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Author Topic: Finishing Canvas - Spraying or Rolling?  (Read 24447 times)
Mark Lindquist
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« on: September 26, 2007, 04:20:34 PM »
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I opted to begin doing my own LF printing (Z3100 44") in order to have more control over the process.  More control = more stuff to do including making sure the prints are protected.  My canvas of choice is Breathing Color Chromata White, and they (Breathing Color) sell "Glamour Gloss II" their own proprietary finish.


So my questions are:

1.  Do you roll or spray your finishes?  (What special techniques /equipment do you use (i.e. HVLP vs. standard air gun)

2.  Anyone using a liquid laminator system?

3.  What top coat (product) do you use?

4.  Are you happy with your system?

5.  What kind of storage systems?  Rolls, racks, hanging, etc.Huh

OK, lots of questions - it would be nice to know about your systems - I've been building some interesting racks for holding my prints, using 1 1/4" PVC pipe - (the prints free hang over the tubing and touch nothing).

   Mark
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 04:21:12 PM by Mark Lindquist » Logged

rdonson
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 06:43:49 PM »
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I've been building some interesting racks for holding my prints, using 1 1/4" PVC pipe - (the prints free hang over the tubing and touch nothing).

   Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142048\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't done canvas yet but I'm very interested in learning more about your drying rack.  I'd love to see some photos of it.
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Ron
DougMorgan
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 08:03:06 PM »
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There are a bunch of water-based acrylic products like the breathing colour product: I've tried several and have been only partially satisfied with any of them.  Clear shield makes a product that might be a bit better, IMHO -- http://www.clearstarcorp.com/clearshield.asp  Or it could be just that clear shield is the last one I tried.

A mineral spirit based varnish (check an art supply store) when sprayed gives a nicer finish but it's not something to do in the home office.  It can go on very thin and evenly with a little practice but make sure you have a proper mask and ventilation.

The problem with the water based finishes is that it's difficult to get them smooth, even AND thin.   I think they get much too thick and start looking like a person took a polyurethane floor finish to the picture.   They also seem to coalesce (sp) around knots or defects in the canvas and make them more visible.

Cold pressed laminate is the way I've been going.   At about $2 a square foot and no labour of my own I can't see ever going back.  With the matte canvas the gloss laminate looks fantastic and adds both contrast and depth.   YMMV and I have had several prints wrecked by hot laminates due to unacceptable colour shifts.

Doug
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Mark Lindquist
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 07:52:51 AM »
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There are a bunch of water-based acrylic products like the breathing colour product: I've tried several and have been only partially satisfied with any of them.  Clear shield makes a product that might be a bit better, IMHO -- http://www.clearstarcorp.com/clearshield.asp  Or it could be just that clear shield is the last one I tried.

A mineral spirit based varnish (check an art supply store) when sprayed gives a nicer finish but it's not something to do in the home office.  It can go on very thin and evenly with a little practice but make sure you have a proper mask and ventilation.

The problem with the water based finishes is that it's difficult to get them smooth, even AND thin.   I think they get much too thick and start looking like a person took a polyurethane floor finish to the picture.   They also seem to coalesce (sp) around knots or defects in the canvas and make them more visible.

Cold pressed laminate is the way I've been going.   At about $2 a square foot and no labour of my own I can't see ever going back.  With the matte canvas the gloss laminate looks fantastic and adds both contrast and depth.   YMMV and I have had several prints wrecked by hot laminates due to unacceptable colour shifts.

Doug
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Hi Doug -
I know what you mean about the floor finish look - not so good.  We have a finishing room and lots of room to experiment and are developing some interesting techniques layering the finish in lighter coats.  I'm interested in your cold pressed laminating technique. Gloss laminate over matte canvas?  I'm looking for the ideal non-volatile thin layer with a minimum of toxicity.  Understanding that that is asking for a lot.  But I'm getting there.
Thanks for your comments-

Mark
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Mark Lindquist
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 07:54:11 AM »
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I haven't done canvas yet but I'm very interested in learning more about your drying rack.  I'd love to see some photos of it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142075\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You should print canvas man - is incredible-
 


Mark
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rdonson
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 08:27:03 AM »
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You should print canvas man - is incredible-
 
Mark
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Its on the list of things for me to tackle after the firmware release.
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Ron
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2007, 11:15:53 AM »
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Breathing Color's Glamour II gloss is very good----but there is a slight learning curve.  I hand-roll Glamour II on Breathing Color's Chromata white.

