Our shop has been trying to lean up on our time in the spray booth. We upgraded our equipment to a CAT air-assist and upgraded our coatings to CV (clear and whites). Today was the first day I used the CAT aaa with primer (Clawlock). We were told by the sales folks and technical support from MLC that this combination was a two-coat deal - one primer and one topcoat (Resistant or Stealth CV).
The material was plywood (D3 maple) and 5-part flat panel doors. I sprayed on a solid coat of the Clawlock, and had to thin it about 15-20% to get it to lay down properly. After looking at the primed items, I still see a lot of wood grain (maple hardwood and birch/maple ply). I haven't sprayed the topcoat yet (waiting on customer dragging their feet).
If this was MDF, I would have polished the route with 400 grit, which has worked with a two-primer-coat schedule using Magnaclaw. I've read folks here claim to get away with one-coat primers that look good. I can't see how. Do you just spray the peanut-buttery thick primer as it is in the can, laying on about 8 wet mils or more to get it to lay down? How do you pull this off on vertical surfaces like bookshelves? Part of our goal in this upgrade was to eliminate a step in our standard jobs (and I know the clears are two-coats because I've done it with a loaner AAA unit). But how are you doing this with primer and whites?
From contributor S:
The problem will be the coating dropping into the pores of the hardwood veneer. The spray gun applies a consistent coat of 100-200 onto the surface. This then drops into the pores, filling them, but leaving dents in the paint finish. This is your open grain look in stains and varnishes. The only way around this is to use a grain filler, either before the primer, or between primer and topcoat, or use MDF (no one will know the difference once painted).
Anyhow, after deciding to do a second coat on all the doors and on open cabinets, I noticed that after sanding the first coat, everything looked pretty good - better than I would have expected. I sprayed the second coat pretty thin, since they didn't need another heavy coat and they look great. I would have likely been alright without the second coat. I think the biggest problem we have is that the center 1/4" panels we used were a Baltic birch that tends to be a lot fuzzier than the 1/4 maple we get, but the Baltic birch from our suppliers is a true 1/4", which actually fits in the dado of our door rails/stiles a lot better than the maple. The birch is just so fuzzy and grainy compared to the maple.