Anyone use (or tried) SW Kem Aqua? Any advice for spraying?

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
SW Kem Aqua (corrected name) is a waterborne lacquer product - pigmented. I am going to try some.

Anyone spray it regularly? Or tried it, at least.
If so can you tell me anything about handling or spraying characteristics - compared to SW ProClassic acrylic latex enamel, or Target Coatings pigmented acrylic 'lacquer'?

I have raw wood, a mix of plywood and wood face frames. What primer, if any, have you used with this product?
I'm also going to get the official SW advice on this, but wondered if anyone had experience to share.

Thanks
 
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Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Correction - Product called Kem Aqua Plus WHite ... not Aqua Kem. (corrected in title and original post)
 
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srhardwoods

Chris
Senior User
I spray it every week. I switched from ML cambel aqualente a couple years ago. It sprays great. I use the Gen II universal primer as I find it to block bleed through better than the kem apua primer. The Gen II Universal primer will dry in about 20 minutes, sands like chaulk powder and ready for recoat. Prep wood with 150, use 320 between primer coats and color. I spray both the primer and top coat with a AAA pump system, using a 411 tip and spary 4 wet mils. The topcoat will dry fast as well however don't stack doors for 24 hours. Not sure how you are storing the parts after spray, but I have them on a drying rack so when it's time for the top coat, I'll spray the backs of doors first and wait till the next day to flip them so they do not get lines in it from sitting on the drying rack. Then the next day I'll flip and spray the edges and face.

Because it's waterborne you might find it hard for a rep that knows a lot about it, at least mine didn't but I did reach out to another areas rep that knew quite a bit about it. Good luck with it.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
I spray it every week. I switched from ML cambel aqualente a couple years ago. It sprays great. I use the Gen II universal primer as I find it to block bleed through better than the kem apua primer. The Gen II Universal primer will dry in about 20 minutes, sands like chaulk powder and ready for recoat. Prep wood with 150, use 320 between primer coats and color. I spray both the primer and top coat with a AAA pump system, using a 411 tip and spary 4 wet mils. The topcoat will dry fast as well however don't stack doors for 24 hours. Not sure how you are storing the parts after spray, but I have them on a drying rack so when it's time for the top coat, I'll spray the backs of doors first and wait till the next day to flip them so they do not get lines in it from sitting on the drying rack. Then the next day I'll flip and spray the edges and face.

Because it's waterborne you might find it hard for a rep that knows a lot about it, at least mine didn't but I did reach out to another areas rep that knew quite a bit about it. Good luck with it.
Thanks for this Chris, I know Im not the OP on this but this is the sort of info people need from sites like this. I feel this is how this site could become very popular even outside of NC as a resource. If any of the system admins are reading this, I still feel we need to create some sort of database (searchable) for this sort of valuable information. This would ultimately attract more traffic. just my 2 cents.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Excellent info Chris
I spray it every week. I switched from ML cambel aqualente a couple years ago. It sprays great. I use the Gen II universal primer as I find it to block bleed through better than the kem apua primer. The Gen II Universal primer will dry in about 20 minutes, sands like chaulk powder and ready for recoat. Prep wood with 150, use 320 between primer coats and color. I spray both the primer and top coat with a AAA pump system, using a 411 tip and spary 4 wet mils. The topcoat will dry fast as well however don't stack doors for 24 hours. Not sure how you are storing the parts after spray, but I have them on a drying rack so when it's time for the top coat, I'll spray the backs of doors first and wait till the next day to flip them so they do not get lines in it from sitting on the drying rack. Then the next day I'll flip and spray the edges and face.

Because it's waterborne you might find it hard for a rep that knows a lot about it, at least mine didn't but I did reach out to another areas rep that knew quite a bit about it. Good luck with it.
Thanks for this Chris, I know I'm not the OP on this but this is the sort of info people need from sites like this. .....
Well Chris and Chris, I am the OP on this and the type of response is exactly what I was hoping to hear. Chris' (srhardwoods) explanation demonstrates that he is clearly a far more experienced and higher volume user than I expect I will ever be, but I take his continued product use as an endorsement (of sorts; not trying to 'put words in his mouth').

Excellent, thanks.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Thats great Neal, but to my point, its MUCH more useful to get real world input and thats what Im trying to say here. my original comment about SW personnel still stands and one would hope they have educated their personnel on their products but sadly, thats not always the case. And like I said, this website is great but can be hard to find real, valuable, useable info sometimes.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I spray it every week. I switched from ML cambel aqualente a couple years ago. It sprays great. I use the Gen II universal primer as I find it to block bleed through better than the kem apua primer. The Gen II Universal primer will dry in about 20 minutes, sands like chaulk powder and ready for recoat. Prep wood with 150, use 320 between primer coats and color. I spray both the primer and top coat with a AAA pump system, using a 411 tip and spary 4 wet mils. The topcoat will dry fast as well however don't stack doors for 24 hours. Not sure how you are storing the parts after spray, but I have them on a drying rack so when it's time for the top coat, I'll spray the backs of doors first and wait till the next day to flip them so they do not get lines in it from sitting on the drying rack. Then the next day I'll flip and spray the edges and face.

Because it's waterborne you might find it hard for a rep that knows a lot about it, at least mine didn't but I did reach out to another areas rep that knew quite a bit about it. Good luck with it.
Good information.
My venture into water based has always been a bit disappointing when compared to solvent based. It seems like the high solids primer you are using has similar properties to their solvent based, being able to fill pores with one or two coats and sanding like chalk without clogging the paper within 1/2 hour after application. That saves a lot of effort and time.

Once one has dialed in a finish which does everything well, it is hard to experiment further though, good to know this is working for you.

When we have too much work, we outsource to a painter who has been doing this all his life, only thing he does. He is stuck on Lenmar solvent based, refuses to even consider anything else. Mixes his own color matching. The last $1,800 job I twisted his arm to use SW conversion varnish, he said never again. The product works fine for me.
 

srhardwoods

Chris
Senior User
Good information.
My venture into water based has always been a bit disappointing when compared to solvent based. It seems like the high solids primer you are using has similar properties to their solvent based, being able to fill pores with one or two coats and sanding like chalk without clogging the paper within 1/2 hour after application. That saves a lot of effort and time.

The SW Gen II primer is quite amazing. I had a few pieces of a mild curly maple get into my lumber stack I was milling and I was quite surprised how the primer filled and leveled out the curl in the maple where you wouldn't even see it. Even in dark colors such as solid black looked quite good. I'll have to dig up a few pics of some doors with it

Finding a rep with a good knowledge of WB is going to be tough from just about any manufacture. I would have to assume the calls are 20 to 1 for solvents to waterborne and seems like more and more people just don't take the time to do some research or even open a can and do some RD on there own to be able to offer more educated information on it.

Not sure how it is priced in your area, I pay $37 a gallon. I usually stock up on the 5 gallon pails in white and if I need a small amount of color product I'll pore out what I need into an empty container and take it in for tinting.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
^^^^
Chris

The local SW stores can no longer help us with industrial products. We have to use their industrial division, so everything gets shipped from Charlotte. For each custom color we also have to give the customer an aerosol can for touch up, which is only available from Charlotte. With shipping it gets pretty expensive and for small jobs I end up throwing gallons of paint away. The customer pays though, for a custom color which the cabinet supplier cannot supply, we paint and double the price of the cabinet.

Which SW outlet are you using? That level of service is not available near me.
 
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Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
In Raleigh the store that carries (some of) this is the Tryon Road location- at least that's where this Kem Aqua came from. May not be any easier for you Willem
 

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