What clear for wood?

Old 02-24-13, 03:25 AM
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What clear for wood?

Hello all, hope your all well?

Come here looking for some ideas on where to start when it comes to choosing a clear that can be applied on a wooden substraight.

I'm a very experienced automotive painter and have been spraying with 2k for donkeys...

I've decided to do a broader range of refinishing, and I've had no problems what so ever using 2k on wood when a colour is required (highbuild-base-clear) but I have not tried bare wood yet and I've been told auto 2k wont work on bare wood.

Can anyone recommend me a good all round clear that I can use on bare wood? ideally a product with a matting agent so I can alter the level of gloss would be beneficial as well. I'm ledd to believe that furniture re finishers use a polyurethane based clear?

Is the application going to be much different than 2k clear? i.e. a grip coat then a full wet one Will my automotive gun setup be ok as well? I have a Sata jet3000 and afew Devilbiss GTi's the devilbiss have 1.3 fluid tips and 110 air caps, what pressure should I be spraying at as well?

also is there anyone that produces a range of stains for use on the bare wood before applying clear?

I'ed ideally like to find a good source of choice of colours/shades of stain and a clearcoat thats hard wearing and suitable for all bare wood applications. It will range vastly what I will be spraying, bars, tables, chairs to drum kits and guitars. 2k auto clearcoat tends to be universal and you dont have the need to use more than one product for all uses, is this the case with wood or do you need to use a different clear when stains been used or a different clear for different types of wood? As said I'm not botherd about clear thats compatable over a painted colour as I have no problems using 2k when the substrate has atchally been painted in a colour.

I dont under stand why furniture refinishers use cellulose though, celly is old hat now and well outdated, 2k is far far superior. Most also seem to restrict them selfs to "farrow and ball" colours, why do this when with 2k you have the ability to have any colour possible?

any ideas very very welcome and many thanks!

Last edited by George May; 02-24-13 at 04:11 AM.
Old 02-24-13, 04:31 AM
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Welcome to the forums George!

While I'm an experienced residential painter and dabble in painting cars, I'm not familiar with 2k

Polyurethane is the most commonly used finish for 'clear' coating wood. The oil base version is tougher than it's water based cousin. The water base goes on milky but dries clear. It doesn't change the color of the wood any, just gives it a sheen. The oil base poly brings out and deepens the colors that are naturally in the wood. It will also amber over time. Poly comes in 3 basic sheens; satin, semi-gloss and gloss. They can be intermixed to alter the sheen level. SWP used to sell a gloss modifier [only for oil base coatings] It's probably been 15 yrs since I used any and had to special order - I don't know if it's still available or not.

Stain can be brushed, wiped on or sprayed but should always have the excess removed with a rag. How long you wait to wipe off the excess is one of the determining factors on how dark the stain will be. You never want to just let the stain dry on the surface as the 1st poly coat can melt the stain. It's less of a problem when spraying but can still present issues with how the stain looks. Some cabinet/furniture makes use a dye instead of stain but I've never used any. You can also use a tinted poly which can be sprayed on. When using a tinted poly it's always best to apply a clear poly over it to protect the 'color coat' from wearing off.

Applying poly [or varnish, shellac] is normally a 3 coat process with the finish being sanded between coats. The first coat will raise the grain in the wood.

Poly can be sprayed with either an airless or conventional spray. When using a cup gun or pressure pot you'll need to thin the poly. How much to thin it depends on the gun and air pressure - what it takes to get it to properly atomize.
Old 02-24-13, 02:06 PM
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I have never painted a car.

I have painted and stained lots of furniture over the years. Staining and finishing is different from painting furniture. The objective is different. Stains play on the type of the wood, finishes are for its presentation. Paint just covers the piece for uniformity.

Stains and dyes for wood are different.

There are classes and books out there in abundance on staining and finishing.

Your skill and experience in spraying cars will undoubtedly stand you in good stead.

There are different finishes such as: conversion varnish, catalyzed lacquer, polyurethane, and so forth. In my experience, no one of them serves well in all applications.

I suspect that you will eventually have to research and try options on your own to come up with a solution that works for you. I am not sure that there is a simple answer to your quest for a single finish for woodwork.

Old 02-25-13, 05:53 AM
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If you have the equipment to spray, lacquer is often the preferred choice, since sanding between coats is not required like it is with polyurethane.
Old 02-25-13, 12:59 PM
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You might still need to sand the 1st coat although if I remember correctly lacquer doesn't raise the grain as much as varnish or poly. It is the fastest drying although it is one of the softer finishes. Since lacquer isn't compatible with all finishes you might need to test and make sure it's compatible with the stain you intend to use.

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