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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a large-scale (think like dining room table) that I'm lacquering; nitrocellulose. Brushing; I tried spraying once and got nothing but bubbles for my trouble.

I figured I'd have the doors closed; and it dries fast-- I'm thinking that this is OK?

Or will the whole house be unsafe to be in?


I've actually already laid the first coat; *I* think it's ok. I can't even smell it upstairs. But the roomate freaked out :) Whoops.
Wondering if I can reassure him.

5 more coats and it'll be done.
 

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Maybe the fumes already got to his head!

In all seriousness though, it's not how fast it dries, but how much (many?) VOCs it gives off. The only way I'd do something that size inside is if I had a mask and could ventilate to the outside.
Can you shut that room off and open a window blowing out?

Good luck, and stay safe,
Acer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yes, I can

not too many it seems. It was a low-voc product to begin with, and I can't smell it at all now. Most of the volatiles I added in the form of some lacquer thinner, so it would flow better/ go on thinner.
Tomorrow: not a bad idea-- open a window, put a fan in it, and tape some plastic over the one entrance that is open.
It's 16F outside right now so I can't let too much air out, or it won't cure right (if it becomes too cold).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm using a mask to apply while in the room; the question is if i can take off the mask when i go upstairs to work on the computer, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
sherwin williams promar hi build lacquer, b44 ft5. Mixing about 1/3 thinner in. Covered 8 square feet and that's seriously overestimating-- on Thursday I'll do a greater portion, around 20-30 square feet if I'm not mistaken. THEN I might want to be out of the house for a couple hours afterwards, I do think.

I was spraying at a friend's place last summer; technique, humidity, had trouble getting the results I wanted. Frustrated, I set the project aside.

Now trying to finish up and it's winter. Brushing it on in the living room (with plastic on the floor, of course!). NOT spraying it on in the house.
 

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I would seal off the room like you said but you want to create a low pressure zone in your work area to prevent gasses from escaping to the rest of the house and vent through a window or slider. Close/seal any returns you have in the work area and BE CAREFUL!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
once the smell is dissipated, does that mean it's safe again?

my gosh, lacquer goes further when brushing-- I went through 2 cans when I was trying to spray last summer. I've barely used the top of one can and have done all the legs with 3 coats so far.
I have brush marks to be sure, but no tiny bubbles, which is what was so frustrating about the spraying.
 

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I spray nitro almost everyday and never get bubbles. Were you using proper spray equipment to spray lacquer? Are brush marks better than bubbles?
 

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You have to be careful working with lacquer inside your house. You could work it in your living room with the house sealed up but you would have to keep the respirator on for quite a while until the fumes thinned out. Then you would have to make sure there was no open flame anywhere in the house, water heater or furnace especially. Then unplug anything with a electric motor such as your refrigerator. Then you would have to turn on your computer or any lights in the house and leave them on. Working a electrical switch can produce a spark which can set it off. Basically you have to adjust your thinking like you poured a gallon of gasoline on your living floor and waiting for the fumes to clear.

I would recommend you spray the finish on the table. You could even do that in your living room as long as you put plastic under the table. The finish would dry faster than brushing it and the fumes would dissipate quicker. What little overspray that would settle on furniture in the room would be dry dust which would wipe off. I frequently refinish kitchen cabinets in customers homes spraying lacquer. I don't seal the house up though. I only do it in warm weather and open a lot of doors and windows and put a spray booth fan in the kitchen door or window blowing out in order to vacate the fumes. As far as the bubbles your problems was you didn't thin the lacquer enough. Properly thinned it would flow out like silk.

 

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Brushing will produce less toxic vapor in the room than spraying. To get a better flow out, a retarder is added. Lacquer thinner will just thin the media, and make it dry faster. In either case you would have to have a very dense spatial concentration of lacquer fumes, in order to get an ignition from turning on a light or a motor starting...like your refrigerator. The chances are greater though if you spray, as that will produce overspray, and more likely be subject to ignition. Using an exhaust fan to move the air to the outside would be a benefit.

If I had to do a finish like that inside, I would use a waterbased polyurethane.






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If you put a fan in a window, exhausting out, bear in mind that before air can be exhausted, it has to get in from somewhere. You mentioned that it's 16 degrees there which probably means your heat is on. With a fan in the window exhausting out, the makeup air could get sucked in through the furnace flue bringing with it all the gasses that were supposed to go out.
 
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