Pray rimsnes

Keep a can of each of these five spray finishes on hand and yc. ready to handle any finishing, touch-up, or repair task you can

Applying a finish to a project is a love-hate relationship. 1 love the look of the finish once I'm done, but I hate the process it takes to get there. Fortunately, you can simplify the task by using finishes that come in a spray can. You can't beat the convenience of a spray can — no gunked up lids to deal with, no wondering what to do with half-used cans of finish, and no tr - - - _ ?an or dirty, oily rags to dispose of.

Whafs even better, I can find all five f — favorite finishes in a spray can. Add in the har.: - : ■:;, grip shown in the box on the opposite page it d v. „ re set for just about any finishing task that coir ■_- . -v..

: Lacquer

I My favorite spray finish is lacquer (see photo above). The main reason is the depth and richness it gives a project. It's the classic "in the wood" look.

Besides the great look, spray lacquer has a few other things going for it. For starters, you can spray on a coat that dries in minutes. This makes it easy to apply multiple coats in a single day (or afternoon).

Lacquer is also a forgiving finish. Since each coat "melts" into the previous one, touching up or ^ repairing the finish at any time is an easy task. Finally, I can spray on the "look" of satin, semi-gloss, or gloss, without having to spend time rubbing out the finish.

J Shellac

WW Shellac is one of those finishes you can use for just about anything — as a complete finish for small projects, or for general touch-up and repair work.

The problem is mixing up a batch of shellac, using only part of it, and then having the rest go bad. The solution —- a spray version. It contains just the right amount of shellac for mv needs.

Another great reason to use shellac — its sealing ability. 1 use spray shellac to prevent sappy areas or knots from bleeding through the final finish (see photo).

This sealing quality also makes shel lac a great barrier coat between finishes, stains, and dyes that can cause problems • used together — like wattr-: fed dyes and topcoats. No neec worry anymore about "sir.taxing" the stain as you apply the : si

Safety lock prevents accidental trigger use

Two-finger trigger and pistol grip increase comfort and accuracy

Locking collar keeps can securely attached

A project for the area: : :: proper finish 1o proiec: * ": ments — spar ure'"-- ■ _

To add depth and protection to a painted finish, apply a few coats of an acrylic clear coat.

Worth a Look: Spray Can Grip

Using a can of Spray finish is one of the most convenient wavs to apply finish. But having to constantly press the nozzle down with the tip of your fingers is a hassle — and painful for any length of time.

To solve the problem, I've turned to a handy little spray grip I picked up a local home center (see photo at right). The comfortable grip features a locking collar that keeps it attached securely to the can, and you can use two fingers on the trigger for even more comfort. There's also a safety lock for the trigger to prevent any accidents. But the number one reason to use it — I never "finish" my fingertip like I used to.

For the best protection on heavily used surfaces, spray on a few coats of polyurethane.

Two-finger trigger and pistol grip increase comfort and accuracy

Safety lock prevents accidental trigger use

Locking collar keeps can securely attached

Polyurethane

Don't get me wrong, lacquer and shellac are great finishes. But for projects thai arc going to get handled fairly often, or see a lot of use, I like to switch to another finish vou can get in a caii — polyu rethane.

I like to use polyurethane on any project that needs a tough, abrasion-resistant surface, like the table top you see at right. Polyurethane pro

Spor Urethane

91 I don't build a lot of outdoor projects, so it's not often that I need a weather-resistant finish. And when I do, I don't usually need a whole can of finish. That's when I reach for a can of spar urediane.

Spar urethane provides great protection for outdoor projects, like the Adirondack chair at left. Plus, it's a whole lot easier to apply an even coat into the "nooks and crannies" than trying to do it with a brush or rag.

Besides providing a protective coating, the finish allows the wood to expand and contract with the seasons without cracking and flaking. Plus, it contains ultraviolet absorbers to help prevent the wood from graying and fading over time.

Keeping a can of spar urethane on hand is also great for touch-up work on exterior doors, windowsills, and thresholds — whether they're painted or finished naturally.

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