpaint.com

February 12, 2010 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish, Tips and Tricks, Water based Lacquers | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What is the best finish for my Kitchen?

Since I have had this blog up I have had numerous calls and emails from homeowners and professionals alike asking what is the best finish for my kitchen?  Some go on to say things like my contractor wants to put Valspar luster lac on but my architect tells me that we should use polyurethane and my neighbor say use water base. What do I do?

 The simple answer is have all these people give you samples of the finish not only should you ask for a sample but have them do a sample on the same wood and materials that  you are going to have in your kitchen: alder, cherry, maple or what ever. Then have them use a door or a cabinet from your kitchen. If you have to pay a little for it you should.  A real good finishing job is expensive and worth it using multiple steps in the finishing process you can gain a depth and clarity that you don’t with the lower quality finishing.

By survey, a well painted room or a high quality cabinet finishing job will make a room “feel different” the untrained person coming into the room will feel more comfortable and will prefer the room with the higher quality finish to the room with the lesser quality finish. The technology behind this is the fact that consciously or not a person does perceive imperfections and they will make you feel to one degree or another uncomfortable. The same thing is true when you go into a room that is off square and a room that is perfectly square even when the rooms are identical in every other aspect by test, most people will “like” the square room better. Not all things are square, nor do you always want square. The point being that people can perceive the difference in quality and workmanship, when the difference is not as obvious. Ever notice the phenomena of seeing two similar looking products you pick up the more expensive one? 

 I’ve digressed; a good finish is worth the extra cost. That being said, what are the differences and the pros and cons of each.

 Nitro-cellulous lacquer– The easiest to apply; it gives a great look and feel. All regular lacquers will yellow over time, some faster than others. Valspar has been notorious for that. Regular lacquer is relatively soft and will not hold up to moisture. But feel great and therefor it is not good for kitchens and bathrooms. Lacquer finishes are easy to repair as each successive coat of lacquer melts into itself.

 Pre-Catalyzed lacqueror Pre-Cat lacquer, designed about 50 years ago as a material that would hold up to moisture environments better, the kitchen and bath rooms. Pre-cats   have an acid catalyst in the mix that makes it a lot harder and yet it is still relatively easy to work with.  Pre-Cats are what you should have in your kitchen but they have a tendency to crack if applied too heavily and they are not impervious to moisture. You have to wipe up spills and not let the dish water sit in the crevices and cracks of a cabinet door.  Give that door a year with a daily dose of water sitting on it not cleaned up and the coating is going to fail.  You do have to clean up after your spills. If you don’t like that Idea, hire a maid or go with stainless steel. The Pre-Cat lacquer brand I like the best is Gemini. It is thick and yet can be sprayed directly out of the can dries quickly and looks great. 

 Water based lacquers– they have come a long way. They have had a tendency to have a “plasticie” look as the materials lay on top of the wood rather than soaking in to the wood as a lacquer does. One person I know refers to water base materials as nothing but watered down Elmer’s glue. 20 yeas ago that was about what a water based finish looked like.

 Times have changed and the water bases of today are far superior to what they were. Old time finishers who haven’t taken the time to train themselves on how to properly apply the materials still cling to their earlier fixed Ideas on the matter. The truth is that properly applied a water based finish can look just as good as a lacquer finish and is twice as durable as lacquer when it comes to moisture. The trick is in knowing how to apply it and letting the water based materials fully cure. Cure is different than dry. The materials will dry in a few minutes and then take a week or two to fully cure. The other up-side to water based materials are that you are releasing toxins in to the atmosphere don’t however think that water based materials are with out carcinogens. There are lots of nasty chemicals in water based paints they are just not being released into the atmosphere as are the lacquer products. Personally I have a few water based materials that have proven them selves; the Gemini brand “Titanium” and more recently the Italian brand Renner. The Renner is hands down the best water based material I have found to date.  Like a Lamborghini however, it’s pricy at $210 for five gallons as apposed to the $170 a five for Gemini Water based lacquers.

