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Need Advice on Using Black Lacquer

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Forum topic by BacktotheWood posted 06-16-2010 04:51 PM 1419 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BacktotheWood

124 posts in 2483 days


06-16-2010 04:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finish lacquer

A potential client has asked me to give him a qoute on a coffee table. I have no problem with the materials and build, but I have never used black lacquer as a finish. My son has a friend that does custom auto work and he said that it will cost me more in lacquer and time that the rest of the table itself.

If the table is acceptable he will order 10 units with possible follow-ons. The table is a very simple design and, of course, is to be inexpensive. If I use glue and brads to assemble it, I will need to completely eliminate any grain so the holes or fills don’t show. If I want to keep the grain, I will need to use much more time consuming joining techniques.

Does anyone have any ideas about doing this?

-- Bob, --Silence & smile are two powerful tools. Smile is the way to solve many problems & Silence is the way to avoid many problems.


10 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

452 posts in 2467 days


#1 posted 06-16-2010 05:09 PM

Gloss Black is hard to get looking good. You are correct in making sure the surface you are applying the finish to is as homogeneous as you can get it. I used to use a product called “Feather Fill” from an auto paint supplier as a Pre-Primer over MDF when customers wanted Gloss Black. It’s kind of like a spray bondo. This was 15 years ago so the industry may have something better available now.
In any case, make it as smooth as you can, then prime it again and make it smoother. Any tiny imperfection shows up in a gloss black finish.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2592 days


#2 posted 06-16-2010 06:00 PM

He’s right about the finish costing more than the table. You also need to build the table so there’s zero flex in any joints, or the finish will crack.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


#3 posted 06-16-2010 06:41 PM

At one time I refinished 4 baby grands for a music school. Michael has the correct product and IIRC it was made by Bondo. It took a minimum of 3 coats for me.
Also, I used an auto body lacquer. I was told (hype?) that it had more flex and was tougher than the lacquer normally used for wood.
This was in 1985 and I charged $1500 per piano. I didn’t charge enough!!!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View BacktotheWood's profile

BacktotheWood

124 posts in 2483 days


#4 posted 06-16-2010 06:44 PM

Thanks a bunch, guys! Yo are re-affirming my feeling that if he won’t accept any other finish than the black lacquer, I don’t want to commit to one and definitely not 10 or more at the prices he wants to pay.

Thanks again,
Bob

-- Bob, --Silence & smile are two powerful tools. Smile is the way to solve many problems & Silence is the way to avoid many problems.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7796 posts in 2765 days


#5 posted 06-16-2010 06:45 PM

this is a project im glad i have not been asked to do…if they want this type of finish, they need to know what it takes to achieve it..and you need to charge accordingly. that’s my take on it…you need to make money …you know that..to me when a customer asks for a certain item or wants something done a certain way..there is the extra time and whatever the materials cost..some folks want a great product, but want to pay the cheap price…i couldn’t do it…good luck..what the others said on black lacquer they were right…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


#6 posted 06-16-2010 07:08 PM

Bob,
Don’t give up! Sub the painting to an auto painter. Or, at least get an estimate from one. Then go from there on your pricing.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2592 days


#7 posted 06-17-2010 02:55 AM

I’d be leery of subbing to someone who doesn’t normally paint furniture. You could end up getting burned on both ends.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View wisno's profile

wisno

88 posts in 2473 days


#8 posted 06-17-2010 02:59 AM

Black paint is not really difficult finish. It just like the other solid color for wood finishing. In my opinion you can do this project. What you need to do is make a sample finish on a piece of panel and show your client. By this way you can make a calculation for your finish.

good luck

wisn

-- http://www.wisnofurniturefinishing.com/

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


#9 posted 06-17-2010 03:50 AM

Gerry,
By the time you get the surface prepared, you are no longer painting wood.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2592 days


#10 posted 06-17-2010 05:10 AM

I’ve worked in a shop that’s done a few gloss black projects. I gave my opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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