advice on spraying stain

Old 07-30-07, 07:01 PM
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advice on spraying stain

I am building some built in bookcases that have shelves and doors, they fill an area about 7' high, 10' wide and 2' deep so theres quite a lot of surface to stain. I want to spray the stain and am wondering if I need to wipe it or can I spray in such a way that I don't have too? I am using minwax stain and an hvlp gun to spray.

Also how much psi should my compressor be set too? It says 70 psi on the gun but that seems very high, do I go by that amount or a lower psi?

Any other advice anyone has would be great as well!

Old 07-30-07, 08:08 PM
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It really depends on several things. The type of wood, the color of stain, and your spraying technique.

Some of Minwax's stains have a lot of pigment. In my experience, some of their red stains, and dark colored stains get sticky and don't completely soak in without leaving surface pigments behind before they completely penetrate. What can happen if you don't wipe, is that areas where the spray is thin- those areas will penetrate just fine, but may be too light, whereas areas where it is too thick (that need to be wiped) will get sticky and set up almost like paint, they will be too dark and will obscure the grain, and won't dry properly and will create problems if you apply the finish too soon afterwards, since the dry time will be much longer if you leave excess stain to dry like paint. That's why the instructions tell you to wipe it. If you try to spray on light coats in order to avoid wiping, it's likely that you'll be able to see lap marks from the sprayer. IMO, your best bet would be to visually block off and spray a small area, and immediately wipe it before continuing to another area- or have a helper whose only job is to keep up with you by wiping what you've just sprayed.
Old 07-31-07, 04:44 AM
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Unless you are using a spray only stain, I don't believe minwax has one of these, you absolutely must wipe it off. The stain that remains on the surface of the wood interferes with the adhesion of the the finish applied over the top of it.

as for spraying, I usually set my guns at 20 to 25 psi. But I use a compliant gun or air spray, never HVLP. your setting depend on the stain, the needle size, the gun type, and CFM requirements of the gun. the best thing to do is set the pressure about 20 and test it. Look to see if the stain is atomizing and the fan is even. if not then adjust the pressure.
Old 07-31-07, 05:17 AM
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Spraying stain is very messy!! About the only time I'll spray stain is either on saw horses or some dedicated area to spray. I use the lowest air pressure that will work - usually around 25 psi. I always wipe the stain.

I never bother to spray stain unless I have a lot of staining to do [like a house full of trim]. On your book shelves I'd stain and poly all the boards first or atleast leave the shelves out and stain them and the box seperately.

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