high gloss lacquer-look fiish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-01-2011, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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high gloss lacquer-look fiish

i have a need to apply a high end finish to some small wood (cherry or maple) products. to date we only brush or rattle can our wood products. can i assume i start with a sandng sealer, color coat (black), then start applying finish clear coats, sanding between them? or should i continue with color finish coats?

i've search/read archives on building lacquer coats - a little confused with pre-cat and nitro versions.

please help me eliminate some trial and error time.

for the best finish we can: change wood species, get spray equip, pay some $ for easier to use materials. any help appreciated.

i need to get a "trial" finish out right now
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-01-2011, 08:04 AM
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The species isn't really critical, but porous woods, or heavily grained woods need to be filled with a paste wood filler, or also called "grain filler". It's not a wood putty or hole filler intended for repairs.

Once the surface is prepared, it can be stained if need be. Then, a sanding sealer is used, and it may take a few applications. Sanding between applications to smooth the nibs is necessary.

If you use lacquer and can spray, a nitrocellulose lacquer (depending on the brand), or pre-cat lacquer may be ready to spray, or it may need to be reduced by as much as 50%, with lacquer thinner. A store like Sherwin-Williams sells lacquer thinner in slow to medium to fast dry. The slow thinner is a retarded version, and allows a better flow, and helps reduce the possibilities of blushing.

If you can't find the slow thinners, you can add a retarder to the mix, and care has to be taken not to add too much, as it does extend the dry time. Once a coat has dried, you can use 320x dry to sand between coats. It will take many coats to get a build that's robust enough to wet sand and polish.

The last coat, using wet-or-dry silicon carbide paper and water and starting with 320x, and continue with smoother grits. You'll likely finish off with 1500x -1800x. At that stage it will take very little rubbing with compound to bring up a shine. Rubbing compounds come in different grits, and your final polish will be with a very smooth compound. You could use pumice and then rottenstone, but I find compounds that are more specific than them.

Your finishing will be with a very damp rag and a hint of polishing compound to get an absolute high gloss finish. Most any film finish can be brought to this stage if each application is totally cured, using this technique. Here is an example of that finish done with oil base polyurethane.

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post #3 of 3 Old 06-01-2011, 08:33 AM
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Tim,be aware of humidity in spray area.It can sneak up on you if gone unchecked to create some "interesting" variations.

If/when you get some spray equip,I can't emphasize enough how important getting a cleaning regimine is.You just can't spend all day cleanin the equip........but it has to be done.It needs to be done safely,efficiently and an eye on the environment.

Theres some argument to why car finishes went with basecoat/clearcoat........in my pea brain its about money.CC(clearcoat)costs less to produce because of the absence of pigment.The BC(basecoat)has the colour in it,think $$.So they spray a rediculously thin BC on and then CC.But thats not the end-all on the subject.Meaning,don't think that one HAS to CC a piece just to get shine.BW

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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