Product Reviews

Armed Workwear Pants Update

Written by on October 29, 2016 in Product Reviews, Workwear with 0 Comments

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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Graco GX 19 Compact Fine Finish Sprayer

Graco GX 19 Compact Fine Finish Sprayer

Written by on October 22, 2016 in Product Reviews, Sprayers with 6 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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Interior products

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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8 Often Disappearing Interior Painting Products Under $12

8 Often Disappearing Interior Painting Products Under $12

Written by on December 26, 2015 in Interior Products with 11 Comments

We have been saying it for years – “it’s not the elephants that will kill you, it’s the mosquitoes”. This means that usually it is not the bigger issues that cause the most problems. In the world of interior painting products, it is the smaller, seemingly innocuous issues that really sting. And the cumulative effects […]

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Exterior Products

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 62 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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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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Sanding and Dust Collection

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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Working with Rotex Sanders

Working with Rotex Sanders

Written by on December 27, 2015 in Sanding and Dust Collection with 0 Comments

Smart Sanders seek Smarter Users Rotex sanders learn how we work as much as we learn how they work. I’m talking after hours of regular use. If we pay attention, we learn how the sander wants to move, and it begins to recognize the repetitive patterns in our work. An understanding develops between tool and […]

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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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When Paint Problems Happen

When Paint Problems Happen

Written by on September 13, 2014 in Wood Snobbery with 8 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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All about Sprayers

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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An Easy Airless Spraying Rig

An Easy Airless Spraying Rig

Written by on July 7, 2013 in Airless, Sprayers with 12 Comments

Every Painter needs a good “Rock Rig” While high volume pumps are still all the rage in airless spraying, the middle weight .5 gpm class of skid style pumps will always have a place in the painter arsenal. In fact, .5-ers, whether blue or red in color, may well be the most commonly hauled out […]

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Reader Questions

Graco HVLP Gravity Cup Gun

Written by on December 26, 2015 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 0 Comments

Kevin Asks: “In a YouTube video your are using a GRACO HVLP with a top feed gun with a plastic top feed cup I do a lot of high end work myself and have all GRACO equipment and I was wondering if I could get your gun info so I could purchase the same set […]

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Help Painting Stairs!

Help Painting Stairs!

Written by on December 26, 2015 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 0 Comments

Ed asks: Hi Pros! “The stair risers in my home haven’t been painted since construction in 1996. Scuffed, yellowed & highly trafficked; it’s time. Original paint unknown – do I prime first & w/ what? Then the biggie: waterborne acrylic enamel in semigloss or something else? Which brand for this non-pro working vertically w/ stained […]

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On Further Review

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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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 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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Free Festool Finish Line for Painters

Did you know that there is a Festool Finish Line magazine/catalog (or “magalog”) for painters? It is free and you should check it out. This resource has been out for a couple of years now, and is really getting to be a fun one to read. The current Festool Finish Line is at Festoolpaint.com (click to […]

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Psychology of Low Grit Sanding

What grit do you sand at most in the type of work you do? Regardless of where your project sanding “wheelhouse” is, you likely start with low grit sanding and work up. Whatever “low” is for you, lower grits can often go pretty fast because it’s the rough work and gets smoothed out at the […]

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9 FREE Online Resources for Paint Contractors

What do WE Read? As much as we write articles/reviews and produce video content here at TCR and Prep to Finish, we also invest time in seeking out and reading (and even contributing to) other online resources for paint contractors. Whether it is over morning coffee or on long flights, we are always on the […]

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Top 2 Production Mistakes and How to Eliminate Them

Here is a quick look at 2 paint production mistakes that can spread through paint companies in a subtle way, leaving owners wondering why profits were low, in spite of selling high estimates.   **Hover Over Gallery Below and Use Arrows to Navigate** Leave us a note in the comment section below!

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