Spraying Both Sides of Cabinet Doors

Finishers describe table and hanger systems that allow them to spray all sides of a set of doors in a single efficient operation. October 16, 2012

I have been frustrated for years trying to spray both sides of cabinet sized doors at the same time. Does anyone have a system that works? We have the racks for large interior doors and that works great. Small doors are a real time waster!

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
Hang them from hooks in the hinge openings. You just have to be very careful of runs.

Or the method I see used more often is a nail board. Spray the backs, then quickly and carefully flip onto the nail board and spray the face. There are variations on how to do this. One company makes little plastic pyramids to set things on as opposed to the sharp nail points.

From contributor T:
I use side by side by side turntables, 3 in total. The first one has an old paint can filled with sand (to prevent tipping). I put a clean rag on the top of the can before spraying to prevent marring. The second and third turntables are empty.

Pre-match sanded doors onto pin boards (face up) and load onto rolling racks. I have approximately 60 pin boards in stock. Racks go into booth with a helper. Helper places pin board with door onto empty turntable #2. Takes door from pin board and places it face down on can. I spray or prime back of door, but not edges. In the meantime he gets another pin board and door onto table #3. He takes door from can, places it face up on pin board #2, I spray edges and face. He takes door from table #3 and puts it face down on can. I move back to can to spray #3 and he racks painted door #2. Door #3 goes back to pin board for edge and face spray, turntable #2 gets reloaded, etc.

After you try it a few times you can get a good flow going. You never want to finish with your doors face down on the pin board. This is especially true with painted or paint/glaze finishes. Always organize your spray run from biggest doors down to smallest drawer head, and always load and unload your racks from top to bottom so you don't have the chance of dust or grit landing on previous door as you would if you went bottom to top. Common sense at play here.

From contributor T:
Does anyone finish vertically? I have done it in the past with large items like interior doors which have limited movement due to their weight. I have experimented with smaller cabinet doors but could never quite find the right combination of spray pressure and door movement. One always worked against the other. I do far more cabinet doors than larger items, so am looking for input on how to keep the doors rigid while hanging.

What is the smallest size door you are able to finish? 16 x 18 fridge cabinet doors? What finish product are you using? Are you adding or losing time in a vertical configuration, since I assume you would have to spray lighter coats to prevent sags/runs?

I am currently switching over to Valspar after using MLC for the last few years.

From contributor C:
Vertical finishing may be similar to what I worked out in 72. My name for it was palette finishing. I created as many artist type palettes as necessary to spray the entire job at once. Since it was in 8' sections that could be joined together easily, the set up time was nil in comparison to regular material handling of dozens of doors or more.

I have made both knock down free standing types as well as wall attached folding types. Though I did do my staining and glazing, etc., in the booth a piece at a time, I finessed the color on the easels. Then, when ready to spray, I would simply spray all the lined up doors at once - normally an 8' to 16' run took me about 5-7 min max, pressure pot and gun. I have not seen or found a better way.

Think of it as a reverse automated flat line spray operation. Instead of the work moving past you as you spray, you're the one in motion. That is what gave me the idea - spraying many pieces without having to move them several times each, and without them taking up needed floor space. Material handling is a profit killer!

From contributor M:
I use the nail board method. I spray the backs first, then flip them over and spray the edges and face. I can topcoat 40-50 cabinet doors very quickly with this method. I spray about 4-8 at a time. Once I spray them, I carry them into the drying room and grab another 4-8 doors (depending on the size). I prefer to spray my doors lying flat, so I can get more build on without worrying about sags or runs.

From contributor D:
I finish vertically. I have not found door movement to be a problem. The smallest pieces might move a slight amount but it doesn't stop me from getting them coated. Are you using a conventional spray gun? If so, you might have better results with a HVLP or AAA type setup. I use a Sherwin Williams conversion varnish. Vertical finishing was one of the single most important steps I have ever made in my company.

From contributor C:
Are you talking about doing paint and glazed finishes vertically? Or any other multi-step color processes that need hand, brush, or other? Or are you mainly talking about spray operations (clear/color applications)?

From contributor D:
Spraying and drying are done vertically. To sand, glaze, etc, the door is removed from the hooks and then re-hung.

From the original questioner:
I found the tool! Eureka! Fastcap makes a product called a Euro finishing clip which fits into the euro hinge cup and allows you to hang the door. Absolutely genius for .79 a piece.