Product Reviews

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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When Paint Problems Happen

When Paint Problems Happen

Written by on September 13, 2014 in Tools with 0 Comments

I spend a lot of my time as a professional painter fixing paint problems that were caused by people. Sometimes their choice of paint was a problem. More often, the way they painted was the bigger problem. If you paint at any kind of level, you likely understand that the proof is in the pudding […]

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Interior products

The not so Complex Truth about Paint Adhesion

The not so Complex Truth about Paint Adhesion

Written by on July 7, 2013 in Interior Products, Primers with 4 Comments

Don’t Mistake Cutting Corners for Cutting Edge My June 2013 “From the Field” column in APC magazine discussed the concept of paint adhesion – a topic that is rather confused and misunderstood in this day and age of paint products. On the one hand, the “old school” approach to using a 3 coat system on […]

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Production Fine Finish Tips for Pro Painters

Production Fine Finish Tips for Pro Painters

Written by on October 7, 2012 in Interior Paints, Interior Products, Primers with 6 Comments

Meeting budgets and schedules is a timeless problem for painters, which keeps us all accumulating fine finish tips. In new construction or commercial work, we often enter critical project areas just as all the sub trades are scrambling to finish. Sometimes the living spaces sequence near the back end of the project, and they often […]

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Exterior Products

Hall of Famer or Has Been?

Hall of Famer or Has Been?

Written by on September 2, 2013 in Exterior Paints, Exterior Products with 3 Comments

SW Duration Exterior Trim Paint As a product category, exterior trim paint is a fortunate beneficiary of paint manufacturers pouring R&D dollars into waterborne/latex technologies in the past several years. While oil stains were historically effective on exterior siding applications, they were not an enduring standard for exterior trim. Latex exterior trim paints have always […]

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Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review

Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review

Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review Is finally out…our Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review – in the July 2012 issue of American Painting Contractor magazine. Please check it out. We put almost a year of observation into this product prior to submitting the review for publication, and since the review was published, we have continued to […]

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All about Sprayers

New 2014 Product Launch: Graco Finish Pro II

New 2014 Product Launch: Graco Finish Pro II

Written by on February 3, 2014 in Air Assisted Airless, Sprayers with 10 Comments

2014 Graco Finish Pro II Graco has released their 2014 lineup 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 influence […]

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What is Air Assisted Spraying?

What is Air Assisted Spraying?

Written by on November 30, 2013 in Air Assisted Airless, Sprayers with 8 Comments

This is a question that seems to be a bit misunderstood in the paint industry. Most painters come from an airless spraying background, which is geared for production and not so much for the delicacy of finer finishes and transfer efficiency. Airless, in my opinion, is great for spraying large, wide open surfaces, and that […]

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Wood Snobbery

Wood Finishing Tips from the Topcoat Woodsnobs

Wood Finishing Tips from the Topcoat Woodsnobs

Written by on November 28, 2013 in Wood Snobbery with 1 Comment

“Fear of Clear” Todd and I frequently team up on wood restoration projects of all flavors – interior and exterior. Sometimes we are presented with antique quality pieces to work with. If clear finish is involved, the project always falls into the category of “fine finishing”, a rather misunderstood term these days. So, we are […]

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Better Than New with Ipe Deck Oil

Better Than New with Ipe Deck Oil

Written by on November 4, 2011 in Decks and Porches, Wood Snobbery with 45 Comments

For a few years now, we have been sharing our┬átips on ipe deck oil finishing. Rule number 4 discusses the importance of maintaining the ipe deck annually. This picture show’s one of our annual ipe deck oil finish masterpieces, which Todd insists on personally servicing. This one gets inspected and worked as needed in the […]

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Sanding and Dust Collection

5 Tips for Sanding Spindles

Written by on March 13, 2012 in Prep, Sanding and Dust Collection with 1 Comment

Good habits become muscle memory. Especially on those tedious, repetitive tasks. 5 Tips for Sanding Spindles: 1. Don’t sand them manually (use a power tool) 2. Don’t sand one spindle at a time. 3. Sand in one orientation at a time 4. There are 8 surfaces per spindle: 4 faces and 4 edges 5. Think […]

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About Extraction

About Extraction

If we had done a “Year in Review” article back in 2011, Festool extraction and the redefinition of HEPA vacs for painters would have been right up there on the list. I am a fan of just about anything that raises the bar for the paint industry, its manufacturers and contractors…as long as it doesn’t […]

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Reader Questions

Reader Question: Popcorn and Point Up

Written by on March 30, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 2 Comments

Terry from Specified Coatings in North Carolina asks: Hi Scott! First of all, thank you for the very informative information you provide us in the painting industry. It has been most helpful to me. I took the plunge today and purchased a Festool planex ct 36 dust extractor. We are primarily a high end repaint […]

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Reader Question: Drywall Finishing

Reader Question: Drywall Finishing

Written by on February 9, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 0 Comments

Drywall Finishing Question I have a room I’m going to put up sheet rock, finish and then paint. Finishing the sheet rock is tough. I’ve done it before but are there new tools out there besides a pan and knife to help me do it better and easier? And the sanding part, always dust anywhere, […]

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On Further Review

A Revolution in Work Lighting for Painters…

A Revolution in Work Lighting for Painters…

Written by on October 26, 2011 in Lighting, On Further Review... with 4 Comments

…Is BADLY needed…Hello Festool Syslite!!! [Update Jan '13: Festool Syslite Review Published] We have switched the majority of our jobsite and shop lighting needs to the Festool Syslite. Previously, fluorescent and halogen was about as good as we could get. It wasn’t good enough. Call it the three year itch in the relationship with the […]

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3 Production Tips that make Erecta-Rack a Prefinishing Solution…

3 Production Tips that make Erecta-Rack a Prefinishing Solution…

Written by on September 30, 2011 in Drying Racks, On Further Review..., Shop Solutions, Tools with 0 Comments

Erecta-Rack…because space matters… The Erecta-Rack system has been a solid solution for us both in the shop and in the field when it comes to racking small, medium or large quantities of stock for drying and curing. We have pushed the system beyond the manufacturers recommended load capacities, and there are a few techniques that […]

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Ask the Pros!

Ask the Pros!

Written by on January 3, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 4 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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Paint Brush Rant

Paint Brush Rant

Written by on August 28, 2014 in Cutting Room Floor with 7 Comments

Dear Purdy – The ONLY thing this paint brush did right today was clean up nice at the end of the day. While that is a nice quality in a brush, it is not exactly headliner material. Everything in between was a crap show: It wouldn’t hold paint. It wouldn’t release paint. No edge for […]

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Kovrd Bag Creates Efficient Transitions

Transitions Those in between times start with the initial load in of the job. The goal here, for us, is to pack everything in that we know will be needed for initial stages of the project. It is usually heavy with prep and prime gear. The Kovrd bag is usually on the scene from these […]

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