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Product Reviews

New: Fine Finish Low Pressure Tips by Graco

New: Fine Finish Low Pressure Tips by Graco

Written by on January 29, 2017 in Product Reviews with 10 Comments

If you have been following TCR for very long, you have probably noticed a constant focus on spraying at lower pressures. The new series of Graco RAC X Fine Finish Low Pressure tips are a compelling and EASY step in that direction. Controlling airborne mist and overspray does two things for us. First, it makes […]

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Festool Sys Duo Case Study

Festool Sys Duo Case Study

Written by on December 24, 2016 in Lighting, Product Reviews with 8 Comments

Job site Lighting: Festool Sys Duo ROI Case Study With interior season here, it is time once again to dust off the work lights, check the bulbs and clean the lenses. Sound familiar? If you are still in that cycle, then you probably haven’t upgraded to LED job site lighting yet, and it might be […]

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Interior products

The Best Clear Finish you may have Never Heard of: Vermont Natural Coatings

The Best Clear Finish you may have Never Heard of: Vermont Natural Coatings

Written by on February 5, 2017 in Interior Products with 4 Comments

If you haven’t heard of Vermont Natural Coatings, this will sound kind of crazy. This small company located about 40 minutes from our Topcoat shop makes water based finishes that are fortified with whey – the protein that is a by-product of cheese making. Replacing Toxic Chems with Cheese? No Way! Way. PolyWhey™. And its […]

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The Sound and Fury of Interior Paint Failure

The Sound and Fury of Interior Paint Failure

Written by on April 9, 2016 in Interior Paints with 0 Comments

It’s pretty easy to cause a stir about paint. Just say “paint failure” in a group of painters and watch for quickly hatching and sometimes odd theories about paint manufacturer motives. You may even hear conspiracy theories about manufacturers reserving their “good” formulation ingredients for top ($60+/gal) lines of paint product. Painters…hooked and manipulated by […]

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Exterior Products

Painting Boral TruExterior® Trim

Painting Boral TruExterior® Trim

Written by on February 10, 2017 in Exterior Products with 4 Comments

A quick and inconclusive ‘heads up’ about a recent experience we had painting Boral TruExterior® composite trim. We have been sharing in our Facebook Spray Group the progress on a large pre-finishing project, with about 6000 lf of 1×12 pine shiplap siding for a new barn build by a local custom builder. The siding stain is […]

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Elastomeric Coating for Old Pressure Treated Decks

Elastomeric Coating for Old Pressure Treated Decks

Written by on June 9, 2015 in Decks and Porches, Exterior Products with 63 Comments

For decades, painters have wrestled with how to best refinish neglected, old pressure treated decks – without call backs. Pressure treated decks are common in the residential repaint segment, because the wood rarely rots, but often seems to take on every form of ugly just shy of rotting. Splitting and checking are typical in pressure […]

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Sanding and Dust Collection

Festool Orbital Sanders Improved for 2017

Festool Orbital Sanders Improved for 2017

Written by on February 7, 2017 in Sanding and Dust Collection with 2 Comments

2017 RTS and DTS400 Festool Orbital Sanders If you own previous versions of the Festool orbital sanders (RTS/DTS400EQ), those are still nice tools. No cause for alarm, but you may be interested in knowing… Festool has improved the functionality of these tools in the new generation for 2017. The new orbitals (RTS/DTS400REQ) sport a new […]

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Festool CT-SYS Dust Extractor: Change for the Different

Festool CT-SYS Dust Extractor: Change for the Different

The Festool CT-SYS dust extractor reminds us that being daily tool users is like being parents. Just when we have gained an understanding of the current age/behavior/patterns of our children, a new stage of development unfolds in front of us. Evolution in tools happens the same way…sometimes for the better, when technologies are improved. On […]

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Wood Snobbery

Wood Snobbery

Written by on November 24, 2015 in Wood Snobbery with 0 Comments

What do we do when we aren’t finishing things or testing products and creating content to share? The answer is pretty simple, we are on the road teaching others how to do, well, all of the above really. And many times, it points back to our long held commitment to wood snobbery. Our Prep to […]

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A new resource for IPE enthusiasts

A new resource for IPE enthusiasts

Written by on February 8, 2015 in Decks and Porches, Industry News, Wood Snobbery with 13 Comments

Due to the overwhelming response our ipe content has enjoyed on topcoatreview.com, the topic now occupies it’s own chunk of online real estate. If you are a ipe deck owner (at any stage of ownership) in need of professional guidance, we invite you to join us there.

