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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2

    Default Alternative to spray stain finishing?

    Hi. I'm curious to see if anyone posting on the boards has some alternative ideas on how to finish a cabinet.
    I'm building a cabinet that has cubbies which measure 6"x9"x12" (hxlxd), and i was thinking to spray stain and seal with a spray lacquer. That plan quickly failed when my sprayer decided to fail, and I am unable to obtain new parts for it.
    I was thinking to try and stain it using just a rag, which would be ok, but the harder part of this would be trying to brush seal. I don't know how to brush stain in such a small area, because they don't make small enough brushes to get into that small of an area.
    Does anyone have any alternative methods here? i've built and stained many pieces, but this is the smallest divisions i have built in a cabinet, and i didn't think it would be a problem using a sprayer, until it broke.
    I can post pictures if anyone is interested in seeing my work (although it's nothing to write home about).
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,859

    Default Re: Alternative to spray stain finishing?

    A 6x9 inch hole is actually a pretty darned good size, access really isn't going to be limited to get a hand, rag, or small brush in there.

    I would recommend using a stain product first, then applying your sealer/top coat. This helps the project to maintain it's color as it starts taking on the battle scars of life. Because of the intricacy of all those pockets and corners to deal with, I'd recommend using a gel stain, it is slower acting, giving you plenty of time to both get it applied and get the excess wiped down before the wood takes on too much color. Before you ever stain anything you should always practice on a scrap of the same material to perfect your application technique, as well as know how long to leave the stain before wiping the excess down. NEVER NEVER NEVER leave a stain rag wadded up, as it can self ignite. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS lay used rags out flat to air dry, or dispose of in a fireproof/fire safe manner.

    Applying your top coat is likely to be your bigger challenge. I would be concerned that using a sprayer or aerosol cans would be tough in the tight quarters, without causing pooling and runs, brushing or wiping may be your best bet. As much as it hurts to cut up good tools, you may want to consider cutting the handle off a good quality brush that is suited to the type of finish you are applying. You can either just hang onto the ferrel of the brush or you can attach a handle that is roughly at a right angle to the brush head. Another option would be to use a finish that can be hand applied/rubbed, such as an oil finish.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Alternative to spray stain finishing?

    There is wipe on polyurethane that is applied with a lint free cloth. You could use that in the tight areas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Alternative to spray stain finishing?

    Very good ideas by the other two posters. Are you building this in-place or in a shop/garage? If in a shop/garage, you could stand it vertical and stain and finish 1/2 of the depth (6") from each end. The Clear Coat aerosol from Rustoleum called Painter's Touch can be a great finish. I used it on narrow strips of window grids. It doesn't run easily, covers well and dries fast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Alternative to spray stain finishing?

    great suggestions. I never thought to try and cut down a paint brush to fit in the tight spaces.

    I have been attempting to find a wipe on poly, but i guess I haven't been looking in the correct places.

    Yes, this cabinet is being built in my garage, but I would spray on the finish (if my sprayer was working, that is) outside when it was a nice day....aren't too many of those when my time is available, but that's something for a later time.

    Again, thanks to all for the suggestions. I will do some more research and find a poly that I can wipe on.

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