Fisheye remover question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-26-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Fisheye remover question

I'm new here and I appreciate any help I can get. I am refinishing an old family piano that has had Pledge used on it for the last 100 years (maybe not that long but pretty close). Anyway, the old lacquer on it has cracked and overtime all that silicone has gotten into the wood. I've stripped the old finish, tried to wash it out but can't get it all gone. The only way I've been able to build a new coat of Lacquer is to dust coat MANY coats to build up something usable but it is quite brittle. I tried 5 or so dust coats and then a wet coat but each time I did this, I ended up just bringing the silicone to the surface and fisheyed it. At this point I give up and I just want to make it simple and use some fisheye remover. I have a place outside I can spray and a cheap gun I don't mind only using for issues like this if they ever come up again so I'm not worried about future spraying jobs. I just want this done. So, my question is that while there are a few fisheye products out there such as smoothie, is there any reason why I can't just use a bottle of 100% silicone pour oil that is used in painting? Something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Acrylic-Pour-...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

The reason I ask about using this is because I can get an 8 ounce bottle used for paint pours at the local craft/art store where I live for about $12. The dedicated fisheye products I can find have to be ordered and are quite a bit more expensive. From what I can tell, those products are just 100% silicone oil which leads me to believe that they are the same thing as this stuff. I just want to make sure before I go and start spraying this stuff on the piano. I also have burned through a lot of nitro on this project and I'm tired of sinking money on it.

Again, I appreciate any help I can get as I am at wits end with this. I'd try dewaxed shellac if I didn't have to order it in and it was cheaper. At this point, I just want the easiest and most predictable option.
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-26-2019, 03:50 PM
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A vinyl based sealer before applying the lacquer may help. Something like Behlen Vinyl Sealer which is designed to be top coated with their stringed instrument lacquer. Mohawk has a similar product. I believe both are available in quarts so that you can spray. Check the instructions to see if either will meet your needs.

To answer your question, there are fisheye flow out products designed to mix into the lacquer when you prep it for spraying. Behlen has a product for their lacquer products. Just check with the manufacturer of the lacquer you are using. I expect a product designed for compatibility with the exact product you are using may give better results in the film finish.

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post #3 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I've never used a Vinyl sealer. I'll look into it. Do you know if they lock in the silicon so it wont come through into the lacquer?

The reason I ask about the fisheye products is that when I was looking into the different option, it appeared that they were all 100% silicone but that doesn't exactly mean that there wasn't anything else in them. I just wasn't sure. If it is nothing more than straight silicone, I can't imagine that I couldn't use that silicone oil for paints but again, I really don't know what else, if anything, is in the fisheye products. I will reach out to the manufacturer and see what they suggest. I appreciate it.

Last edited by wicks_10; 09-27-2019 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Trying to add pictures
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-28-2019, 04:10 PM
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Maybe I don't understand, but if you are having problems with silicone causing fish eye, why in the World are you looking at a silicone oil as a fix for your problem? Silicone and silicone containing products are, and have been, banned from my shop for over 50 years. Anything containing silicone in any form gets no farther than my garage. My wood shop is in a separate building.

Have you tried a wax free shellac as a sealer before staining? I would think that shellac would make a better sealer for this problem. It's alcohol based, very quick drying, and easily sprayed. Zinser makes a version called "Seal Coat"

Charley
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-28-2019, 05:50 PM
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When I had my shop I always used fisheye remover in mt lacquer. I am trying to remember back when I had my shop but the additive was only added at around 4 drops, yes 4 drops per gallon. Not very much. Over 30 plus years of using it I never had a problem. I did not take any significant steps to prevent it from getting in the air. I think the whole fisheye thing is very overplayed. If you keep a relatively clean, it should never be a problem.
Think of it this way, if you only add 4 drops per gallon of lacquer, then dilute that in almost 30 to 50% thinner. Then when you spray, especially HVLP where 90% lands on the painted surface which leaves us with the original 4 drops per gallon which is actually 4 drops per gallon and a half. Out of the 10% than lands as dust on the floor which i sweep up better than 98%, that don't leave much contamination. If it was that bad, why is it still the industry standard? Why do refinishing shops stay around if the place is contaminated? Trust me , it is overplayed by people that never used it and want to sound knowledgeable. If it was a problem, I would not have used it all those years. And if I start up another shop, I will continue with the same procedure to mix fisheye remover and flow-out blender with every batch of lacquer.

