I have been asked several times on how I do my painting process when spraying my projects. To me, because I’ve been doing it for so long, it almost seems second nature. So I really never stop and think that other people might have difficulty with something that I take for granted now. So I am glad this question has come up a few times here lately. Because of this, I have decided to dedicate this particular episode to that cause.
Also, if you would like a set of plans for this project, you can find them on my website in my plans section or by just clicking here.
First of all, you must find a sprayer that you feel most comfortable in using. Also affordability may be an issue for most. When I first started my spraying endeavor, I picked up my first HVLP spray system from Lowe’s. I have used that spray system for many years. Last year, however, I did pick up a more expensive model slightly used from a local woodworker in my area. It is a Fuji three stage HVLP turbine fed spray system. I do not, however, use this for latex paint. I have dedicated it strictly for clear-coat finishing.
Before you begin you must first prep your surface for paint. In my case, my cabinetry had exposed countersunk holes from the excessive amount of screws that I used to hold everything together. When painting projects, I tend to use drywall spackling. This medium is very easy to sand and fills holes very quickly. In some cases, it may require a second coat to fill smoothly. Since it sands so easily, you do not have to be neat about how you use it.
Next, comes the art of mixing the paint. I have developed a system that keeps the mess to a minimum. If you can pick up a couple of “Mixing Mates” from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, it will make your life so much easier. These can be purchased in the quart size as well as the gallon. First I take the gallon of paint with a mixing mate and give it a good stir.
Then, I pour it into a smaller empty container for the mixing. Using the smaller mixer mate and some water I thin the paint to a viscosity that is within recommendations for my particular sprayer. A viscosity cup will help you determine the appropriate mixing ratio. I then pour that mixture into my spray reservoir.
Now using smooth parallel side to side swipes, I apply the paint with the thin passes. I make sure to hold my gun perpendicular, at the same distance to my surface the entire way, releasing the trigger at the end of each pass.
Now with anything wet that touches a wood’s surface, you’re going to have what’s known as “the raising of the grain”. This means the fibers of the woodgrain will stand up just like goosebumps on your skin. You must combat this by doing a light sanding between coats to give a glasslike feel when you are finished and 220 sandpaper is sufficient for this process. Make sure that your coats are very thin and dry so your sandpaper will not bog down with paint residue.
Now that the painting process is completed, we need to finish the cabinet. I installed all of the drawer slides and drawers using jigs to help me along way. Rockler’s universal drawer slide jig makes quick work of the installation.
I then take the upper cabinetry and clamp each cabinet together making sure the front is flush with one another. Then screw them together. Don’t forget to screw them to the wall as well.
I then out fit the drawer fronts and the skirting of the bench with blue trim. Then I install the drawer fronts using Rockler’s drawer front installation clamps.
Next comes the doors. I first begin by drilling out the mortises for the Eurostyle hinges. I then install the hinge making sure it is square. Then, install the other half of the hinge on the inside of the cabinet. Having a nice flat space, much like my Assembly Table works very well for this process.
Lastly, drill out for the door/drawer pull hardware, then install all the pulls. Now you are done! Enjoy all the space that this cabinet can now and for you. It can be adapted inside the home as well on a little larger scale if necessary. Since mine was in a limited area I had to make do with the dimensions I have. Then just hang your hat.
I would like to thank you for reading my article and do not forget to download my plans if you would like to build one of your own.
Thank you and I really hope that this clears up some questions that some of you have had on how to paint using a spray system. Take care and be safe in your shops. BOOM!!!