Padding for Drying Racks

Ideas for soft material to apply to wire drying racks to avoid indentations in lacquer finish. August 6, 2010

I recently started using one of those Hafele drying racks and the metal wire shelving is leaving marks in the fresh paint on the back of heavier MDF doors. I'm trying to come up with a good material to wrap the wire with to cushion the pressure points or maybe there's a better solution? I know these racks are popular, but the marks left behind are not.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
Press your thumbnail into the corner of the last door you sprayed. If it makes an impression in the coating, roll the rack in front of a fan. It sounds like you are rushing things a bit. Try applying lighter coats if you know itís a rush job.

From contributor R:
I think you are placing the heavy stuff on the racks a bit too soon. No matter what you might coat the shelves with, if the coating is still trying to dry it will stick to the coating you applied to the shelf brackets. Can you lay the heavy stuff against the wall for the time being? Something that sits in a vertical position will dry a lot faster than something placed in a horizontal position.

From contributor R:
What coating are you spraying? What is the temperature in your shop when you have problems?

From the original questioner:
Mild weather 60-70 using pre-cat lacquer. It never stuck, just left marks after sitting for a few hours. I wait about an hour to flip, I never used to watch the clock before and probably was flipping in 30 minutes with no problems. I never tried the fingernail press, I will do that to check next time. I find it happens after a few hours of sitting, it leaves depressions in the paint, probably wouldn't be as much of a problem if it wasn't gloss slab doors. I hate slowing down. I thought about using small pipe insulation, my concern is some types of foam and plastics like to stick to fresh paint and I was trying to avoid experimenting. I wrapped cloth around the dowel in my old drying rack as a precaution, probably didn't matter half the time but I felt better about sliding big doors on and off it like that. I thought someone might know of a cheap foam tape or something because it's a lot of linear feet of wire to wrap.

From contributor R:
Could just be the pre-cat you are using. I don't spray much pre-cat anymore but I remember when I sprayed Chemcraft's Opticlear you could actually wrap parts for shipping in four hours.

From contributor W:
Youíre flipping way too soon. How about overnight?

From contributor F:
You shouldnít have to wait overnight to flip. One hour is more than enough time for a quality product. Try using Becker or Valspar. Also, not sure how thick you are spraying, but you may just be putting it on a little heavy. I use the same rack. I had problems with MLC products, but it stopped when I switched to Becker.

From contributor L:
I have the same problem sometimes, and this what I do that works for me. I have a stack of cut up pieces of cardboard that I can lay on the racks when I want them, and this way the doors are sitting on the cardboard rather than the wire. I was afraid to start trying to apply something to the wire that I would regret later, and so one day while having this problem, the quickest thing I could come up with was cutting up some of the corrugated cardboard sheets I had around and it worked great. I provides a little cushion, and I think it breathes a little to help further drying. I also donít have to worry about marking the fresh paint as I slide in the doors like I use to on the wire directly.

From contributor R:
Yeah I think contributor L hit it right on the head. I have seen guys put some adhesive backed foam on the rack and really regret it when it turned into a sticky residue mess when tried to remove.

From contributor S:
I have had problems with the Hafele rack also. We have two big racks that I have put foam pipe insulation on. I got the idea from a body and fender shop near us. It works well.