How to apply lacquer on the inside of a box?

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
Finishing a couple of toy boxes for the grandchildren 30x15x15. I have sprayed the outside and lids with lacquer, used a brush on the inside. Not happy with the results on the inside. Using a “cup gun” creates the obvious issues when overspray is a problem, and the ability to apply it uniformly inside a confined space.

So, I thought, maybe I am overlooking a simple solution, I will ask the finish gurus, they will know!

How do I get a smooth uniform finish on the inside of a box?

 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Using a “cup gun” creates the obvious issues when overspray is a problem, and the ability to apply it uniformly inside a confined space.
Finish the inside pieces before assembly.

a “cup gun” creates the obvious issues when overspray is a problem
Those issues aren't obvious to me. Can you describe them please?

The inside of a toy box is going to get beaten up anyway by the toys being tossed into it so why worry about a "uniform" finish on the inside even with a brush?
 
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Robert166

robert166
Senior User
This is before any finish was applied, I considered finishing the inside before assembly that is an option.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Tough to spray inside a box or cabinet. As Jeff mentioned, it's easier to finish the box prior to assembly, but it means masking the joints. When I do something like a cabinet, I'll leave the back off so I don't get blowback when spraying. But I can't see that working for a box.

You may want to try aggressively thinning the finish you brush to help lay down a smooth coat. A rattle can or even an airbrush may give you some more control, you could use that as the last coat on top of your brushed coats.

Very nice looking box BTW!
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Nice walnut box with tight box joints.

I had the impression that the boxes were already assembled and then finished inside and outside.
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
Thank you for the kind comments, my family tells me I am too hard on myself, I find fault in all my work, never satisfied. For example, the joints are not as tight as I wanted, this was taken before I applied some wood putty. And because of the limited supply of walnut on hand I did not get the matching grain on the sides. I was able to match the dark piece of molding on the front to the rest. But it is a toy box, so I do not think the grandkids will critique it as I do.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
I have never done Lacquer inside a box but have done it successfully with Shellac. Use the smallest smallest tip & tack coat the inside corners a few times, then you can spray the flat areas without causing dripping or build up in the corners. You could just shellac and do it by hand too, I think it would be easier and more controllable .
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
First, use as low a pressure as you can to minimize overspray. Second, start by narrowing the fan pattern and spray the corners and edges first. Next open the pattern some to spray the bottom first, and then the sides. (Work fro the deepest point out). If you have "dusty" or dull spots, pour out the lacquer from you gun and use straight thinner. Fog the inside, and the thinner will dissolve the dry overspray into the finish. Be careful not to wet it too much when fogging, as you so not want it to run off the vertical sides. If it is not glossy enough after its dry, you can hand polish it to the sheen you want.

On a small box like that, a small detail gun will work best, but if all you have is a full size, cut your fluid and air to get a spray pattern that is about 1/3 the height of the box. With some practice, you can get acceptable results with rattle can lacquer, especially if it has a nozzle that is a fan pattern. I have had good results using Deft spray can lacquer on small items like drawer interiors, etc.

You can expect to do multiple coats with lacquer, or else you will end up with runs. Two cioats will seal it well, but more may be needed if looking for a smooth gloss finish.
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
“Fog the inside, and the thinner will dissolve the dry overspray into the finish.”
Hmmmm that will work out I do agree, thanks!
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
To get into tight places, I use an airbrush. Specifically the Iwata TRN 2. Works great
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
With my Apolo HVLP, I can paint the inside if a disposable coffee cup. Inside of a toy box shouldn't be a problem. When I was building cubbies for local "Y" I sprayed them with backs off. Later, I just prefinished whole sheet before cutting pieces to size.
 

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