I have found that the trick is to get the right dilution ratio (use very warm water) to mix with the Glamour II.  I use a mixture of about 60% Glam II to 40% water.  Two thin coats often works best.

The (exact same) dense foam rollers can be purchased cheaply at Home Depot.
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2007, 02:51:21 PM »
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Mark:

For a sprayed on finish I found that Golden's MSA varnish was the best I've tried but that is the only non-waterbased one I've used besides the way too expensive spray bomb stuff of various brands.

I don't do the laminating myself and for $2 a foot don't see any reason to     The other  thing is that coating with the water-based coatings like Breathing colors is very labour intensive and takes up a lot of space.    Today I got an order for 18 pieces that will burn through 3 whole rolls of canvas -- it'd take me a week just to coat them with the space I have available and that's time better spent taking pictures or printing new pics.

I can get some more details if you are interested but my understanding is that the machine was around 40K so it's not for the home printer (like myself).  The laminate is continuous and the largest I've had done was 44x108 inches, laminated right to the edges.    I don't think I could adequately capture the surface with my camera but am willing to try if it would be of interest.   I've had two different outfits try a hot laminate and did not like the results of either so I was quite surprised at how well this turned out.
Doug


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Hi Doug -
I know what you mean about the floor finish look - not so good.  We have a finishing room and lots of room to experiment and are developing some interesting techniques layering the finish in lighter coats.  I'm interested in your cold pressed laminating technique. Gloss laminate over matte canvas?  I'm looking for the ideal non-volatile thin layer with a minimum of toxicity.  Understanding that that is asking for a lot.  But I'm getting there.
Thanks for your comments-

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142198\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 11:19:23 AM by DougMorgan » Logged
Mark Lindquist
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2007, 05:10:01 PM »
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Mark:

For a sprayed on finish I found that Golden's MSA varnish was the best I've tried but that is the only non-waterbased one I've used besides the way too expensive spray bomb stuff of various brands.

I don't do the laminating myself and for $2 a foot don't see any reason to     The other  thing is that coating with the water-based coatings like Breathing colors is very labour intensive and takes up a lot of space.    Today I got an order for 18 pieces that will burn through 3 whole rolls of canvas -- it'd take me a week just to coat them with the space I have available and that's time better spent taking pictures or printing new pics.

I can get some more details if you are interested but my understanding is that the machine was around 40K so it's not for the home printer (like myself).  The laminate is continuous and the largest I've had done was 44x108 inches, laminated right to the edges.    I don't think I could adequately capture the surface with my camera but am willing to try if it would be of interest.   I've had two different outfits try a hot laminate and did not like the results of either so I was quite surprised at how well this turned out.


Doug
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Hi Doug -
I've investigated the cold laminating but it's not the direction I think I'd like to go.  Speaking with a pro in our area, he did say it definitely stiffens the canvas and it's a "hard" coating, compared to a minimally intrusive spray or rolled coating.  It's all a tricky business, I think the laminating is cool from the standpoint that someone else does it and it's DONE, when it's done.

So if you doing the cold laminating, then how are you mounting the finished canvas?  Still stretching?

Thanks-

Mark
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 11:31:47 AM by Mark Lindquist » Logged

DougMorgan
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2007, 05:43:12 PM »
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Mark:

I don't do my own stretching anymore but the prints are all stretched.  Concentrate on the few things I can do well (or relatively well).  

I would say that the laminate used is every bit as flexible as a properly applied coating and more so than the thick mess that seems to be the norm with the water based finishes.  The stretchers have had no problems with it.    It rolls tightly but the tip from the laminators is to roll it with the printed side (laminated) out.   Another tip is to always laminate to the edge and not try to cheap-out by only laminating the printed area.

I was in an art show recently and the prints beside mine were done using the breathing colour coating while mine were laminated.   Both were printed on the breathing colour matte canvas using the same model of printer.   The other guy's stuff looked kind of dull and lifeless, not crisp and contrasty and judging from the questions and comments I don't think the patrons even recognized that it was the same process that created both prints.   The other guy spent hours, I spent $37.50 (36x78 inches).  I sold a print, he did not.

Another issue that might be more unique to me though is that I do panoramas, very large, very detailed.  Trying to get an even coat with the water-based products on a 36x78 inch piece of canvas is not easy.   In my experience viewers get right up to the print, whatever the size so it has to hold up to close scrutiny: in other words I don't subscribe to the "viewing distance" argument some use for resolution arguments.