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All about Sprayers

Graco GX 19 Compact Fine Finish Sprayer

Written by on October 22, 2016 in Product Reviews, Sprayers with 8 Comments

Graco GX 19: A New Fine Finish Spraying Technology One of the fun aspects about being product and tool testers is that we get to see and figure out what manufacturers are trying to accomplish with new product launches. We have tested and reviewed a few new tools this year that were introduced to fill […]

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Graco 395 Finish Pro II

Graco 395 Finish Pro II

Written by on February 3, 2014 in Air Assisted Airless, Sprayers with 20 Comments

Graco 395 Finish Pro II In 2014, Graco released an improved line of fine finish sprayers, which includes improved 395 and 595 versions of the legendary Finish Pro air assisted sprayers. Topcoat began testing the 395 Finish Pro II several months prior to its release, and we were able to provide some practical input to […]

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Reader Questions

What About Getting a Perfect Finish by Sanding?

What About Getting a Perfect Finish by Sanding?

Written by on February 13, 2017 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 0 Comments

Thanks for all the great info on your website. My question: can I sand latex painted wood (trim, shelves etc.) with 1000 – 1500 grit after the final coat? I’ll be using the ETS 150/5. Is getting a perfect finish by sanding possible without using a sprayer? Thanks, Greg Hi Greg Getting a perfect finish […]

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Graco Jet Roller Inquiry from New York

Graco Jet Roller Inquiry from New York

Written by on February 9, 2017 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 0 Comments

Eli from New York asks: I was wondering if you have used the Graco Jet Roller system? Scott answers: Hi Eli, Great question. We do use the Jet Roller, most commonly in our paint training program – Prep to Finish. It is a great system to teach students how to spray and back roll sheetrock […]

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On Further Review

Pivit Tool for Ladders

Pivit Tool for Ladders

Written by on January 30, 2017 in On Further Review... with 6 Comments

Pivit Tool Could be the Best Under $100 Investment You Make If your work involves much use of extension ladders, then you’ve likely encountered awkward set up locations. The Pivit tool from ProVision is a safe, convenient and cost effective solution. A stout, wedge-shaped implement made of durable polypropylene, the Pivit weighs in at 14 […]

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Top Tools for Fine Finishing

Top Tools for Fine Finishing

Written by on October 26, 2014 in On Further Review..., Tools with 0 Comments

There are so many choices in products and tools for fine finishing, and of course, the products and tools define the process to a large extent. We are frequently asked which tools continue to rise to the top in our shop and in the field. Here is a compilation pulled from a recent cherry table […]

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Ask the Pros!

Ask the Pros!

Written by on January 3, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 7 Comments

Have a question about a product? Want to know more about a tool? Want to share a project or problem you have tackled? We love to hear from our readers! You can fill out the form here or leave a comment below and add a photo. We will respond as soon as possible in our […]

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Minnesota Ipe Deck: Penofin Marine?

Question from Minnesota Hi Scott It’s Eric up in Minnesota. You helped answer a lot of questions for me when I was building my IPE deck a couple years back. Well, it turned out great and thanks again for all your advice! I’ve been applying the Penofin Marine annually and it looks great but after […]

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Paint Project Advice for Homeowners

Before you meet your painter, you may wander a path of research seeking paint project advice. The journey starts with Googling around for a project you had in mind, or one you’ve started, stopped or fired someone from. Maybe something you saw on Pinterest. Whatever your topic, looking for paint project advice is a long […]

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How Much Should I Charge for this Paint Job?

It’s one of the toughest lessons in our business: Getting paid doesn’t mean you made money. There are a ton of land mines out there that can cause you to win the battle only to lose the war. One way to ensure that you make a profit on your job is by using production rates […]

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Armed Workwear Pants Update

The Armed Workwear Pants update is: these guys are still around! Armed Workwear first hit our radar back in 2010 when we tried their pants and reviewed them. You can read that review here. Since then, for us and many of our readers, Armed became (quite literally) a moving target. Company founder Josh Banks moved […]

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