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We are working in finishing some maple cabinet doors and we are having trouble with our pre catalyzed lacquer. The finish came out correctly on the first batch of doors(right around a 20 sheen), however, the second batch we did came out extremely glossy(probably around a 60 sheen). We used the same process both times but ended up with different results. The lacquer is in a 5 gallon bucket, we mix it and then spray it on with a cup gun. Our initial thought was that the lacquer was not properly mixed. However, after very thoroughly mixing it, we continue to have the same issue. We have so far been unable to isolate the issue and not sure where to go from this point. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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In History is the Future
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You say you are spraying from a cup gun - not a siphon tube into the bucket, right?

Lacquer, and really all finishes for that matter, are naturally glossy. A deglossing agent is added to knock that down. The deglosser has a tendency to clump up at the bottom of lacquer - I'm wondering if you somehow got more deglosser in the first batch and now the bucket has less.

The other possibility is reducer. The same satin / semi-gloss lacquer will appear glossier if thinned more before spraying.

If the doors are not too complex you could knock the sheen down with synthetic wool.

EDIT:
I should also mention that I have more experience with gloss than otherwise. I mostly spray gloss then degloss with abrasives as I mainly do furniture. That said I've sprayed around 10 gal of gloss so far this month and sometimes unexplained things happen. After several yrs of this I've resolved myself to the fact that sometimes there is no good explanation and you just have to roll with it and resolve the issues as they occur.
 

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I agree with firemedic. It sounds like you are getting different amounts of flattening compound in your spray. The flattening compound is pretty bad to settle to the bottom of the can and take a lot of agatation to get it consistant. Sometimes with a five I will thoroughly stir it the day before I intend to use it and then stir it again before I get ready to use it. Then each time get a cup to use you should stir it again. It would be helpful for you using 5's if you would get a gallon can for daily use so you could refill it from the 5. That way you wouldn't spend so much time stiring the large container. The odd thing is usually when a person has that problem it starts off shinny and gets flatter the closer you get to the bottom of the can. I think with more agitation you might be able to get a consistant sheen however the correct balance is gone from the can and you will never get the sheen it is labeled without adding more flattening agents.
 

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Rick Mosher
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You need one of these. They aren't cheap but they pay for themselves with one job where you go through what you're going through now. Just put it over the 5 gal pail, attach an air hose and let it run at a slow speed after you have thoroughly mixed the flatting paste off the bottom of the pail. You will never have a sheen issue with that can again, now the next can could be different if not the same batch number. :eek:
 

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Old School
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The problem is most likely a poor mix. A satin lacquer can finish with more shine if retarded. That may be determined by the thinning of it with a very slow lacquer thinner (retarded), or just adding a retarder. If a fast dry lacquer thinner is added it will dry faster, and would be less likely to get shinier, even though it was thinned.






.
 

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I've had the same problem.
In my case I found that putting on too thick a coat in order to get it to flow out caused it to be more glossy.
A little retarder helped it flow out with a thinner coat and gave me a softer sheen.
Cabinetman says the opposite and may very well be right.

This is only a suggestion because I don't really know anything.
I suspect a few things but that's another matter.
 
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