Product Reviews

Precision Demo Tasks with the Festool Vecturo OS400

Precision Demo Tasks with the Festool Vecturo OS400

Written by on December 13, 2014 in Products of Interest, Tools with 0 Comments

Festool plunged into the oscillating multi-tool market in December 2014 with the launch of the Vecturo OS400. In the weeks prior to the release of the tool, Topcoat test drove a manufacturer supplied unit through a series of interior and exterior material removal tasks. This is by no means a comprehensive review of the tool, […]

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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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Interior products

Kovrd Bag Creates Efficient Transitions

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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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 In this day and age of wonder products at all different price points, paint adhesion has come to be misunderstood. On the one hand, the “old school” approach to using a 3 coat system on new surfaces, which involved primer and two coats of finish, regardless of substrate […]

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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 5 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 12 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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Tips for Painting Furniture

Tips for Painting Furniture

Written by on September 7, 2013 in Handheld/Cordless, Industry News with 6 Comments

New Instructional Painting Video Series In this video, Todd shares some small project finishing basics for painting furniture or other types of small projects. This is the second in an instructional video series that we are working on with Graco, in partnership with our own Prep to Finish paint industry education program. Recently, the first […]

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Wood Snobbery

When Paint Problems Happen

When Paint Problems Happen

Written by on September 13, 2014 in Wood Snobbery with 3 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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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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Sanding and Dust Collection

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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Hand Sanding: Necessary Evil made Tolerable

Hand Sanding: Necessary Evil made Tolerable

Written by on November 25, 2011 in Manual Sanders, Sanding and Dust Collection, Tools with 5 Comments

Sometimes We do some Hand Sanding… …and the Festool Hand Sanding Kit (HSK) provides solutions. Eliminating hand sanding is generally a surface prep efficiency goal for painters and wood/drywall finishers. Especially for us, for instance, on a friday when we are trying to bust out a final skim coat and head for the mountains. At […]

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Reader Questions

Reader Question: Exterior Concrete

Reader Question: Exterior Concrete

Written by on December 8, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 0 Comments

Question: Hi.  I often read your articles in APC magazine and enjoy your simple, down to earth explanation of things.  I often feel as confused today about which product to use as I did many years ago as a helper. My question is: I am re-painting an exterior concrete patio and am not sure how […]

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Reader Question: Popcorn and Point Up

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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On Further Review

RTS 400: Sporty Orbital

Written by on April 15, 2012 in On Further Review... with 2 Comments

Festool RTS 400 Dust Extraction Demo Short video demo with Scott Burt showing the absence of airborne dust with a RTS 400 inside a cabinet enclosure during finish sanding tasks in preparation for primer and paint. Festool sanding is noted for capturing dust at the source (the surface), so that it cannot become airborne – […]

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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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Pro Painters Speak: Top “Triple Threat” Interior Paint

We’ll keep this one short and sweet. If you’re just getting here, check out the discussion going on in the Comment section below, thanks to the gracious input of contractors around the world. Here’s What it’s About: If you could only use one LINE of interior paint (Duration, Aura, etc.) for all of the ceilings, […]

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Paint Brush Rant

Paint Brush Rant

Written by on August 28, 2014 in Applicators with 17 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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