 Conversion Varnish, this is tough stuff and is the product that I would recommend for table tops and high wear areas. It is tougher to work with and is rougher on both the personnel spraying it and the equipment it requires a higher skill set to use and it more difficult to repair. There are high end finishers that do all there work in Conversion Varnish as they want the toughest finish they can provide. It does have great moisture resistant qualities however it is not designed for out side use. The brand I sell and have had good results with is again the Gemini brand. (I have had others  I  stocked and had troubles with. Suffice to say I no longer carry those brands). The Conversion I sell is about $50 to $60 dollars a gallon. And comes with the catalyst you have to add

 Water based conversion coating; This is a new product to the market that I’m beginning to really like. It combines the best of both worlds.  There aren’t many companies that make it. Rexcel is the brand I have, American made and comparable to the solvent base stuff. You can see other articles in this Blog about it.  Very tough and moisture resistant (see the earlier article I wrote where I have pictures of the panels coated with the Rexcel in my shower stall getting the extreme moisture test. The panels have been in there for over two months with two or more showers happening a day and there is no signs of failure in the coating. This particular product needs no further catalysing which makes it very painter friendly.

 Polyurethanes, Water based and other wise, these are the toughest finish that you can get and the most expensive. One part polyurethanes or single stage that have not catalyst aren’t really worth the effort of buying. Most polyurethanes come with a catalyst you have to add before applying similar to epoxy glue, there is a part A and a part B. you have to get the ratios right or it either won’t dry or will dry and crack. They generally sit on top of the wood as a coating and so give it that plastic film look. It’s tough to glaze in-between coats and which is the technique that gives you that depth and quality. There are some really good finishers that can pull the off but normally for the expense that is not something you need for your house or kitchen. This is the product I recommend for commercial applications that is getting high wear and constant abuse. Additionally If you want shinny you can buff and polish polyurethane to a high gloss that is mirror smooth. 

 To give you an idea, polyurethanes are the coatings you put on your floor, that’s the toughness you get from a poly. If you want a high build thick film that you can see this would be the product to use as you can lay it on thick unlike Lacquers.  There are water based polys and solvents based, I carry both.  I wouldn’t recommend doing you kitchen cabinets in polyurethane, that being said I have some very high end finishers who have perfected the skill sets and can product incredible products with polyurethanes. These finishing procedures come with a cost. “Thomas Craven Finishing Company” are at the top of their league for high end work. 

 So what should you have your kitchen done with. Get the samples and look at them. see the look that you like and then decide what you are willing to pay for it. If you are a Hollywood celebrity, have lots of parties and don’t clean, go with the polyurethane. If you are a regular family and are looking to cover you new custom cabinets with something that will preserve them for a long time to come use a Pre Cat lacquer or the water based conversion coating or perhaps the conversion varnish depending on what looks the best for you.

 Either way get your finisher to provide you with samples so you can see the difference yourself. Finishers are usually creatures of habit and like to do what they have done and feel safe with. Often an old school finisher will tell you something is bad because he has no clue how to use it and doesn’t want to learn.

 I enjoy your comments suggestions and opinions.

 Greg Saunders

Annex Paint
greg@annexpaint.com

May 3, 2009 Posted by | polyurethane, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Rexcel Water based conversion coating

Well it’s been  now nearly two months since I have placed the panels coated with the water based conversion varnish in the shower and they are still looking great with no signs of coating degradation or lamination. I would say that is pretty conclusive as to there water shedding abilities.

I had a minor issue with the product doing a little fish eye when I sprayed it over  a wet stain that had not been allowed to dry long enough. That is hardly any surprise and expect to find some contamination from the two different chemicals. I would suggest you let stains and glazes dry fully befor coating over the top of them. I was in a hurry trying to pack all I could in on a demonstrations and the fish eye was the result. ( which was worse than if I had just come back the next day!)

Interestingly, I now have a commercial entertainment park using this material to coat over their walls to act as a clear coat that is more durable and washable than the paint.  I have confirmed with the chemist who designed the material that is can be used out side and will hold up to the elements. It does not howerver have UV blocking agents in it so while the coating won’t yellow the wood or stains under the coating if they are not light fast will fade or yellow over time.

