Eco Friendly Products- The decision to switch A few months ago we began looking into switching our furniture finishing from solvent-based lacquers to more eco friendly products like water-based lacquers, paints and stains. Our goal was to try to use Eco friendly products wherever possible without negatively impacting the quality and durability our clients expect. They […]
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Eco Friendly Products-Why Switch?
Eco Friendly Products- The decision to switch
A few months ago we began looking into switching our furniture finishing from solvent-based lacquers to more eco friendly products like water-based lacquers, paints and stains. Our goal was to try to use Eco friendly products wherever possible without negatively impacting the quality and durability our clients expect. They cost a little more, are not as readily available as solvent based products and to be quite honest have a less than impressive history over the fairly recent past. Despite the push for more Eco friendly options many companies struggled to provide the same kind of product experience for the applicator as well as the end user where ease of use and durability were an issue – which they always are – an issue that solvent based paints and lacquers have long since provided answers for.
With re-assurance from my brother who recently became a sales rep for a paint and finishing supply retailer and who is a very knowledgeable specialist in that field we decided to give it a try.
WOW!!! – What an awesome finish…!
We were thoroughly impressed and are in the process now of switching over completely to water-based products that he is recommending. The AQUA VAR lacquer is the only product we are familiar with so far but we are excited to start with stains and lacquer paints also. In my opinion the finish is comparable and even superior to the solvent based products we were using. Durability is just not an issue. The lacquered surfaces almost seem to have a slicker finish while maintaining the desired degree of sheen. We are soon going to be doing more severe testing on our own but for now are relying on the word of the company rep who has explained the extent to which the manufacturer goes to test for heat, cold and abrasion durability. To be honest they went way beyond what we thought necessary yet have had consistently impressive results. We have seen no reason to doubt their word from what we have seen so far.
While application hasn’t been as issue at all, cleanup afterwards has been an even nicer surprise. Water cleanup for the most part with an ammonia rinse to further breakdown the gun residue makes for quick, easy and way less stinky operations. We are a small custom shop so for us this means no pervasive solvent small lingering in the shop well after the spraying of parts is completed. ..NICE!
As an added bonus, we tested using the same HVLP gravity gun in our runs and switching back and forth a few times between solvent based product and water-based product with no problems at all. Simply using a transitional wash or 2 of the next product thinner seemed to condition the gun just as the manufacturer said it would with no ill effects on the spraying at all. So that meant when going from solvent to water based we ran solvents through to clean as we normally would the we ran water through a couple times to prep before spraying with the water based lacquer. It took a couple minutes, that’s all.
This means a small shop or anyone for that matter does not have to go out and invest a small fortune in new equipment in order to switch to more Eco friendly products. So really there is no good reason to not give it a good try.
100% Recommendation for Reclaimed Wood Furniture Finishing
We can see no reason to not give this 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. We are now looking forward to the opportunity to test out the company’s stains and paints and we expect similarly impressive results.