Finishing Area Temperature Control and Quality

Finishes tend to perform best in ideal temperature conditions, but controlling those can cost money. March 3, 2010

Having read through many posts written here by someone having issues with their finish, it seems, judging by the resulting suggestions from others, that many of the potential problems associated with finishing could be eliminated if one were to move their finishing department indoors into a climate controlled environment. Any thoughts on the potential advantages of having control over the temperature of your finishing area? I'm not a scientist, but it seems that having control over the temperature would also give someone control over the humidity to some degree.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
Do you think that most finishers spray outdoors?

From the original questioner:
No, and perhaps I should have been more specific. I assume that many cabinet shops operate in an industrial building that lacks thermostatically controlled heating and cooling. I guess my question is whether these shops suffer a great disadvantage relative to those shops that can regulate the temperature/humidity of their finishing room.

From contributor R:
It certainly would be of benefit to have a heated spray booth or at least heat in the shop that the spray booth is located in. Both represent a substantial monthly cost and that's on top of all the other costs related to running a shop. Sure, a coating likes to be in a warm environment, as it's being sprayed and while it's drying. Unfortunately not all shops can afford a heat fed spray booth.

The degree of suffering can be minimized by spraying within the temperature range that's posted on the manufacturer's tech sheet. Venting the spray booth of all fumes and then using a remote heater will help. Wrapping a heating pad around the pressure pot can help. Adding a little retarder to the mix can help. Rotating fans can also help. Just like any hurdle we face in life, it pays to be creative and utilize good-ol-Yankee ingenuity.

From contributor Y:
I have always heard that more important than the air temperature is the fluid temperature. In the winter I use a band heater that wraps around a 5 gallon bucket of lacquer and warms it up for about 30 minutes to an hour before I start spraying. It's amazing how much nicer the lacquer lies down. And I keep the buckets on 2x4's to keep them off the cold concrete floors.