Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone here recently switched over from pre-cat lacquer to Conversion Varnish?
What are the major differences regarding application i.e. temp and humidity requirements and spray equipment etc.?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,094 Posts
Tony,
I've only used conversion varnish once. I built a set of cabinets for my son's kitchen, shaker style. He wanted a white finish, and after checking around, I ended up at a local SW commercial division. It's not a retail store. The sales rep set me up with the CV, the reducer, and acidic catalyst. I also bought a new 3M cartridge mask with the proper filters. Toluene is the base for their CV, so you don't want to breathe it at all. Temp should be in the 70's minimum. I set up a temporary spray booth in the gravel drive outside my shop. I left one side open that was out of the wind. The CV was mixed with the reducer at 50/50. The catalyst was added in at 6%. I used an HVLP spray gun and it worked fine. To me, it sprays like lacquer, sets up in a few minutes to the point where you can carefully handle the cabinets, doors, etc., to move them. It called for 3 coats, with a light scuffing in between with 320. I had all the cabinets staged in my shop, clean and ready to be sprayed. Same with doors and drawer fronts. I had a platform in the spray booth to set the cabinets on and also had a piece of gaspipe up above so I could hang the doors. I would spray a couple cabinets or a half dozen doors at a time, wait a couple minutes then switch them out with the next bunch. I had another pipe setup in the shop so I could just hang the doors I just sprayed on there. Took less than 45 minutes to spray a coat on everything, including the insides of the boxes. Once it cures, it's a nice hard shell finish. Cleaned the spray gun with lacquer thinner each time. If you decide to use it, just take the proper safety precautions and read all the directions from the manufacturer. Personally, I wouldn't spray this stuff indoors without having a proper spray booth, which I don't have.
Mike Hawkins
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mike. I understand that CV is superior to Pre- Cat. I was wondering about a comparison.
I dont have any climate control in my shop and I believe that CV is more temp sensitive.
Do the two look the same when cured?
Does the CV lay flatter?

BTW, Congrats on the new Moderator thing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,094 Posts
Tony,
The CV does lay nice and flat, I think more so than lacquer. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to spray and how nice it turned out. The scuffing in between was also very easy and didn't take much time. I was using Abranet for that so it wouldn't get clogged at all. Then I'd just blow it off with an air nozzle and wipe it lightly with a tack rag. I adjusted the gun and checked the spray pattern by spraying some cardboard I had. I'm brand new as a moderator so I have some things to learn to get comfortable with it. Glad to help here.
Mike Hawkins
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Now that we are starting to experience some warmer weather here on the Texas Coast, I might just try it out. I also believe it is 'clearer' than pre-cat. Anyhoo, as soon as I need to finish something , like in the next two weeks, I will give it a try. Thanks for the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I can't think of one single advantage lacquer has over conversion varnish, I'll
never use lacquers again.
Conversion Varnish sprays better, cures harder quicker, takes a lot less product to complete a finish.
less odor once set up, and is at least 10 times more durable than lacquer.
You don't have to worry about sitting a glass of water on a top that has CV on it.
I've wiped cured CV off with lacquer thinner without hurting it.
CV is the only choice for wet conditions like bathrooms or kitchens,
it's so chemical tough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
I use both Pre-Cat Lacquer and Conversion varnish. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Pre-Cat is easier to spray, less precise, can be cured at lower temperatures and don't have to bother with measuring catalyst. Also, the type of spray equipment I use, I leave pre-cat in the gun, or the gun container for days, without bothering about cleaning.

Conversion varnish needs to be more precise in it's application, a coat too thick would leave trapped evaporation bubbles, a coat too thin would leave a sandy finish. I have 8 hours pot life, before I have to clean everything. It needs to cure for three days at minimum 68F and it gasses off pretty much during that time, needing a protective mask even while not spraying. The good points are it dries much faster than Pre-Cat, can be touched within 15 minutes can be sanded within 30 minutes. It sands much easier with much less paper clogging. It basically means one can do a wash coat, sand it 30 minutes later, spray a second coat, wait another 30 minutes, do the final coat and you are done in less than two hours. Sometimes a wash coat and a final coat is enough.

Not a good idea to thin any of these products beyond 10%, it affects the sheen and the durability. Best is to spray it without thinning and learning how to set up being able to do that.

