Question for you finish guys

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Forum topic by childress posted 12-25-2009 03:22 AM 1106 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View childress's profile


841 posts in 3537 days

12-25-2009 03:22 AM

I finished a cocobolo box for my wife and ran into a small problem at the end. This is the first time I’ve rubbed out a finish to look like a mirror and in doing so, The automotive polish got stuck in the pores of the grain. Yes, I neglected to use grain filler. I didn’t realize cocobolo had such large pores until I applied the finish. I wanted to know if there is a way to dissolve it? I was thinking of using mineral spirits, but wasn’t sure if it would harm the finish. I have 2 coats of dewaxed shellac and 4 coats of pre-cat lacquer (90 sheen) Thanks for any help.




-- Childress Woodworks

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 12-25-2009 03:32 AM

How about a soft tooth brush and if necessary a bit of naphtha. I would do a small test on the bottom first.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#2 posted 12-25-2009 05:25 AM

Yes, you can wash the box with mineral spirits. Mineral spirits will not affect lacquer or shellac. Jim has a good idea about using a toothbrush and certainly I would start on the bottom first.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Joe or Murph's profile

Joe or Murph

16 posts in 3085 days

#3 posted 12-25-2009 05:38 AM

I wuld have to go with the mineral spirits as well—safer . The toothbrush is a good idea and pick up one of those dental picks from rockler for the really small stuff.

-- J.G.Murphy

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3477 days

#4 posted 12-25-2009 07:35 AM

To help prevent this from happening in the future, use a few coats of a sanding sealer or grain filler and sand it smooth before you apply your final finish.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View CharlesNeil's profile


2399 posts in 3866 days

#5 posted 12-25-2009 05:04 PM

I suspect you have two issues , first the compound and second the removed finish, when you rub its a mild form of sanding, and clear finishes when sanded , as im sure you know , create a white residue , i agree some naptha or mineral spirits should remove it , but compound can be a bit tough after it dries, actually a good spritzering with some warm water and let sit a few moments will help, to soften the compound, it will not damage your finish, in the future , when you do this, keep a wet cloth, a piece of lambs wool is ideal, something with a soft texture but also has enough ” fingers” to reach into the grain, and clean it well immediately , i also like to give them a good dusting with compressed air if you have it, to blow any excess from the deep grains , nice box ..

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#6 posted 12-25-2009 07:42 PM

In addition to the good advice already given here, let me comment on the obvious… Some woods , because of their extremely coarse grain structure, are not real good candidates for putting a mirror finish on. And grain filler does help a lot.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3537 days

#7 posted 12-25-2009 08:30 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate the responses. I definitely will use a grain filler next time around and some lambs wool like Charles said.

Chris: I did use two coats of shellac as a sanding sealer, but my problem might have been that I blew the box clean after sanding with compressed air before I applied the lacquer.

-- Childress Woodworks

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