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post #6 of 23 Old 09-29-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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I understand the idea of not wanting silicone on or near the project. I'd stay away if I could but I'm not sure if I have much other choice at this point. I may try seal coat if this silicone oil doesn't work but I just wanted to try this cause it is here locally and dirt cheap. My wife had a coupon for the art shop that had it so I got a bottle for 4 bucks. From my research on the fisheye products out there, their SDS documents say they are a thinner and silicone oil (ratios are proprietary though). This silicone oil is the same thing. It's worth a try at least. I'm going to put some pledge on a scrap piece of wood and spray lacquer over half without the additive and the other half with it just to see if it works and if it has any issues. If no issues arise, I'll try it on the piano. I'd be happy to report back if anyone is interested.
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-29-2019, 04:02 PM
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there are many professional painters and finishers in this forum.
I am thinking that most, if not all of us are just cringing in our socks
about this post.
personally, as a well seasoned sign painter, house painter and vehicle painter,
I am afraid that if you add more silicone to the project, you may push yourself
so far over the edge there may be no return.
please choose your options carefully as you move forward.
and yes, please report back. this is something that I have never heard of.
all the best !!

.

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post #8 of 23 Old 09-29-2019, 04:05 PM
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SDS or MSDS are Material Safety Data Sheets. They are about safety - nothing else. They tell you what the health hazards are, chemical make up, what safe guards to apply while working, shipping or handling and what to do if all goes south. It is not the same as a PDS which is a Product Data Sheet. A PDS gives you the actual specs and how to actually apply the product and specifically what is is designed to do. You should be looking at PDS to determine exactly what the product is, what it is used for and how to apply. Do not get the 2 confused when deciding what you want.

Fisheye Eliminator is a product that is used mainly in the refinishing business. If properly mixed, it will get rid of small amounts of fisheye which is caused by silicone oils from oiling and waxing a surface. Fisheye is fairly common on antiques. At first I would spray and hope for no fisheyes. If I had any, I would have to go back and either sand or use thinner and spend a lot of time fixing it after only a first coat of lacquer or primer.
Then after a while, I just decided to add it to all my lacquers whether needed or not. Then I never saw fisheye after that. Preventing fisheye is a lot easier and faster than discovering it and having to clean up what you already sprayed.

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post #9 of 23 Old 09-29-2019, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate everybody's responses. I'm not trying to argue with anyone on any of this and in the end, I think we are all on the same page. I know what the SDS is and the only reason I was looking there is because they typically list out the chemicals. For something like this I think it was worth looking at because it tells me what silicone is being used and what thinners. The reason I want to know that is because I want to know how it differs from the silicone product I bought. I don't see that it differs at all. As far as spring silicone on the piano, I completely understand not using it unless it's out of necessity. They make silicone fisheye products for refinishing in instances like this where other silicone products have gotten into the wood and are making it difficult to spray lacquer on. I can attest to the amount of silicone already in this wood since for at least 10 years of that thing's life, I was spraying pledge on it. Cracked lacquer and missing lacquer and all. If it was just one spot or a small area that had issues, I could work with that but it is the entire piano. I have dust coated it with lacquer a number of times and that works other than it takes an enormous amount of layers just a build up something usable. bought by using such thin and partially dried layers, the finish seems extra brittle. I'm just chalking this up to not having good wet coats that melt into the last one. I have a place outside I can spray so I'm not worried about getting silicone in my shop and I have a cheap gun that does a decent job that I don't mind saving only for occasions that require the use of fish eye eliminator if I can't clean it out. I'm by no means a professional but I have sprayed a fair bit and I'm comfortable with it. This situation is just new to me. I've sprayed tables and had a few fish eyes from wax and silicon that have gotten into scratches but those were small and easy to fix. Like I said, this is an entire piano producing the same results which is fish eyes over the entirety of the surface.

