I have been talking a lot about applying low viscosity coatings recently. Specifically, dye stains, shaders and toners. These coatings are predominantly solvents in the same viscosity range as acetone and lacquer thinner and may or may not contain any binders of any kind.

When I made my recommendations for the proper equipment and settings for applying color to wood via these means, I suggested that HVLP, compliant, or conventional spray guns were the preferred method. I also suggested that one should have some smaller needle/nozzle sets on hand when beginning this process so that one might have better control over the amount of fluid released from the tip, control over the fan pattern, and control over the consistency of the fan. It is not at all uncommon for the gun to blow holes in the pattern creating a lacey-looking appearance on the wood surface.

Then too, my Bernie-isms are not to be forgotten because they are my foundation for success in applying low-vis coatings. Speed and distance are your friends. Likewise, speed and distance allow you to sneak up on the intensity that you want without blowing past the intensity that you need.

Whenever I would say those words, the image of one of my professional associate’s face appears in my mind and he is looking at me in hopes that I would walk toward the light. I remember clearly a lunch we shared a number of years ago during which he drew all over a restaurant napkin to illustrate why Kremlin air assisted airless technology was the perfect means to apply these low-vis coatings. That napkin was a resident of my office desk for a long time! It was there to remind me to think of other possibilities.

Well, frankly, that napkin always scared me. But I try to keep my mind open to new ideas. Michaelle Bradford’s article about Buda Woodworks brought my buddy’s face back into sharp focus for me once again. Please go read this article.

For me, this article is a challenge to me to accept new ways. This is a challenge to me that says my buddy was right. This is a reminder that what my buddy, the Kremlin rep, both recommends and Buda Woodworks proves that this is, indeed, possible.

Now, I need to challenge myself to learn more about this. I’m not talking about listening to someone while they draw on more napkins or write articles on this subject. I’d love to stand beside someone doing this work and learn to do it myself.

Crawl. Walk. Run. I want to get up on my knees and go someplace new. I plan to spend some time at the Kremlin booth while I'm at IWF 2012 in Atlanta, GA. This is my challenge to Kermlin. I’m coming to find out more about this technique.

Likewise, I am going to challenge you, my readers, as well. My challenge to you is to learn to do this technique of application via AAA technology regardless of the equipment brand.

This could be interesting for all parties! My reluctance to use AAA or airless technology has always been based upon two things. First, the fluid stream in both cases is either fully on or it’s fully off. There is no finessing the fluid stream. Thus, now more than ever, the need is at hand for speed and distance to be your friend.

Second, for that very same reason of abundance of fluid, the tendency to blow past the intensity that you want is a bit frightening for me. I want to sneak up on the intensity I need.

But, if I am to challenge both myself and you, I need to keep my mind open and move forward. Like the fellow that I talked about a few weeks back who was convinced that AAA was the best means to apply automotive clear on cars. He had to do a lot of remedial sanding along the way but he did prove to his satisfaction that AAA was the system for him for that application.

Keep your minds open, my friends.

Until next time…spray on!


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