jimrutherford.com 1990-2016
Home Improvement:
Kitchen Electrical and Lighting The Computer Modeling Basement

Spray Finishing

For Best results, you’ll

need a spray booth!

The finish that we choose is the same industrial strength two-part post catalyzed conversion varnish that is used on the pre-finished plywood that you see in the Cabinet Construction page. It’s made by ML Campbell.   You can’t get this at Home Depot.  Since it is both flammable and noxious, a spray booth with explosion-proof fan is practically necessary.

Exotic Birdseye Maple

Once again on the birdseye veneer, but highlighting the shimmery varnish this time.  You did go through the veneer page, right?
Although the finish is not at Home Depot, you can get a portable garage for about $200 at Harbor Freight.  Instead of using the tarp that comes with it, this is 6mil polyethylene sheeting from home depot, hemmed together with staples. I also built light wooden frames in the sides near the front to fit standard furnace filters.  The thing is to avoid getting bugs in the finish and also to keep weather out.  A bonus is that I could put fluorescent lights outside shining through the plastic to get a few more hours in the night.
In the back of the garage is a wooden box with an explosion proof fan that we found on Craigs List for $175.  It was old but it worked well.  It never exploded.  The racks are also worth mentioning. They are just 1/2” black iron pipes run through 2x4s screwed together.  The hangers are from Rockler  and worked out well - especially the cam ones for cabinet doors.
A good respirator is absolutely key for this.  The gun is a Fuji HVLP setup with a light weight whip.  Don’t scrimp here.
Here’s a view of the drawers being sprayed.  I had removed the bottoms (which are prefinished) so that I can easily get all the corners inside the drawer.  On the table in background of the photo is a VersaSpin” turntable with little pyramids that can be used to prop up each drawer while spraying.  Also from Rockler
This is the piece of Sapele veneered MDF that formed the soffit over the kitchen island.  The sprayer is pretty forgiving as long as you keep it moving in a straight line with plenty of overlap and without too thick a coating.
Storing all of these cabinet door parts after spraying became a bit of a challenge.  This stack, which includes the Miele column freezer, refrigerator / freezer panels, and many cabinet doors, started to take over the living room.
Here’s the panel from the picture above, after spraying, curing in the garage.