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Reply by David Grimes

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Posted on Rattle Can Lacquer: What Am I Doing Wrong?

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David Grimes

2072 posts in 1244 days


#1 posted 933 days ago

Andy, don’t sand the orange peel with grit (400) more coarse than the original sand finish (600). The beauty of lacquer is that it will burn into previous coats, so you can level the surface with future coats.

The following is exactly how I do it and comes from Reranch:

Spray lacquer in “passes”. A pass is one spray pass. A coat is a number of passes from 1 to ? to result in a wet coat… just not all at once. In the technique used to develop these pages, a coat is typically three passes. Sometimes two will sufficiently wet out a small area and sometimes four will be used. Five approaches foolhardiness. Six will almost always guarantee a run.

Start with two light spray passes. Follow by allowing the lacquer to dry to touch and then three more light passes. Now you have a good base. Let the lacquer dry at least three hours.

For the first wet coat (after wiping with the tack cloth) make three passes and stop. The surface will probably not appear very shiny as it dries to touch. (If it does the coats may be too heavy). Now let this first coat dry at least three hours. Tack cloth the finish and make three more passes. As you proceed, wetter passes become safer to make so you may want to slow down the guns movement as you spray. These passes will appear wetter as the finish gets deeper. Let this coat dry at least three hours. For the last coat of the day, tack cloth, spray three passes and let dry until morning.

Before spraying the next coat, wet sand the finish to remove any runs or particles that may have settled onto the finish. Start lightly with #400, #600 and end with #800. Let the surface dry and repeat yesterdays schedule. I.e., three passes, let dry three hours then repeat and then repeat. Let to the finish dry overnight and sand as you did the first day.

The third days spraying is a “re-repeat”. Summing up this spray technique, spray three passes to make a coat, allow each coat to dry at least three hours and spray no more than three coats a day for at least three days. Hence, “The Rule of Threes”.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia


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