I'm content experimenting but I thought I would ask for some help and opinions before I started. I did purchase some of that silicone from the local store and I mixed it into a small batch of lacquer. There were no mixing issues or separating after a few hours of sitting there. No clouding so I took a scrap board and put some on there. Once it's completely dry I will see how it holds up to a little abuse. Then I'm going to pledge the other side of the board and try and sprayed over it with and without silicone added just to see what happens. If it's not working, I will probably order some zinsser sealcoat. If it seems to work, I will pull off one of the panels on the piano and give it a shot. If it doesn't work, I can't imagine I've contributed any more silicone to the surface than what it already has. I'll be sure to I was back to let you all know how it goes. Again, I appreciate all of your help.
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post #10 of 23 Old 09-29-2019, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicks_10 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I've never used a Vinyl sealer. I'll look into it. Do you know if they lock in the silicon so it wont come through into the lacquer?

Not sure about locking in the silicon. I expect it does. Others on the forum may know. For my own experience, many years ago I refinished a few electric guitars. They were well worn, chipped, well oiled over the years. They didnít have any value and was asked to refinish them. I removed the electronics and the necks, cleaned them with mineral spirits, then I believe denatured alcohol (canít remember), sanded, 2 coats of vinyl sealer and about 8 coats of nitro lacquer. No fisheyes. Reassembled, had them professionally tuned, and returned them.
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post #11 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 09:38 PM
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As I understand it, fisheye remover is indeed that same stuff (silicone) that causes fisheyes. The theory I’m told is that adding silicone to the finish turns the finish into one giant fisheye so it levels consistently.

I’ve read however that once you use fisheye remover, you have to use it forever because it leaves trace amounts in your spray equipment.
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post #12 of 23 Old 10-08-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Update

Yea I understand it the same way. As for tools and contamination, I'm not too worried because I can I set up a temporary spot outside that I can use until it gets too cold. I should be done by then. This should keep all overspray outside and keep contamination to my spray gun and air hose. I normally spray in my shop so everything is isolated from each other. Also, I have a cheap gun that gives me good results and I'll use it only for spray situations like this if needed again.

So for anyone who was interested in how this is going, I did two test runs. On each run, I added silicone to the boards down the middle to get the fisheye to show. I then applied lacquer to half the board with and with out silicone added. I added two drops of the craft silicone oil per ounce of lacquer just for consistency sake and for reference. One board had lacquer poured into the test area with the edges dammed off with tape. The second board was sprayed as I would normally apply it. Both gave the same results. The sides without silicon added had some level of fisheye each time I applied a new coat. The sides that had silicone added gave me a very nice and level result. I let them set for a few days and took my keys to them just to see if I could tell if there was any difference in scratch resistance. I understand that the lacquer might not have been 100% cured but I think it was sufficient for the test. I can't seem to tell any difference in durability but I won't know the long term until down the road.

Next step is to try it on a piano panel and see what happens. If all goes well, I will try to spray a coat or two tonight. Hopefully finish up in a few days. I'll post back with results on the piano if anyone is interested.
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post #13 of 23 Old 10-20-2019, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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To all who were interested. I sprayed one of the panels on the piano and was able to get great results. I've attached a picture of the panel from before adding the silicone to it. It's not the best picture, but you can see the extent of the fisheye in it. For the application on the board after the old finish was stripped, I added 3 drops of the craft silicone oil per ounce of lacquer. I tried 2 drops but it didn't seem to be quite enough but 3 did the trick. You can see in the second picture the results on the same panel with the silicon added. I still need to level and polish the finish but I have renewed excitement about refinishing the old piano. I appreciate the discussion we had here and the help and caution everyone gave. Let me know if you have any questions.
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post #14 of 23 Old 10-20-2019, 11:32 AM
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wow - thank you for the feedback !! you did good.
I am too "Old School" to be adding silicone to anything
on purpose. this is not something I would try myself.
I'm glad it worked out for you and hope it holds up well
during the Test of Time.