Greg

April 10, 2009 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , | 2 Comments

Test Results for the Water based conversion varnish

In the earlier post I hadn’t really done much  with the water based conversion varnish now that a few months have passed I have some more results to post and some pictures.

I really like this stuff and have begun to sell it in quantities. First thing you should know is that it is now not Renner But Rexcel, has made it all along however we were buying it though Renner; In a mutual agreement with Renner USA we are now buying it direct from the factory which is right here in the USA, Texas as a matter of fact.

This is a single part material that you can catalyze for additional hardness, although I have found that it is not necessary, When you do add the hardener you are not giving it a pot life, normally when you have a product you have to add a catalyst to, you have only a certain amount of time to use the material before it becomes hard, with this you don’t have that problem.  Add the cross linker  ( that is what you call a catalyst for a water based product) today and if you don’t use all the materials today  it won’t go bad on you just add more cross linker tomorrow.

Ok, it goes on smooth, I had some trouble with orange peel but that sorted out easily with the proper application of water-based retarder and then it dries quickly. The day I sprayed  the panels you are about to see it was raining out side and I was spraying  under a canopy that was wide open on two sides. I wasn’t getting rained on but I wasn’t inside by any means.  I had no troubles with Blushing and it dried reasonably quickly which was surprising for a water based product on a cold and rainy day.

Several days later I demonstrated this material to a party rental place that normally uses solvent Conversion Varnish and it went on very smoothly with out retarder needed, The finish looked great and was very hard but the one issue I had was that the sheen died down after drying fully this was dark black mix on party chairs.

Ok I tell people about the materials that I recommend and why I recommend them I don’t say things about materials that have haven’t observed.  I have found  the hard way that it is a year or two down the line where you find out what holds up and what doesn’t.

So here is the test that I am conducting:

I have two  coats of the Rexcel conversion coating on three pieces  of crown molding. As you can see here.

rexol-coating-on-molding-feb19th1

They were sprayed out in January by myself. I have let them cure for a few weeks and now have placed them in my shower to accelerate the wet /dry cycle that cabinets go through.

 

Here is a close up of the back of one of the panels: as you can see this panel was given the two coats and no cross linker.

The Back of the Panel

The Back of the Panel

 Now, here is the test: in the next picture you will see these three panels in my shower, two of them are in the back of the shower and the third one is up in the front of the shower. The panels in the back are going to simulate the normal amount of water that  kitchen  cabinets get in front of the sink. A light mist of water twice a day that is not cleaned off.
The third panels is in the front of the shower and is going to get a hosing daily, twice daily. My wife and I use this shower daily.
Yup, this is my Shower

Yup, this is my Shower

Here is the final picture of the panel that is going to get a soaking daily, we’ll see how long it takes for these panels to show water damage.
panel in the front f the shower

panel in the front of the shower

So far after three days in the shower they are showing no signs of wear or water damage. if they did at this point  that would be extremely discouraging and I probably wouldn’t carry the product. 
Some one told me they did a similar test, but like the Kitchen Cabinet Manufactures Association, they smeared different household products on their panels and found that of all things, tooth paste took off the coating.  So at some later point we’ll try some tooth past and see what that does to our Rexcel coating.
If you have questions and or need help with a particular coating send me an e-mail and I’ll see what we can do to point you in the right direction. I would love to hear back from any of the readers.
until the next time,
Greg Saunders
Annex Paint

February 19, 2009 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish, Uncategorized, Water based Lacquers | , , , | Leave a comment

A do it yourselfer does well- here’s the story

Some months ago, Greg, a local homeowner, came in to the store looking to buy some lacquer to re-finish his kitchen, He was going to undertake this project as an anniversary present for his lovely wife.

Armed with very little knowledge and a lot of willingness he went forward with several gallons of Gemini’s water based titanium lacquer. Hector and I gave him several tips while he was at the store. As he was leaving I gave him my card and said call me if you have any trouble.

