Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'lacquer' Category

Over toning lacquer

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Q: I used a toning lacquer to color the wood. I want to put polyurethane over it. Can I do this? A: Yes, you can.

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Circa 1920

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Q: I have a circa 1920 chiffarobe I would like to refinish. I stripped it with alcohol and sanded to 220. I have never been very successful with shellac. What would you suggest for a finish what would give a reasonable look and protection? A: What I would suggest is what it had originally, and [...]

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Lacquer and d-limonene

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Q: I need to know if d-limonene will harm cured nitrocellulose lacquer. I want to use it as a solvent in a 25% mixture with mineral spirits. A: No, d-limonene will not harm lacquer. It is one half of the racemic mixture called dipentene, and for all intents and purposes as far as finishing and [...]

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Bleeding sunburst

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Q: I stained a guitar red/brown using water soluble dye. After the stain was dry, I dry brushed dark brown water soluble dye around the edges, fading toward the center for a sunburst-like finish. Clear lacquer coats finished the job. Will the dyes bleed into each other over time and become unattractive? A: No. Water [...]

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I’m melting!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Q: I learned the hard way that a thin plastic cup I had could be dissolved by lacquer thinner. Can you tell me what kind of plastic container will not react and how I can tell a container is made of a safe plastic? A: Nalgene, nylons, polyesters, acetal, polyethylene and polypropylene all have decent [...]

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Acetone and the VOC question

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Q: I found some conflicting information on thinning nitrocellulose lacquer. Some very good finishers use straight acetone while others write of using lacquer thinner. I realize lacquer thinner is a soup so there are many possible formulations, but generally I was wondering how acetone might behave differently from thinner. A: Acetone, a ketone, is one [...]

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What’s in a name?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Q: How does enamel differ from lacquer? A: The term lacquer refers to how a finish dries. Specifically, it means a coating that dries solely by solvent evaporation. It does not give any clue to what resins were use in it, though of course, certain ones are particularly common. The term enamel has no definitive [...]

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Over pre-catalyzed

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Q: Can you apply brushing lacquer over sprayed pre-catalyzed lacquer? A: That depends on the pre-catalyzed finish, and how long it has been cured. In some cases you can; in others you risk cracking and wrinkling. Because it is so risky without knowing a whole lot more about the particular coating involved than anyone outside [...]

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Lacquer vs. oil based

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Q: You make a distinction between lacquer and oil based finishes. Why does it matter? A: Lacquer, which is a category that includes shellac, is an evaporative finish. It cures solely by the solvent evaporating. That means the molecules floating around in the solvent when it is in its liquid form are exactly the same [...]

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Oil based lacquer?

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Q: Can I put oil based wiping polyurethane over oil based spray lacquer? A: The simple answer to your question is yes, you can put oil based polyurethane, whether wiped, brushed or sprayed, over almost anything, including lacquer. For the record, though, lacquer is, by definition, an evaporative finish, while oil based finishes are, by [...]

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