How I Used Polycrylic in an HVLP Sprayer

Using Waterborne Wood Finishes in a Sprayer

I have to admit… I’m not really a huge fan of Minwax Polycrylic. It’s not that it is a bad product – it really isn’t – I just never have good luck in getting a smooth finish. It dries too fast, at least for me, and isn’t self-leveling which would certainly eliminate the brush strokes! I started thinking about the finish I wanted to do on a project I’m working on. I wanted something smooth that would be easy to clean out of my spray gun. I used Google to find others who’ve used Polycrylic in an HVLP sprayer. What most people say is that it works fairly well with no thinning required!

Also take note that this is a process… It is not a quick process either! The Polycrilic spray finish requires multiple coats with drying time in between so it could take several hours to spray a small project (but the results are worth it!).

used polycrylic hvlp sprayer can of finish

Since I am still pretty new to sprayed finishes, I was a little hesitant at first but decided to give it a try. It doesn’t hurt to try, right? I’m just so afraid I’m going to clog up my gun (I am very thorough when I clean it – maybe too thorough!) and also I don’t want waste any product. Of course, I don’t have the most expensive set up, if you want to call it that, but it is perfect for my needs!
used polycrylic hvlp sprayer compressor

HVLP stands for high volume low pressure which means that it takes very little air pressure to spray the product resulting in less overspray and a better finish.

I poured Polycrylic in the cup of my spray gun but only about 1/3 of the way. I practiced on a piece of cardboard making sure I had the spray pattern I wanted (an oval) then adjusted the fluid control (the amount of product coming out of the sprayer) until it was just right. It needs to be smooth and not spotty like an orange peel.
used polycrylic hvlp sprayer

I applied a total of five coats to my project, each with a bit of sanding in between using fine grits of sandpaper. I am so thrilled with the finish! I did notice I was spraying a bit too close to the project which created a wet line but once I figured this out, it was nearly perfect!

Since every sprayer is different, the only advice I can give is to TRY IT! Practice on a scrap board first until you get your settings right, then go for it! I’m getting more confident in using my spray gun and since I’ve used Polycrylic in an HVLP sprayer, I cannot wait to try other waterborne wood finishes in the sprayer! I hope you’ll try it, as well!

used polycrylic hvlp sprayer finish on table

I was not compensated nor asked to mention the products stated or shown in this post. They are mine that I bought with my own money… All opinions are my own!

Originally posted 2014-05-08 08:00:48.