Saturday, June 23, 2018

The final coat is on!

The final coat is on!  On our grill cabinets, that is.  As planned, I put the second coat on this morning – and now this afternoon I've just finished the third and final coat.  Even with just two coats the finish was beautiful.  The third coat has already finished leveling and has started to cure, and it's even shinier now – it really looks like there's a glass surface there. 

The next challenge will be for my brother and I tomorrow afternoon, as we attempt to move the three cabinet sections from the paint spray tent (at right) to our deck.  The moving itself isn't the challenge – doing so without damaging any important part of the finish will be.  There are two reasons why that finish is vulnerable.  First, the varnish takes 10 to 20 days to completely cure, and it's hardness and toughness steadily increases over that period.  Second, the underlying wood (western red cedar) is fairly soft – quite a bit harder than pine, but nothing at all like the hardness of, say, maple.  An inopportune whack could put a big ding in the finish and possibly even the wood.  We will be very careful tomorrow!

That paint spray tent was a serendipitous find.   I did some research into what might work, and found several references to this sort of collapsible, pop-up canopy with add-on sides.  Recommendations mostly suggested Dacron or Nylon cloth (or similar non-porous plastic fiber) to reduce paint adhesion.  So I went looking on Amazon just in case they happened to have such a thing – and they did!  At quite a reasonable price, too.  It seems quite well made, though only time will tell on that.  I have it sitting on the asphalt in front of my barn, held down with 150 pounds of lead weights that I have for clamping (cloth bags with 25 pounds of lead shot).  So far it has only seen 12 mph winds, but it didn't budge in those.  It's 10' x 10', and at least 8' high on the inside (higher toward the center).  The screened window lets in plenty of air, but no leaves, seeds or bugs.  If it were dusty and windy I'd have to shut it, but the past few days have been beautifully clear.

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