But again I should stress that I have had bad experiences with the heat-applied laminates and it may be this particular brand that is better than others.   I can find out the details in the next day or two and pass them along...

Doug
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 05:51:21 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
namartinnz
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2007, 05:52:53 PM »
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I've been using Gliclee Shield applied by roller. Took me a while to get a good workflow. I use Mohair rollers to apply the coating. Gives a good finish without bubbling, as when using a foam roller. This is a water based coating and provides a tough finish. Leaves a slight gloss finish (matt coating) but gives better contrast to the image and really brings out the colour of the image. No complaints from the customers, so I'll keep doing it.


I accidently scraped an MDF board against a demo sample yesterday, thought I'd ruined the print. Close examination showed no damage at all. I've seen too many prints done in my town where they don't coat at all ot just apply a thin spray

Neal
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Mark Lindquist
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2007, 06:08:58 PM »
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Mark:

I don't do my own stretching anymore but the prints are all stretched.  Concentrate on the few things I can do well (or relatively well). 

I would say that the laminate used is every bit as flexible as a properly applied coating and more so than the thick mess that seems to be the norm with the water based finishes.  The stretchers have had no problems with it.    It rolls tightly but the tip from the laminators is to roll it with the printed side (laminated) out.   Another tip is to always laminate to the edge and not try to cheap-out by only laminating the printed area.

I was in an art show recently and the prints beside mine were done using the breathing colour coating while mine were laminated.   Both were printed on the breathing colour matte canvas using the same model of printer.   The other guy's stuff looked kind of dull and lifeless, not crisp and contrasty and judging from the questions and comments I don't think the patrons even recognized that it was the same process that created both prints.   The other guy spent hours, I spent $37.50 (36x78 inches).  I sold a print, he did not.

Another issue that might be more unique to me though is that I do panoramas, very large, very detailed.  Trying to get an even coat with the water-based products on a 36x78 inch piece of canvas is not easy.   In my experience viewers get right up to the print, whatever the size so it has to hold up to close scrutiny: in other words I don't subscribe to the "viewing distance" argument some use for resolution arguments.

But again I should stress that I have had bad experiences with the heat-applied laminates and it may be this particular brand that is better than others.   I can find out the details in the next day or two and pass them along...

Doug
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142311\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is very interesting Doug -
So if your could find out what specific laminate it is and what the thickness of the coating is and what machine was used, it would be much appreciated.  I definitely know that the process and mixtures and the applications are critical in getting things just right, either rolling or spraying, which is what we're currently doing.  I definitely am intrigued with your use of the laminating and would like to know specifics.  Your story hits home about the other guy and the Glamour Gloss coating.  We're getting it dialed in really nicely but it does scare me when considering a 7 foot plus length 44" wide...
Thanks again-

Mark
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Mark Lindquist
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2007, 06:14:03 PM »
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I've been using Gliclee Shield applied by roller. Took me a while to get a good workflow. I use Mohair rollers to apply the coating. Gives a good finish without bubbling, as when using a foam roller. This is a water based coating and provides a tough finish. Leaves a slight gloss finish (matt coating) but gives better contrast to the image and really brings out the colour of the image. No complaints from the customers, so I'll keep doing it.
I accidently scraped an MDF board against a demo sample yesterday, thought I'd ruined the print. Close examination showed no damage at all. I've seen too many prints done in my town where they don't coat at all ot just apply a thin spray

Neal
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142312\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Neal -
Yes I hear you about scrapes and surface damage.  It's an important thing to provide protection regardless of what finish.  The tricky business of it is to get there without compromising the aspects of quality though.  What a shame to have images so pristine on that beautiful surface only to plasticize them with glop.  Reality sets in though and reason raises it's head.  I've looked at Giclee Shield and may do some experimenting in the future.  Thanks for your input - appreciate it.

Mark
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2007, 06:21:09 PM »
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Mark:

Will do, expect a response tomorrow or later this evening.  I don't take the prints personally to the laminator so it's an ask someone to ask sort of thing.....

I like that -- sounds like I have "people" as in my people will take care of it....

I should make another point is that with the acrylics that the gloss coatings usually produce a better result because, as it's been explained to me, the "matte" or "semi-gloss" is done with an flattening additive that doesn't take well to multiple coats and may not spread evenly.

To each his own and I guess it also depends on the ultimate goal -- I'm a picture taker foremost rather than a picture printer so the final finishing is more of a chore to me than  a craft.  

