Hello. It's me again: Monopolizer of the Finishing Forums . . .
I'm trying to get a handle on what kinds of improvement I might expect, in terms of ease of application and final results, when using a pro finish versus a consumer-grade finish.
I've only sprayed, brushed or wiped mostly consumer-grade finishes until now. I am having a particularly difficult time spraying Minwax PolyCrylic. Seems I get bubbles in the wet finish that don't burst and blend out, but remain even after the coat has dried. I've tried spraying very light coats, which avoids the bubbles forming, but even this often leaves what appear to be dust nibs, or very sharp points randomly but consistently dispersed over the entire area being sprayed. Very infrequently, I get somewhat satisfactory results using the latter light-coat method, but there seems to be much room for improvement, and I need a reliable, consistent approach. Even the best of results I've achieved thus far leave me with a finish that just looks a bit "cheap."
I've tried diluting the PolyCrylic (a waterborne product) 10% and even 20%, have used different application rates and pressures and have tried various spray techniques, all to no avail. The only thing that was consistent throughout was the use of a 1.5mm needle and, to a large extent, the environmental conditions.
I will most likely be purchasing some waterborne products from Target, including their shellac, USL, etc. To that end, I am wondering if these products will be considerably easier to use and yield superior results, or might there just be a flaw in my technique that precludes me from achieving a successful finish regardless of which product I use?