Two days later on the following Saturday I got the call, ” It wasn’t working the gun was spitting and the finish wasn’t working, what do I do?”  As luck would have it I didn’t have that much going on that weekend and so offered to go out and see what was going on.

Greg  had all the doors hanging in his garage and was set up pretty well to do the job but the binks cup gun he had was not the right tool. the water-base material was too thick and wasn’t coming out of  the gun well.

 This is probably the key thing in dealing with waterbased materials and that is having ther right gun with a wide enough opening on it to allow the  materials to come out and then atomize in to small enough particles to then actually lay down smoothly ( this is covered in full detail in the article on this blog titled “spray finishing basics”  by Thomas Craven) 

Once again as luck would have it I had my spray guns in the back of my truck and wasn’t going to be using then for the weekend and so offered to lend these to Greg. The project was off and running again. here is a picture of the garage spray booth,

The garage spray booth

The garage spray booth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 All things were off and sailing once again! here is a picture of Greg doing the kitchen faces, note that he has the place properly masked off so that all the over spray is captured and not covering the rest of the finish work. ( for an never having done a finishing job, Greg had a few things going for him. I was impressed )

Greg going to town fully out fitted

Greg going to town fully out fitted

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see here  Greg is now using the new gravity spray gun he  later bought from Annex for under $100

He also has a the 3m reusable cup system  you can see here on the top of his gun, this allows him to refill the gun easily and spray in all directions including up.

You would think all was well and the family would live happily ever after in there new kitchen but not yet, the next previously unmentioned aspect was yet to be discovered.

So after sanding his fingers to the bone and getting the finish just right, Greg’s wife has a little spot  of something on a cabinet and proceeds to break out the 409 and clean it off , the day after the final coating and it went down to the bare wood!

The Wife was in despair and Greg was ready to shoot me for selling him a low quality product! the paint was soft and with his little kids was doomed!

Water base coating are actually tougher and more durable then there solvent based counter parts BUT ! you have to let them cure ! the Kitchen cabinet Manufacturer’s Aassociation let’s their test panels cure for 30 days before subjecting then to all the things they do i.e. mustered, vinegar, jelly, alcohol and all the other house hold product they test.

With reluctance, Greg was willing to let the finish cure until after the holiday before shooting me to see if in fact I was on the up and up with him.

As my luck would have it the finish cured hard and has resisted all that  could be throw at it. Here is the final shot after the holidays and all was said and done.

a stunning piece of work

a stunning piece of work

Greg called me up after the holidays to thank me for seeing the project through to a done.

As you can see it turned out great in the end.

Thanks to  Home Owner Greg, for sharing the pictures with me and the permission to post the story on our Blog.

If you have a project you would like to have some help with send me a line, if you are interested in doing it you self  I’ll set you up and turn you looSe, If you want a professional finisher to do the work I have the names and numbers of nearly every cabinet shop in the surrounding area and would be happy to refer you to the people i have seen consistently do good work.

Greg Saunders
818-439-9297

Annex Paint
7450 Reseda Blvd.
Reseda California
91335

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

a few things to be aware of when using waterbase finishes

I have just come  from a mans house who recently refinished his kitchen cabinets, he wasn’t a professional finisher when he started the project but was interested in the game and had the spirit to jump in and figure things out. He came into the store and asked for a water based material as he was going to be doing this work in his house and garage while the family continued their daily lives. choosing a water based material was a correct choice.

The gentleman was friendly, enthusiast and good spirited but not at all familiar with the trade so I told him that if he were to have any trouble to give me a call. Sure enough Saturday morning I got the call. He was having troubles for sure but they were easily resolved with the right spray gun that I lent to him from my collection.

Having the right size gun is essential with water based materials a 1.7 mm tip or a 2.0 is what I prefer.

Now then, all went smooth from there on out until his wife got a little glue on the surface of the finish and tried to take it off with 409 and a rag. To her great shock she took off the glue and all the finish right down to the bare wood. That was the living end, after all that work! the wife was in tears, the husband was in despare after all that work and both decided that the sales guy was going to have to be shot for this grieviouse mis-repesentation of the product!