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post #15 of 23 Old 10-21-2019, 04:30 PM
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I too am glad that it worked for you so far. I, just like john Smith, would never have done it. There is a lot more to chemistry than just throwing a bunch of chemicals together and just mixing. The final product, your finish, will have some effect on the mixing. it can be as little as an extended drying time or as major as the two chemicals separating in a year or so, resulting in a foggy finish. Hopefully, the consequences will not be severe. My last career, about 25 years, was a Protective Coatings Inspector. 'Coatings' as in mostly epoxy and urethane finishes on steel structures as is oil and gas platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mex. The oil companies hired me as what is called an independant third party. That means, I didn't side with the oil company hiring me or the paint contractor. My job was to see everything was don per the specs - nothing more and nothing less.
I believe in specifications and the resulting compatabilities. I do not believe in what I call Voo-Doo chemistry.

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post #16 of 23 Old 10-22-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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John and Tony, thanks for your responses. Normally I would just try to avoid doing such a thing but I could not figure out what else to do on this project and my resources are limited. I do have some questions Tony. I don't want to come across as argumentative because honestly, chemical mixing is not my specialty. I just strictly want some clarification. A big part of why I ended up pursuing this route of application was from your comments of how you had added silicone based fisheye remover products to all your lacquers and if you started up shop again, you wouldn't hesitate to do so again. In my research, there are definitely two schools. One that says to avoid at all costs and the other that, like you said, the fear is overplayed and it's not a big deal. So I went with what you had said and did some heavy looking into that route. In the end, you state you wouldn't have done it and go on to call what I did Voo-Doo Chemistry. I understand that the Voo-Doo part probably comes from mixing a silicone product made for paint but not labeled for fisheye. My use of that product wasn't without some research. I contacted the Lacquer manufacture as suggested and they more or less told me to use a fisheye product that contains Polydimethylsiloxane and weren't much help beyond that. I looked into 3M Smoothie because that seems to be the go to fisheye product for lacquer. I looked at what info they had available online and based on feedback from you, I ended up calling them. They told me that the product contains Polydimethylsiloxane and naptha. I asked about ratios and all they would say is it is roughly 2/3 naptha and 1/3 Polydimethylsiloxane. I also contacted the company that makes the silicone paint additive that I ended up using and they also told me that it was a mixture of naptha and Polydimethylsiloxane. The person I talked to didn't know about the ratio. So, with that, I would like to think that adding a product that is made for fisheye and one that is made to add to paint but has the same chemicals would likely jive with the lacquer. To make sure though, I did the tests that I had mentioned in prior posts. I noticed no clouding of the lacquer unless a lot was added and with all application being equal, I didn't see any issues with added drying time. They took scratching tests the same as far as I could tell. I have no way to tell if it will fail at some point down the road quicker. Time will answer that but hopefully it lasts a very long time. In the end, the only concern I had was the use of naptha in lacquer but the Smoothie product has it and says it is great for lacquer. Others had said they had no issues with it as well. Polydimethylsiloxane is just commonly referred to as silicone that is added to about everything anymore but at the end of the day is a surfactant. As far as anyone could tell me, quite compatible with lacquer (of course mixed together and not just when lacquer is applied over it).

So, again, I don't want to sound argumentative but I just want to know, in your knowledge, did I miss something here with my reasoning that would make you not do it. Like I said, I pursued this route in part based on your comments earlier in this post but in the end you said you wouldn't do it. I truly am just wanting to learn here so I really do appropriate yours and everyone one else advice on here.

Thanks in advance.
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post #17 of 23 Old 10-22-2019, 03:22 PM
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personally, I admire you fully for wanting to step outside of the box and
try something different - that says a lot about you and your willingness to go
down the Road Less Traveled. and I do not see you being argumentative at all.
my background is sign painting. there is no lower feeling than trying to
paint on a surface that has been contaminated with silicone (or other oils)
when trying to do gold leaf work.
I have used a lot of fish eye "preventer" when spraying automobiles.
and honestly, I can't remember looking at the ingredients of the product.
I just put in the amount required for the amount of paint in the gun and
had very few issues. so with that in mind, I don't really know if it had silicone
in it or not.
I am happy to see you try something different and experienced satisfactory results.
and please don't be discouraged when hearing negative replies when you think
that you may have different results than the nay-sayers.

