Spray Finishing an Assembled Lattice

Advice on finishing a lattice made of small slats, after assembly. February 13, 2006

Can a good clear coat spray finish be given to the cherry wood ceiling lattice subassembly shown here? Each slat is 3/4" x 2-3/4" in section, and the space between slats is 2 inches. We would like to be able to do this assembled, rather that spray all the parts first.

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Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
I would spray standing perpendicular to the length of slat in one direction, then go to the other side and do the same. When dry, turn it upside down and do the same. Be careful and keep it light, as there will be a good chance for runs.

From contributor B:
Use retarder and mist it on in a couple of coats a few minutes apart and shut your fan off in between. If it tacks up and shows overspray just mist it on a little heavier. The advice above is right about shooting it both front and back - just make sure to turn it so that you're always shooting toward your fan. Better to spray it in 15 minutes without a run than in 2 minutes and have 4 runs.

From contributor C:
Iím curious as to why you would prefer to spray this assembled? Set up a couple of horses and lay the pieces out (cut to length) and spray one face and both sides. Allow it to dry and flip and spray the opposite side. This will make it much easier to sand and reach all parts. As finishers, we are not always given the choice between pieces or assembled. Given a choice, I would take pieces probably 90 percent of the time.

From contributor D:
To contributor C: I concur with your unassembled response. At the very least I would throw on my first coats (stain, sealer, 1st cleat coat, etc). I would spray a light misted final after assembly. On cherry it could possibly save some time by keeping the glue from making a mess.

From contributor E:
Build a frame with 2 uprights where you can come in from the outsides with 3 inch screws to hold it up and spray all the sides at once.

From contributor F:
Think about dipping it!