The next day I got a call from the husband who was now under the impression that the whole system was a failure and that it all  had to be redone — Why was the coating so soft ?

On close inspection he did apply the material correctly and didn’t over load the materials on the surface, he used a water based grain filler and so was OK there (  had he used a solvent based grain filler and had not let that fully fully dry, like 48 hours or more that  would have caused problems). So what was going on here?

The answer?  nothing was wrong! the materials just needed a longer cure time. Mrs Enthusiastic scrubbed the glue a mere 48 hours after it had been applied.

409 shouldn’t be used on your new cabinets in the first place even when they are fully cured.

The point here is that you have to let the water based lacquers fully cure.  and full cure comes after 30 days! not that they are not hard enough to install in a few days but if you think that you are going to have immediate abuse then you should hold the parts a few days longer before installing them.

After 4 days of curing the finish was twice as hard. it still loosen up a little and lost some finish with vigorous scrubbing and 409 but it was twice as hard.

On a close study of the KCMA ( Kitchen Cabinet Manufactures Association) tests that the materials passed.  they make the point in  the tiny fine print that the doors tested had been let allowed to cure for 30 days befor they were subjected to the chemical testing.

When you think about it, the water-based materials have to be allowed to air dry. There are no other solvents other than water. The other thing you have to think with is the fact that the materials are going to dry from the top down, I.e they are going to dry on the surface with the deeper and deeper layers drying last.

I have found that once you have let the stuff fully cure it it actually far tougher and far more chemically resistant than their solvent base counterparts.  Ya, just have to let them dry !  

I have promised the homeowner that I would return in 30 days and would test again the hardness of the materials at which point We’ll have full dry and one heck of a finish.

There are two lessons here:

  1. You have to figure in to your equation letting the materials fully cure. That doesn’t mean that you can’t install them until then but if your do install the cabinets you need to know that you have to be gental with the finish for a month or so.
  2. Have the right equipment and read all the printed materials about the materials you are going to be using so that you know what you should expect.

I’ll post the pictures when I get the from the homeowner after the first of the year.

The water based lacquer by the way was Gemini’s titanium white with the white sanding sealer under that

Greg Saunders
ANNEX PAINT
Reseda, California
818-344-3000

November 20, 2008 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Finishing failures and the fix, Tips and Tricks, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , | Leave a comment

Water based lacquers and wood coatings

Water based materials have gotten a bad reputation and for good reason, as they haven’t been able to produce the same finish as  their lacquer based counter parts. But don’t stay stuck in the past, water based materials are getting better and better.  there are however a few things to know about spraying water-based materials that can give  you grief if you don’t know. 

The first thing you have to have is the right equipment, a spray gun that has a big enough tip. for and HVLP gun I use nothing smaller than a 1.7 mm tip and have better results with a 2.0 mm tip for air less this traslates  to about a 517 to a 523 ( the last two digits tell you the size of the tip in hundreths of and inch

I also had problems spraying water based materials out of an air assisted airless that had a small pump. later I was told that with the smaller pumps you have a problem of sheering the material. and having it come out Grannie and rough.

I have two different waterbased materials that I like one is the Gemini Titanium and the other is the Renner  line of water based products. Both of which have work well for me and my customers. I have also heard of General Finishes as a product line is pretty good but I haven’t tested the material out my self.

It will be the Consumers demanding that  the Finishers and builder’s go green and do things with environmentally friendly materials and so I would say that it would be a wise Idea to today’s finishers to get good at the business of applying water based materials.

If you have experiences with water based materials or questions about water based materials you would like me to answer for you   send them to me and I’ll put them up and or get them answered.

 

Best, Greg

October 24, 2008 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Water based Lacquers | , , | 2 Comments

The wood finishing industry of today

Hi,

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.

Best,

Greg Saunders

ANNEX PAINT
818-344-3000

September 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments