Troubleshooting Sags When Spraying Alkyd Enamel

Tip size and spraying method may be at fault; here's advice on causes and cures for sagging paint finish on cabinets. May 23, 2007

I'm at my wit's end! I'm on my fourth coat of WB Satin Impervo and can not get it sag free. I'm spraying my entire kitchen with an airless, tried different tip sizes, pressures, thinning. Does anyone have successful tactics?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
Move back more and move quicker. Airless really puts out the material. I'm surprised you're thinning it; usually it's not necessary with an airless setup. That's about all I can think of.

From contributor E:
Thanks. I tried that but got a lot of overspray, which made a rough topcoat. A majority of the kitchen looks great, but there are about 5-6 sags. Do you think I could just sand the sags and spray a quick spot coat over that, or do you think that will stick out like a sore thumb?

From contributor K:
Rather than sand it, I find that a razor blade works much better. Then you should be able to spot spray okay. Just go easy.

From contributor O:
As someone has stated already, don't thin Satin Impervo (no need to) when using an airless sprayer. The viscosity is causing the sags. Also, are you using a fine finish (green color) tip, providing you have Graco gun? Or at least a 512 tip?

From contributor B:
I believe your tip size is the key to no sags and/or runs, along with swift movement of spray hand.

From contributor P:
This product has great tendencies to be runny. If not too late, you may want to switch to Aqua Glo, Ben Moore's semi-gloss latex. I also would suggest a 315 tip and have found that it does not have to be a fine finish tip. I thin with latex thin x to get that oil look. Up and down quick patterns work best for me.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for all your thoughts. I'm using a 415 tip and the highest pressure setting. I can limit the sags to almost zero by moving from my standard 12" distance to about 18" and get a great coat, but then I think it atomizes too quickly and I get spots of pretty rough surfaces, especially on the horizontals. I think what I'll do is sand the base coats to 320 and spray a coat or two of USL for the finish. It dries quickly and I've never had problems with sags.