Brushing Lacquer for woodturning

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Blog entry by Wildwood posted 08-09-2015 04:00 PM 762 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Brushing Lacquer there are several brands on the market. Have used Deft brushing lacquer for years but when big box stores stopped selling it, bought some made by Cabot and WATCO (Rust-Oleum).

You need a good soft bristle quality brush. I use small artist sable bristle & bigger hog hair china bristle brushes. Cheap brushes just cause problems.

When applying get enough finish to make a smooth pass from start to finish and do not go back over if missed a spot. If have dry spots will start with those on next coat. Normally do not sand between coats really depend how surface feels.

Normally BL dries in 30 minutes depending upon humidity may take longer, recoat times normally 2 hours. I do and don’t wait 2 hours.

Normally use 3 or 4 coats but may stop at 2 depending wood & upon look going for. Will wait a day or two if going to rub out or finish the finish. These days do that with micro mesh & soapy water. Lot of people still use silicon carbide wet dry sandpaper starting with 600 grit & soapy water.

BL’s normally takes up to 21 days to fully cure! More coats equal longer cure time.

If going to wipe on recommend using 50/50 mix of BL to thinner but instead of wiping pad it on. Take some cotton soak it in the 50/50 mix squeeze out excess wrap in clean cotton or muslin cloth and pad the item until completely covered. Most people wait for that coat to dry before applying next & subsequence coats stopping when obtain desired sheen.

You can always thin Brushing Lacquers even though directions warn against it. I will thin and BL to make a sealer coat on some wood species or spalted wood to stop absorption of finish and get a faster build of finish. You can thin BL in order to spray verus brush on.

Sanding sealer design for lacquer contains zinc stearate and will also stop wood absorbing finish but never want to use more than one or two coats. Too much sanding sealer will soften final finish. Stopped buying sanding sealer and use a 50/50 mix to seal wood as mention above.

-- Bill

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#1 posted 08-09-2015 04:39 PM

Dipping small turned items in brushing lacquer while easy, not a quick or easy op to learn!

Recommend using a separate container filled with enough BL to allow you to completely submerge the item(s) you want to dip. Sometimes don’t ways get all the dust our off turnings which either clings to the item dipped of subsequent items dipped. Also leaving can of finish open exposed to air shortens finish shelf life. I use old jars with lids and will filter into a new jar if see stuff floating in BL before next dip.

You need a rack & method to suspend items once dipped and something to catch BL dripping from the item(s).
For pen barrels will use wire & old pen bushings at the bottom so BL won’t glob at bottom of pen barrel instead and glob is on the old bushing. Then hang on my rack for a day to dry before dipping again. Normally do about ten pen barrels at a time, and wait a full day between dips. Will wait several days before putting back on the lathe to rub out the finish.

For xmas ornaments (balls & bells with brass eye hooks) going to dip put newspaper on the floor to catch excess finish and use wire hook to hang on racks and deal with globs on bottom after each dip. Even with using my artist brush with immediate globs still get some, that end up anding off and applying more BL to those spots. Normally do not rub out finish on those.

Dipping not hard if come up with a plan before hand, brushing & wiping actually faster and less messy but dipping solves a lot of sins dealing BL!

-- Bill

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