I have a small shop and currently use Sherwin Williams Super Kemvar "M", a medium rubbed effect pre-cat. I love almost everything about the system, which is why I've been using it for 4 years, except the incredible odor and noxious properties. We use a booth but we're in close quarters with the finishing area, and due to its lengthy dry time are always affected on finishing days.
We are ready to try waterborne or any low odor sytem. The product must pass KCMA tests. We are in Northern California and there are not a lot of distributors in the area. Any suggestions about some good companies to start the experimental process would be greatly appreciated. We use appoximately 10 gallons a month.
You might want to contact Liberon Supplies. They are in Albion, California--is this close to you? Call Ron Ashby at 707-877-3570. He is a distributor of Star products and others. He could point you in the right direction.
It may be obvious that you need something to be durable. But there are lots of coatings that pass KCMA standards and don't do well on this test. Read about this test at
The fact is that many finishes are softer than they should be. That is probably the result of operator error. Or it has to do with the coating not being the right one for the job.
Ask your supplier of the waterborne to tell you what you can expect regarding the hardness of the cured film. And ask how long the cure time is for that full hardness to be achieved.
One way to rid the odors is to bake your finish--this will cook most solvents out and reduce your fumes in the shop. I understand that this is not a choice for many small shops. Trust me that when you switch to another product you will find that the odor of the new product will be bothersome until you get used to it, or you use it so long that it starts to bother you.
Bob Niemeyer, forum technical advisor
P.S. Stick with the Sherwin Williams coatings. I have tried many and have come to enjoy the consistency and service of SW.