I remember two young brothers working in a bicycle shop and decided
to try something different.
all the nay-sayers were very aggressive and intimidating when they
all chanted "that thing will never get off the ground".
Wilbur and Orville Wright - 1903.

.

.

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post #18 of 23 Old 10-22-2019, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks John for your kind words. From what I understand is that there are different fisheye removers for different applications but it depends on the what you're spraying and what you are applying it to. I could be wrong but I did see some other additives that had different chemicals. They were for other finishes besides lacquer and said they weren't compatible. I was only focused on ones for lacquer. In the end, the finish looks great compared to what I was getting before and looks consistent with everything else I've sprayed that isn't contaminated with silicone (guitars, tables, etc.) We'll see how it sands and polishes when I have time and then see how it holds up. I'm curious to see what Tony has to say back on my questions. My knowledge is limited and I've only been spraying lacquer for two or three years. Prior to that I've stuck with BLO and polyurethane pretty closely. I'm all for learning something new. Again, I appreciate your help.
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post #19 of 23 Old 10-22-2019, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicks_10 View Post
.....................................So, again, I don't want to sound argumentative but I just want to know, in your knowledge, did I miss something here with my reasoning that would make you not do it. Like I said, I pursued this route in part based on your comments earlier in this post but in the end you said you wouldn't do it. I truly am just wanting to learn here so I really do appropriate yours and everyone one else advice on here.

Thanks in advance.
First off, I never did see you as arguementative so we can gladly clear that out of the way.
I looked up the silicone oil you were talking about and I noticed it was for oils and acrylics. It didn't say anything about lacquer. If it were also compatible with lacquer, I would wonder why they are missing out on that market. A very large market.
Silicone is a very complex compound which depending on it's prime purpose, it can be use in silicone oils, caulking, and even breast implants not to mention hundreds if not thousands of other products. Every one of these products have the basic silicone molecules in them and in most cases, the similarities end there. Mixing chemicals is not at all like making soup. you just don't throw a bunch of chemicals together and mix. There are things called catalysts that are necessary for things to mix, and the end result, the catalyst itself is not in the final product.
An example would be water. it is a combination of oxygen and hydrogen - 2 gases. Mix them together vigorously and thoroughly and guess what happens? You end up with a bag mixed with oxygen and hydrogen gases. Nothing more and nothing less. To make them combine into water, you have to have a catalyst, in this case the catalyst would be heat. Stand back and throw a match in there and POW!! I mild explosion and the only you will find in the bag now is water. Sooooooo, how do you turn the water back into hydrogen and oxygen gases again? You can boil the water till hell freezes over and you will still only have boiling water.The short of it is to use electricity as the catalyst to turn the gases free. To simplify, put 2 electrodes in the water. Wire the electrodes to a battery and you will see bubbles coming up from the electrodes. The positive electrode will have the hydrogen bubbles and the negative electrode will have the oxygen bubbles coming up on it. So you need heat as the catalyst to make the water but you need electricity to reverse the whole thing. Tha'ts why in most cases with any kind of chemicals, the actual process is the most important part. And so, silicone can be use to make thousands of dissimilar products for totally different purposes
So, now you know why just mixing chemicals is referred to as Voo-Doo chemistry. It is a common term in lots of industries and so it was not meant to be denegrading.
If I sounded pushy, I didn't mean to be, just tried to emphasize a point because I did not want you to fail. When I first started out woodworking, I had been given poor advice that cost me lots of time, money and agrievation.
Anyway, I wish you well and hopefully, your idea might will have no measurable side affects.

And CONGRATS on the table, looks great

Tony B



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post #20 of 23 Old 10-22-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your clarification Tony. All is well and I understand where you are coming from. Just wondered if I missed something. Hopefully I'll never have to revive this post in the coming months and years to say the finish failed. Time has a tendency to reveal all (or most) though so we shall see. Thanks.
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