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There are solely three instruments used to use finishes: a rag, a brush and a sprig gun. Think of the just about numerous variety of hand- and machine-powered instruments you employ to do high quality woodworking and the simplicity of ending ought to be evident from this photograph.

The instruments are probably the most easy a part of ending to grasp.

Compared to woodworking, ending is a quite simple craft. The goal is not any extra difficult than transferring a liquid stain or end from a can or different container to the wooden. There are solely three instruments used to do that: a rag, a brush and a sprig gun. (I’m together with rollers, paint pads, and so forth., in the identical class with brushes.) Each is straightforward to make use of. Even a sprig gun is not any extra difficult than a router.

Because many woodworkers battle with ending, regardless of what I’m saying on this article, I would like to incorporate this caveat: Choosing which stain or end to make use of and the best way to use it may be complicated. This is basically as a result of unhealthy producer labeling, however there’s
no drawback understanding the instruments.

There are 5 key variations among the many three instruments: value, velocity of switch, diploma of manufacturing a degree movie, relative quantity of waste produced and climate issues
with a sprig gun.


1. The quickest method to obtain a degree end is by spraying. The downsides to spraying, moreover preliminary expense, are elevated waste (in comparison with brushing or wiping) and the additional expense in chilly climate arranging exhaust and warm-air alternative.

Rags value little to nothing, particularly in the event you make an effort to save lots of outdated worn-out cotton clothes. In addition, cheap paper towels can typically be substituted for small jobs. Brushes are additionally cheap, although they value greater than rags. In distinction, even the most affordable spray weapons, mixed with a supply of high-volume or high-pressure air, value $200 or extra. So, if value is an element, you could be restricted to utilizing rags and brushes.

The exception is with small objects the place you might be able to use aerosols. These are extensively obtainable in nearly each end.


2. For smaller objects you’ll be able to substitute aerosols for spray weapons and obtain all the identical benefits.

You can apply a stain or end to a big space sooner with a rag or spray gun than you’ll be able to with a brush. Rags are very efficient whenever you intend to wipe off all the surplus, as you normally do with stains and oil finishes. Spray weapons are efficient for making use of any stain or end and both wiping off the surplus or leaving a end to construct a movie.

In comparability, brushes are inefficient instruments, as a result of they will carry solely a small quantity of the liquid stain or end at a time. You should always dip the comb again into the liquid to reload it.

Film Leveling

3. A serious flaw that may come with spraying is orange peel. This is an unlevel floor that resembles the peel of an orange. To make an ideal end, this flaw needs to be sanded degree.

In instances the place you aren’t wiping off the surplus, end leveling is essential. You can at all times sand the end to take away flaws, resembling brush marks and orange peel, and make it degree. But this requires additional work, and it at all times carries with it the danger of chopping by way of and inflicting injury that’s troublesome to restore. The objective in making use of any end is to get it as degree as doable from the beginning. The three instruments differ of their means to provide a degree movie.

It’s practically unimaginable to use a film-building end with a rag with out leaving deep ridges within the movie. (The exception is whenever you use the strategy of French sharpening, which might solely be finished with shellac.) Brushes carry out higher, however they depart brush marks. This is true even with sponge brushes, which depart ridges on the edges of every brush stroke, and with costly bristle brushes. Spray weapons produce probably the most degree floor of the three instruments. But even spray weapons depart a light-weight pimply texture known as “orange peel.”

So, it’s just about unimaginable to use an ideal end utilizing any software except you wipe off all the surplus after every coat. All three instruments depart flaws within the end movie. To make a end good, it’s important to degree it utilizing sandpaper, then rub it to the sheen you need utilizing metal wool or rubbing compounds. It normally requires significantly much less work to sand a end degree that’s been utilized with a sprig gun than one which’s been utilized with a brush.

4. A serious flaw that comes with brushing a end is brush marks. Contrary to what’s typically stated, you’ll be able to’t completely keep away from these marks by utilizing a dearer brush. There’ll nonetheless be brush marks that should be sanded degree to realize an ideal end.


Waste is undesirable due to value and the quantity of air pollution it creates. Waste prices extra, not solely due to the unused end materials, most of which winds up within the environment, on the ground, or on spray-booth filters, but in addition due to the price of disposing of used solvents and filters.

Rags and brushes are nearly 100 p.c environment friendly. By comparability, spray weapons are very inefficient. A big a part of the end materials is misplaced in overspray and bounce-back. HVLP spray weapons are extra environment friendly than the outdated standard spray weapons, and HVLP weapons dominate the market due to this.


5. Though you may get runs and sags with any of those three instruments, the issues are commonest when brushing.

If you reside in a chilly local weather and may’t end open air for a big a part of the 12 months you then’ll have issues utilizing a sprig gun. Spray weapons create loads of overspray that floats across the room and lands on every part, together with your work. You should exhaust this overspray, and this presents two issues: changing the exhausted air with heat air, and trapping the overspray earlier than it will get to the fan and builds up on it. In distinction, rags and brushes switch all of the liquid effectively from the can to the wooden. The solely leftover is evaporating solvent because the coating dries.

Replacing air with heat air on chilly days is usually a pressure in your heating system. Placing a heater within the room the place you’re spraying is usually a hazard, particularly if there’s an open flame within the heater. Never spray in a room the place there’s an open flame as it could actually trigger an explosion.

To lure overspray, organize a financial institution of filters between you and the exhaust fan. Don’t permit end or paint to construct up on the fan. In addition, don’t permit solvents from a solvent-based paint or end to be drawn throughout a motor that’s not explosion-proof.

Though spray weapons are simple to make use of and so they produce good outcomes, few hobbyists depend on them due to these issues. The commonest instruments utilized by hobbyists are rags and brushes.

Product Recommendations

Here are some provides and instruments we discover important in our on a regular basis work across the store. We might obtain a fee from gross sales referred by our hyperlinks; nonetheless, we’ve got rigorously chosen these merchandise for his or her usefulness and high quality.

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