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How to apply stain for furniture finishing

The stain that can be used for coloring in the finishing process now is available in many  types and brand. This time we are talking about the application of stain, what we mean with the stain here is a stain that used for coloring the wood for transparent colors. This stain is more known as wood stain and usually applied directly to the wood before the application of clear coating. 

aplication stain by brush  

stain application by brush

brush for stain application

brush for stain application

Applications stain by brush. 

The using brush for stain application is most uses in the simple finishing process. This method requires no special equipment such as spray gun, and special facilities as: spray booth, air pressure, compressor, etc. The equipment needed is a brush and cloth which is relatively very cheap when compared with spray equipment and his facilities. This method is very easy to do, can be done with ordinary people, does not need an operator with special skill. People can do it easily without need long time for learning. Another advantage of this method is not requiring special facilities. What he need is just a safe room, cover from the outside air, heat or rain and have adequate lighting.
The stain that is brushed is need a thinner that make the stain is dry slowly to make him easy to be brushed evenly and minimize the brush mark. To brush the stain evenly, we need the brush with a flat tip. Actually there is a type of brush that has a flat end and subtle that are designed for applications the paint evenly, leaving no brush lines. If you cannot find this brushed you can wrapped the tip of brushed with cloth. This method is done in some traditional finishing process and work quite good.
Stain with a brush application will allow stain to wet the wood and and let the stain wet and soak into the wood grain and pores. This would make the resulting color will looked very natural, show and enhance the character and beauty of wood grain. This method is suitable for finishing with the looked is to show the beauty of the wood grain and pores.
The disadvantage of this method is his limitation in adjustment. The color of the finish but is determined by the color of stain used and also depend on the color of the wood base. If there any variation of the basic color of the wood, then the resulting of finishing color will also vary. Brushing method cannot used (is very difficult) to adjust the thickness of the stain applied. This application process requires good preparation to the unfinished product. The sanding is needed to be good, so all there is no scratches or stain mark, glue mark and other problem. The defect such as: sanding mark, glue mark, stain mark, or other, will be seen very clearly in the final color. For soft wood such as: aghatis, pine and sengon this process will also be very risky to get of stain blotchy.  
For objects with small size this application method could be done dipping. The product is dipped and immersed in a liquid stain until all surface is wet by the stain. After few second, then lift the product from the stain and wipe the excess with rag. The dipping process principally is similar with the brushed method. The dipping system is easier than brushed, and can be done faster. But it requires a quite lot of stain is to make sure the entire product can be immersed in the stain. For big product this method needs a large tank and big volume of finishing materials.

spray stain

spray stain with cup gun

spray stain application
spray stain with spray gun

Application stain by spray 

Application spray stain is the most often used in the process of finishing today. By spray, the stain can be applied uniformly, and easy adjusted and controlled the layer to get desired thickness. Today most of finishing material include stain are designed to be applied by spray. The advantages of the spray method are: the result is very even, ease to be adjusted to the desired color. The spraying process is also very fast compare with brushed application. While the disadvantages of the spray are: require spray devices are expensive, require special finishing room with special facilities, and need more of finishing materials. To obtain the good result and less materials usage it needs the skillfully operator.

There are several spray techniques for application of finishing materials that are: dry spray, spray a medium wet spray and wet spray. 

Wet spray technique 

To get material transfer efficiency high we need to use wet spray technique as far as we can. Wet spray is spray the technique which is so the material as much as possible to wet the surface, but the finishing materials is not sags or flow. Wet spray is the most efficient spray, then as far as possible all the finishing materials should be applied by wet spray. Wet spray stains to the wood can make the stain wet fill and coloring in the pores and grain. Even so, of course, the spray application can not wet the wood surface as the stain brushed.
Wet spray technique is done by adjusting the air pressure on the spray gun at pressures as low as possible is enough to atomized the finishing material. Then the movement of spray gun is done correctly in order to wet the surface evenly. About how the movement of spray gun and spray gun setup can be seen on my other article about how to use spray gun correctly. 
Dry spray techniques 

Sometimes the finishing process is also needed another spray technique called dry spray technique. It is meant that the stain is sprayed with little material is applied in the wood surface. Dry spray is done by adjust the spray gun in high air pressure and small volume of finishing material so the finishing material that came out slightly, and to get the desired thickness the application is done in several times. This spray technique is used for finishing material application that functions to add color in some places to even and blend the final finishing color. This method is use to apply: sap stain, equalizer and pad stain stain. Those stains are added in the area that needs to even the wood color and to get the uniform final color.
Different with the wet spray technique, the spray gun is set to spray in a high volume air pressure with small volume of finishing material. The transfer efficiency material with the dry spray technique material is low, since that this method is avoided as far as possible. 

Medium wet spray technique 

The medium spray is the spray technique, between the wet and dry spray. This spray technique is sometimes necessary because the finishing material used can not be applied by wet spray. Medium wet spray technique can also be done to reduce the possibility of the blotchy stain to the soft wood. Compared to the wet spray the medium wet spray has lower transfer efficiency material. Since that this method is need to be avoid as far as possible. If in the process of finishing there any finishing material is need to sprayed with medium wet, try to adjust the material finishing spray so it can be applied with a wet spray, for example by reduce with an appropriate solvent.

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