Conversion varnish is a bit more durable than Pre-Cat, but not 10 times as some mentioned. And, CV may resist better to water marks and food marks, but it is not bullet proof as the manufacturers would like you to believe.

In the cabinet industry, after and installer does his thing and the Electricians and other skills go in, there is normally damage. We allow a follow up visit to install final trim and a maximum of 1 hour touch up. With lacquer, we order an aerosol to touch up for each job and it works for Pre-Cat. With conversion varnish, not so much. Sometimes a scratch on a door with CV means it has to go back to the shop, sanded and the whole door re-sprayed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,094 Posts
JC,
I remember thinning it 50%, it did seem about as thick as a paint base. But once thinned it was fine.
 

·
Registered
Bah humbug
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
I was told by S&W commecial shop guys to stick with pre-cat unless I set up a both. Conversion is their #1 and pre-cat is their #2.

Everyone wants the best but #2 is just fine...

Poly I thin to whatever it takes to flow correctly. Not all poly has the same consistency. If the product is thinner it will get less, if it's thicker it will get more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Sherwin Williams conversion varnish recommends thinning 45 to 50%.
(it's thick)
Not sure if we are talking about the same product and who told you that.

Sherwin Williams, Sherwood Conversion Varnish product V84V80-83 sprays perfectly fine out of the can once catalyzed, airless, air, HVLP and conventional. It works well as a seal coat and a final coat without thinning. If you thin that 50% a gloss finish will change to a satin finish and the durability of the coat will be drastically reduced.

Their only product which may need thinning is the highly pigmented Conversion varnish primer and that is only if you have cheap spray equipment.
 

·
Registered
Bah humbug
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
Do you guys get their fisnishing books?

Everything's in there.
20210309_153558.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Not sure if we are talking about the same product and who told you that.

Sherwin Williams, Sherwood Conversion Varnish product V84V80-83 sprays perfectly fine out of the can once catalyzed, airless, air, HVLP and conventional. It works well as a seal coat and a final coat without thinning. If you thin that 50% a gloss finish will change to a satin finish and the durability of the coat will be drastically reduced.

Their only product which may need thinning is the highly pigmented Conversion varnish primer and that is only if you have cheap spray equipment.

You need to read the tech sheet.
45 to 55% is what the tech sheet says.
The mfg is who you should listen to.
Kemvar surfacer, which you should be using first for a sealer coat and durability
reduces only 25 to 50% (it's a great sanding sealer)
I have been reducing both of those more than that and have never seen any
durability or sheen differences, for about 10 yrs now.
I used lacquer for about 25 yrs before switching to CV.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Bah humbug
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
When I have a problem I look in the book or data sheet. If I'm still having problems I don't come here for advice, I call the commercial stores and talk to a tech.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
You need to read the tech sheet.
45 to 55% is what the tech sheet says.
The mfg is who you should listen to.
Kemvar surfacer, which you should be using first for a sealer coat and durability
reduces only 25 to 50% (it's a great sanding sealer)
I have been reducing both of those more than that and have never seen any
durability or sheen differences, for about 10 yrs now.
I used lacquer for about 25 yrs before switching to CV.
V84 versus H66, two totally different products. V84 SW suggests a maximum if needed of 20%, that is clear not a tint base.

And interesting, I can post up a different version of H66 data sheet from SW, needing no reductions. H66 is a tint base and comes if different formats, reference CCF99 which is a newer superior product to yours.

You are just using different older version products to what we do.
 

·
Registered
Bah humbug
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
This reminds me of when a Sherwin &Williams finish tech came on and joined the forum. .He tried to straighten some finishes up, but got argued with on every point. Don't blame him for not joining in anymore...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
This reminds me of when a Sherwin &Williams finish tech came on and joined the forum. .He tried to straighten some finishes up, but got argued with on every point. Don't blame him for not joining in anymore...
We had a technical rep from SW visit. He was very knowledgeable, to the point where we put a spray-gun into his hands. From there things spiralled downwards fast.

Then we had a rep, who took a color sample from our customer, we sprayed around $3,000 worth of doors we built, shipped them to NJ and the customer let us know the color was totally wrong. They made it right though as everything was in writing and they paid for a contractor in NJ to respray everything.

We order only from their industrial division and we have to specify exactly what we want, otherwise it is a disaster.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top