Gun Recommendations for Spraying Shellac
From contributor S:
I am assuming the client has insisted on Shellac for some reason. Wouldn't be my first choice for something like this but if that is what they want. I would get a sheet of 1/4" plywood and practice spraying beforehand and work out any bugs with your setup. Spraying shellac flows out nicely if applied with a good brush. Just make sure to setup good ventilation and follow all necessary precautions.
From contributor M:
You definitely want to spray shellac with fairly light coats. The tip you'd use is dependent on the how heavy (or light) of a shellac cut you use to spray. Do you know what you would be spraying yet? And do you have a viscosity cup to measure it? I've never had good luck brushing shellac on any surface larger than a drawer bottom. It flows out well enough, but still dries quickly and leaves overlap marks. You could pad it on, although that's a pretty large surface.
Personally, I spray a 1.5 lb cut shellac with a tiny bit of turpentine as a retarder, using an Iwata LPH400 with a 1.2mm needle/nozzle setup. It can be used with a 5 cfm compressor. Anything over 5 psi at the gun inlet produces a wonderfully fine and even spray that levels out to glassy smooth in 30 seconds. Dry to the touch in five minutes and ready for a recoat in ten. You should be able to get good results with a less expensive gun, as long as you have something like a 1.0 mm N/N setup (for a full-size gun, 0.8mm in a mini gun) and the gun is working well - check your spray pattern. The Iwata is kind of pricey if you are considering it for just one project, though. I use it for my main gun, and it is definitely worth the investment. It sprays waterborne finishes extremely well with a 1.4mm n/n setup.
From the original questioner:
The client specified shellac as she wants to retain the authenticity of the piece. I spray a 1.5lb cut and mix my own from flakes. The HVLP guns I have are Iawata knock offs with a 1mm n/n, so I'll give one a try if I get the job.
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