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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

Looking for help from experts on this forum. I am sharing photo of cabinet that I have. They are Maple wood and color is Amber (as per the manufacturer).

After 4 years of gentle use there is flaking off stain (though it looks like lacquer or something else) from some of the cabinet panel. I am planning to refinish them to save wood. Attaching picture for reference.



Few question I have in mind for guidance are as follows.

- Would someone be able to judge what kind of finish does these cabinet have (stain, lacquer or something else ?)

- I would like to re-finish them, so tried matching Stain by Bengamin more people and finish is not quite same. I think it was spray painted so I tried spraying stain as well which looks similar but still not satisfied.

- I am also open would like to darken the color as well. so trying to find what I can paint on top without sanding (if possible)

Will greatly appreciate if anyone can guide and help.
 

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bzguy
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Clear-coats like lacquer once sprayed on the surface will make the stain appear darker.
The stain has penetrated the wood to some degree, depending on what type.
Picture looks like clear finish is flaking off, leaving stain intact?
You could try stripping with lacquer thinner, which will dissolve most finishes.
Apply and keep it wet with rags until it has dissolved.
If you do not scratch the wood you shouldn't have to sand.
This may dissolve some of the stain on the surface also, make it penetrate more and lighten the wood in the process.
Maple is pretty well known for blotching when stains are wiped on.
I think you're correct in assuming this was a typical factory/production shop spray on stain and clear coat, probably lacquer or 2 part poly for quick drying/production time.
If you have a cup gun for stain? (mist on lightly until you get the desired color, and do not wipe, or it will blotch maple).
Then HVLP or an airless if you have access for final clear coat.
No one wanted to touch this? My 2 cents.
 

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It's hard to say what the finish is. If it is just four years old I would guess it is nitrocellulose lacquer and it got wet. If you wipe it with some lacquer thinner and it seems to dissolve it probably is lacquer. It's also possible the finish failed because something was done wrong with the stain. Either the excess wasn't wiped off or the finish might have been put on too soon. As bland as the color is it might have been stained with a water base stain or dye which would have been better done with a sprayer.

If it were me I would use paint and varnish remover and take the old finish completely off. Then sand the wood and re-stain it. Chances are if the finish is flaking it will flake off somewhere else too so if you recoat over it it may not last. If you completely refinish it you will have a better chance of it lasting for you. Also if it is in a wet location you could finish it with a polyurethane finish which would be more water resistant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks bzguy,

Actually no stain is left. I see clear wood with no color.

I will try lacquer thinner to test (good idea).

Yes, no one wanted to touch it :yes:

Clear-coats like lacquer once sprayed on the surface will make the stain appear darker.
The stain has penetrated the wood to some degree, depending on what type.
Picture looks like clear finish is flaking off, leaving stain intact?
You could try stripping with lacquer thinner, which will dissolve most finishes.
Apply and keep it wet with rags until it has dissolved.
If you do not scratch the wood you shouldn't have to sand.
This may dissolve some of the stain on the surface also, make it penetrate more and lighten the wood in the process.
Maple is pretty well known for blotching when stains are wiped on.
I think you're correct in assuming this was a typical factory/production shop spray on stain and clear coat, probably lacquer or 2 part poly for quick drying/production time.
If you have a cup gun for stain? (mist on lightly until you get the desired color, and do not wipe, or it will blotch maple).
Then HVLP or an airless if you have access for final clear coat.
No one wanted to touch this? My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank for your response,

Actually this particular panel was under kitchen sink. I have few others with minor flaks but not similar to the one under the sinks.

So I guess there is no easy way, for long term I have to strip and re-apply.

It's hard to say what the finish is. If it is just four years old I would guess it is nitrocellulose lacquer and it got wet. If you wipe it with some lacquer thinner and it seems to dissolve it probably is lacquer. It's also possible the finish failed because something was done wrong with the stain. Either the excess wasn't wiped off or the finish might have been put on too soon. As bland as the color is it might have been stained with a water base stain or dye which would have been better done with a sprayer.

If it were me I would use paint and varnish remover and take the old finish completely off. Then sand the wood and re-stain it. Chances are if the finish is flaking it will flake off somewhere else too so if you recoat over it it may not last. If you completely refinish it you will have a better chance of it lasting for you. Also if it is in a wet location you could finish it with a polyurethane finish which would be more water resistant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just another thought...If I decide to match laquer with the same color or even darker a little, would I be able to apply lacquer on top of laquer even though it seems to have clear top on it or do i need to sand it ? - Just never dealt with laquer before.

I do have HVLP and should be able to use it.
 

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To recoat lacquer with lacquer all you would need to do is wash the door down with a wax and grease remover and scuff sand the finish. Lacquer will melt into the old lacquer like shellac melts into old shellac. I sometimes use Krud Kutter Gloss off to clean off an old finish but the last time I looked for it I couldn't find it. I also use Dupont Prepsol Solvent. It's available at places that sell automotive paint. I have also used trisodium phosphate but was not too impressed with the cleaning it did. I ended up having to clean twice with that. If you are wanting to add color over the finish it would be best to use a NGR dye stain. A oil stain left on the surface will hinder the adhesion of the topcoat.
 
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