Another Laminating tale:  I sent 80 canvases in the spring to a framing wholesaler that was supposed to be marketting them for me.  Of the 80 they wrecked at least 17(!!) using water based coatings both roll-on and spray on.   They may actually have wrecked more than 17 but since we are no longer speaking to each other I may never know.  Through my new agent we've sold twice that many and one (ONE) was returned but the opinions are split 3:2 whether it's the laminate or a defect in the canvas itself.  

As the other poster noted though, canvas has to be protected and anything is better than leaving them bare.

Doug
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 06:22:54 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
namartinnz
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2007, 09:38:52 PM »
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Hi Neal -
Yes I hear you about scrapes and surface damage.  It's an important thing to provide protection regardless of what finish.  The tricky business of it is to get there without compromising the aspects of quality though.  What a shame to have images so pristine on that beautiful surface only to plasticize them with glop.  Reality sets in though and reason raises it's head.  I've looked at Giclee Shield and may do some experimenting in the future.  Thanks for your input - appreciate it.

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142318\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Mark - I'm always on the look for better and better perfection - the biggest problem being I'm learning on my own as I go - so even better techniques are always appreciated. The other problem is price. People always want more for less - getting prints done on cheap canvas down at the local photo copiers. I had the top framer in my city come for advice on sealant protection - he was getting too many canvas jobs with no protection at all. Always good to receive advice from the experts here.

Neal
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2007, 02:03:49 AM »
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Mark:


I should make another point is that with the acrylics that the gloss coatings usually produce a better result because, as it's been explained to me, the "matte" or "semi-gloss" is done with an flattening additive that doesn't take well to multiple coats and may not spread evenly.


Doug
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The canvas is sprayed here. I use water based Lascaux varnish and spray thin layers of gloss, drying them in between on a silkscreen tunnel dryer, the last spray is either gloss or matte varnish but thin again. This way I can continuously spray say 3 or 4 canvas prints and have dry products ready for stretching. Never use matte varnish to build up the coating as that degrades the image.

Ernst Dinkla

try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
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thierryd
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2007, 05:12:59 AM »
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No one is afraid of a chemical reaction between the spray, the ink and the paper ? Had Wilhelm made some test with spray ?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2007, 06:36:04 AM »
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No one is afraid of a chemical reaction between the spray, the ink and the paper ? Had Wilhelm made some test with spray ?
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[a href=\"http://www.inkjetart.com/premier/print_shield.html]http://www.inkjetart.com/premier/print_shield.html[/url]

Wilhelm tested PremierArt Shield and there's a gain in protection. Lyson sells the same spray as their own brand AFAIK.

I'm reducing my intake of solvents though.

Acrylic dispersions that are 100% acrylic have a very good reputation. They usually are more flexible in time than the solvent based ones. Most of this goes back to the original Rohm&Haas B-72 acrylics tested and the many years they have been used in conservation etc.
Aliphatic polyurethane, a water based resin that is promising but is more difficult to apply, would be another choice to consider. Doesn't yellow either.


Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Mark Lindquist
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2007, 07:29:46 AM »
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http://www.inkjetart.com/premier/print_shield.html

Wilhelm tested PremierArt Shield and there's a gain in protection. Lyson sells the same spray as their own brand AFAIK.

I'm reducing my intake of solvents though.

Acrylic dispersions that are 100% acrylic have a very good reputation. They usually are more flexible in time than the solvent based ones. Most of this goes back to the original Rohm&Haas B-72 acrylics tested and the many years they have been used in conservation etc.
Aliphatic polyurethane, a water based resin that is promising but is more difficult to apply, would be another choice to consider. Doesn't yellow either.
Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142400\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I have to reduce my intake of solvents too.  After 35 years of artwork of all kinds and finishes that just have potentially dangerous effects it's critical not to be in any toxic environment for me.  I wear a mask even for the "friendly" finishes.  The thing about solvent based finishes is that once you get a chemical sensitivity to the stuff there's no turning back.  I just can't tolerate that heavy duty smell stuff.  I'm amazed anyone can.  C'est la vie though I guess.

Interesting stuff on the Wilhelm testing -  thanks-

Mark
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Charles Gast
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2007, 08:41:57 AM »
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Even when spraying a water based varnish you need a respirator. Don't trust the el-cheapo little face cover disposable masks. When the water based coating is sprayed  the mist created has the acrylic in it and breathing that mist will allow some of the acrylic to make it to your lungs.

Charlie
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