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MMD > Archives > August 1996 > 1996.08.19 > 01Prev  Next

Stripping Paint and Spraying Lacquer
By Pete Knobloch

> Pete,
> After reading your letter to the A.M.D I thought you might be the right
> person to ask a question. I have always wanted to try spraying lacquer
> but was afraid of the flash fire risk from the vapors. Is this a big
> risk? My shop is a room that is under my garage and I only have three
> little windows. To make things worse my furnace and water heater are one
> wall away. I have thought about putting a fan in the window but am unsure
> if the fan could be a possible ignition source. I have sprayed a lot of
> varnish with no problem but have always heard that lacquer is a lot
> worse. Just wondered about your thoughts. Also does the Behlen Pore-O-Pac
> wood filler dry fast and hard so if you spread too much it gets ahead of
> you and is hard to remove or is it user friendly? Any help would be a
> great.
> Thank You
> Brett Mohr
> (

I am not an expert on refinishing techniques. A Friend has given me pointers as to some products to use and how to apply them and I am very satisfied with the results.

The Behlen Pore-O-Pac wood filler does dry fairly fast and it is best to do a small patch at a time. About 2 sq. feet at a time worked best for me. Doing too large of an area at a time will cause the filler to be to hard to scrap off toward the end. What you are trying to do is to force the filler into the pores of the wood. When the filler gets to a consistency of soft modeling clay, pull the access putty off the top of the wood by pulling it down across the grain of the wood at a 45 degree angle. Get as much of the filler off of the top surface of finish because it is very difficult to remove once it has dried. I tried using Burlap to removing the excess paste filler but had problems with not getting the wood completely clean or would remove to much filler from the pores of the wood which I was trying to fill.

As far as spraying in a confined area, I don't have this problem because I do it at about 4AM in the morning in my back yard when the air is cool. In Phoenix this can be about 88 degrees at this time of year.

I don't have any experience (and don't want to ) in how flammable these vapors are. I would be very nervous about blowing up the house. I wouldn't think that a standard induction motor would be a problem unless it uses a mechanical throwout switch to disable the start windings when first powered on. If it does have a starting switch, I wouldn't use that motor. Another source of sparks can come from any swithes or outlets in the area. Somebody turning a light ON or OFF or plugging something into an outlet in the shop area can create a spark that could cause a problem. The switch on you air compressor that detects that the air pressure is getting low is another large hazard. A 3hp motor can have both of these hazards.

(Message sent Mon 19 Aug 1996, 14:34:25 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Lacquer, Paint, Spraying, Stripping

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