I’ve been using spray paint for years, but I’ve avoided polyurethane sealant spray. It’s a whole ‘nother beast and I could never quite get it laid down right. It’s thicker than spray paint so my efforts tended to look spotted or to have drips. Unacceptable!
I recently spent 2 days practicing on small pieces of metal, and, sisters and brothers in art, I’ve done it! I now feel very good about my polyurethane spraying abilities.
Notes from the field:
- Use a raking light so that you can watch the polyurethane land on the piece. You’ll be able to see the wetness of the spray as you apply it, allowing you to spot fix anything missed. Watching the spray hit the piece will also help you judge the correct distance and speed.
- Ignore that 12″ to 14″ instruction on the can. For the small pieces I just finished, spraying from 8″ was about right.
- To get rid of dust, use a can of pressurized air on the piece right before spraying the polyurethane.
- The room needs to be 70 to 90 degrees (and well-ventilated). This helps the polyurethane self-level. I rigged up a little heat lamp over my spray station.
- Wearing an OptiVisor is a necessity when spraying small pieces. Tiny surfaces mean no room for errors.
By Christine Cox
Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
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