Painting/finishing discussion


Hey guys.

I’ve been curious about how y’all paint your sticks as of late. I just have a bunch of random questions for everybody out there. I’m not all that experienced with getting really good finishes, and I’m just interested to here what people have to say about the subject. I know “Painting” is a broad subject, and I mean it to be. I’m curious to hear what people do, what people want out of their finishes, how they go about getting them, what works and what doesn’t, and whatever else anybody has to say about theirs or someone else’s finishing process.

Some questions I’ve had…
What paints do people use? Where do you get them? What do you use for clear coating? Pros and cons of different types of clear coat? For those of you who may mess around with marble or other faux, or more “complex” finishes, what do you use? Do you use glaze at all? How do you ensure your finish is durable? How do you go about painting multi tone finishes? How about more intricate designs?

I’m not asking for people to spoon feed me information on how to make a hunk of wood pretty. I’m not asking “how do i do this?”, I’m really just curious about how YOU do this.

Any responses would be appreciated. I wanna know what y’all have to say about painting and finishing.


Shameless plug:

Extra Medium - The Life and Times of Spenzalii Func: Mirror Finish Paint Guide

Wrote that up a while ago. A few techniques have changed, but the basics remain the same. Now, as far as faux finishes and airbrush techniques, some other paint masters can help out there…


Thanks for your response spenz. That’s a really good write up. I’m a little surprised I haven’t already read it haha.

How durable do your finishes tend to be? Do you use particular clear coats to achieve more durability??? My last build has been denting and scratching like crazy.


I’ll say this: more than anything, the 2 biggest things I’ve found no matter what I use is surface prep and cure time. No matter what you use, if your surface isn’t properly primed (for paint), sealed (for different woods), sanded and cleaned, you’re going to have problems with your finish. Preparing your project for finish is of upmost importance. The sanding and polishing the finish will give you the shine you’re looking for, but before you pick up a piece of anything, make sure you read up on the cure time for whatever product you use. The finish needs time to properly set and harden before you start polishing away. If not, you will have problems sooner rather than later.


Yeah, I generally agree with spen. There are times for bare wood that a sanding sealer will do you no good or even make your work harder. But surface preparation is still key.

Even when you follow a good guide like that, the advice of the local paint store guy (that was me), or just the label on the can, you’ll never quite make up for experience and practice. You always find new tricks that work for you.I recommend always practicing new techniques on scrap wood before doing something important.

Pro-Tip: Brown paper bags are about equivalent to 2500 grit sandpaper and are great for a final buffing.


Haha no shit… That’s pretty cool.

Thanks for responding guys. Hopefully others will also find what people have to say on the subject useful.


Nice rite up spenz I will send all my question askers to that links saves me from writing full papers in my PM’s. great write up bro!!!


yo shit gotta invest in paper bags, also have to find me some 2k grit paper…
its a hard thing to find to say the least


Also just to throw this out, I’m a huge fan of Minwax Polycrylic finishes, the stuff has the best results I’ve worked with yet, also very durable.


So far I have used spray on gloss lacquer paint, Minwax brush on polycrylic, and Deft brush on lacquer. The polycrylic and lacquer will level themselves out, so I don’t worry about brush marks (using a good quality brush helps). Besides, since I wet sand everything down anyway it really doesn’t matter. No matter what I use I wait at LEAST a week for the finish to cure before I start any wetsanding, although sanding between coats of polycrylic is ok - You need to sand between coats to ensure adhesion, but after the final coat goes on I’ll let it sit to be sure it’s cured. The temperature and humidity of yoru area plays a part too, so read the labels and research what others say about the product online.

Ideally I’d like to get a HPLV sprayer or some form of spray gun, put space and expenses just don’t work out for that right now. Haven’t tried any of the rub on finishes but I know many have had good results with those as well.


I’ve been curious about trying out the brush on polycrylic (does anyone use those foam poly brushes? I realize it levels and you can always level it more through sanding, but for some reason those seem like they’d be really easy to get thin, even coats on)

Ronin, didn’t you say a while ago somewhere that you stopped using polycrylic cause it rubs off after a while or something?