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Forum topic by rhett posted 12-21-2009 08:52 PM 2333 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rhett

699 posts in 2322 days


12-21-2009 08:52 PM

I have seen lots of posts on here recently where hungry minds are looking for finishing advice on the best ways to apply and finish using lacquer. There are always lots of good tips and techniques presented, but it seems no one ever mentions the first step necessary to achieve desirable results. If you are going to use lacquer, start with a sanding sealer. First off it seals the wood pores and sets you up with a nice surface to build on and second it allows the actual lacquer to go farther. You shouldn’t paint unless you prime and you shouldn’t lacquer unless you seal.

-- It's only wood.


18 replies so far

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Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 1941 days


#1 posted 12-21-2009 11:25 PM

I agree to a point. I do use sanding sealer for most of my lacquer work. It is much easier to sand and does what the name says—-it seals, therefore it takes less lacquer to finish the job.

However, I don’t use it for things like my guitars. I believe you get a tougher finish without the sealer. I guess I don’t have any scientific backing for that, but it has worked well for me. Guitars don’t have that much surface, so the sanding and extra coats are not an issue with me. I would be interested to know if anyone else ever does this.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

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747DRVR

199 posts in 2011 days


#2 posted 12-21-2009 11:41 PM

I respectfully disagree.Sanding sealer just has some additives to make it sand better.I dont think it seals any better than a first coat of lacquer.If I need to seal in a previous finish I will seal with dewaxed shellac before the first lacquer coat

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2676 days


#3 posted 12-22-2009 12:01 AM

Sanding sealer has inert fillers in it that will help fill the voids in the suface at the same time masking the grain to some extent. You must be familair with the type of filler you choose so as to max of minimise the opaquig effect.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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End_Grain

95 posts in 1791 days


#4 posted 12-22-2009 12:22 AM

If you seal with a .5lb cut of dewaxed shellac and then do a light final wet sand with alcohol and a high grit, the effect is the same as sanding sealer but no worry about any fillers because what fills the pores and voids is a mixture of wood and shellac residue. This is great on red oak if you are trying to minimize the open grain but not totally eliminate it.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2676 days


#5 posted 12-22-2009 02:41 PM

There’s a pretty good article here that deals with the zinc stearate additive found in many lacquer based sanding sealers.
As a matter of fact the entire article is a good read if you have problems with finishing.

http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/Main/Articles/Sealers_and_Pore_Fillers_5129.aspx

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Moron

4666 posts in 2548 days


#6 posted 12-22-2009 02:43 PM

I agree and disagree…............depends on the mfg of the lacquer. I presently, and for the last 7 years have used a pre cat lacquer that requires ZERO sealer and the first coat of lacquer sands like a dream. They do sell a sealer but why stock both at 200 bucks a pail with a 3 month shelf life.

Having said that…......there re many mfg’s of lacquer that do recommend a sealer coat. I’m not postive if its mandatory or if its just a way to get you to spend more money.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2676 days


#7 posted 12-22-2009 02:55 PM

There seems to be some confusion between a sanding coat and a sealing coat here.
Apparently they are both used for different specific purposes.

“Sanding sealer is a specific material developed for the lacquer industry, but somehow the name has spread to things that should, by rights, simply be called sealer. For instance, the Zinsser SealCoat label calls it sanding sealer when it is really straight sealer. “

Cheers
Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Moron

4666 posts in 2548 days


#8 posted 12-22-2009 03:06 PM

It’s my opinion only…...........sealer is old school. I visit a lot of shops that dothis for a living having worked for them, sub contracted for them, but I sure know a lot of folks who do this for a living and withonly one exception…..............none of them use sealer. I’m not saying that using a sealer is a bad idea, just saying that it’s old school.

sorry

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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doyoulikegumwood

384 posts in 2647 days


#9 posted 12-22-2009 03:27 PM

i use lacquer almost exclusively and have to say the only time i use a seal coat is if i plan to use a toner or die to get and even color or if i am going to use a pore filler. any other time i have found it to be a wast of time. in the time it takes me to put on a sealer and let it cure i can have i don’t know 100 coats a lacquer on the piece. the main reason for using lacquer is the speed of application and it rubs out like no other finish.

just my humble opion

jason

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View 747DRVR's profile

747DRVR

199 posts in 2011 days


#10 posted 12-22-2009 03:33 PM

I know that Bob Flexner is not a big fan of sanding sealer.He also prefers using a first coat of lacquer to seal unless you need a barrier coat in which case he uses shellac.

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Moron

4666 posts in 2548 days


#11 posted 12-22-2009 03:38 PM

The science of lacquer and other coatings is intense. I am fortunate to have experience in what can go seriously wrong, at the expense of former “bosses” where entire kitchens had to be thrown out/garbage because of simple errors made during applications.

I willadmit that some hand applied finishes knock the socks off of lacquer but like others have said, lacquer is fast, durable, and relatively simple to apply…..........too bad the equipment is so expensive

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2676 days


#12 posted 12-22-2009 03:52 PM

747DRVR, the article I quoted above is from the hand of Bob Flexner.

Roman, I had heard that the standard in the cabinetmaking industry was two coats of sealer then…XX
Has that changed?

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Moron

4666 posts in 2548 days


#13 posted 12-22-2009 04:07 PM

Like I said Bob…............the only shop that I know of, thats using sealer has to use it, because thats how the mfg (ILVA) recommends and its also a post cat sealer with post cat lacquer.

Most shops use pre cat lacquer…...........no sealer.

The amount of coats required might be more determined by the system it is applied with. An “air assisted HVLP” produces very little overspray, so most of it is on the board, not in the air there for less coats. My rule is to apply as many coats as needed to produce the finsih required.

I also like the post cat lacquers and occasionally use them as its the only product that meets specifications but for me, post cat is not very cost effective. All lacquers are not created equally.

Overall…..............I’ld say to use what works for the individual.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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rhett

699 posts in 2322 days


#14 posted 12-22-2009 04:07 PM

My original post was more aimed at first time users. If a LJ is asking about finishing, chances are they don’t know ways around certain methods. That being said, I have opposite experience from you Roman in that I have never met any outfit that does not use a first coat sealer. Overall finish and cost are my motivators. Sealers are cheaper than lacquers. My standard finish schedule for cabinetry is one coat vinyl sealer and two coats pre-cat lacquer. It would cost me approx 17% more in finish materials, per project, to use only lacquer. Nickels and dimes add up over the course of a year, especially when you need quarters to keep the doors open.

-- It's only wood.

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747DRVR

199 posts in 2011 days


#15 posted 12-22-2009 04:36 PM

Bob #2 the article you quoted was from Michael Dresdner

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