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Lacquer is milky white - HALP!

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Forum topic by ToddJB posted 07-11-2018 12:59 AM 845 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ToddJB

8211 posts in 2252 days


07-11-2018 12:59 AM

I’ve never used lacquer before, and now I hate it.

Four coats of this:

Let it dry for 4 or 5 days, then did my usual process of wiping on Howard’s Feed N Wax and buffing out with 1200 grit on the ROS. Left it silly smooth, as antisipated but….

Next morning I came out to this:

Any sure fire fixes? Not looking to exparement on this one as I need to get it out the door in a few days.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built


35 replies so far

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Rich

3553 posts in 711 days


#1 posted 07-11-2018 01:41 AM

Looks like blushing to me. It’s caused by trapped moisture. However, I can’t explain why it didn’t happen right away.

I always keep a couple of cans of spray retarder around. It’s a very slow evaporating solvent for lacquer that will soften the surface and give it time for the moisture to evaporate before it

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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bobasaurus

3530 posts in 3306 days


#2 posted 07-11-2018 01:42 AM

Hmm, I’ve never used lacquer before either so take this with a grain of salt. I’d be tempted to wipe it down heavily with lacquer thinner, let it dry overnight, give it a coat or two of shellac, then use an oil based top coat like arm-r-seal. Or just sand it off and refinish with something else.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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HokieKen

6184 posts in 1260 days


#3 posted 07-11-2018 01:43 AM

Not a lacquer guy Todd but in your shoes, I’d probably sand down through the wax then try wiping it down with lacquer thinner. Sorry dude. I hate messing with new finishes.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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ToddJB

8211 posts in 2252 days


#4 posted 07-11-2018 01:57 AM



Looks like blushing to me. It s caused by trapped moisture. However, I can t explain why it didn t happen right away.

I always keep a couple of cans of spray retarder around. It s a very slow evaporating solvent for lacquer that will soften the surface and give it time for the moisture to evaporate before it

- Rich

Rich, is it ready for waxing after this, or do you need to do anything else it after the retarder?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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Rich

3553 posts in 711 days


#5 posted 07-11-2018 02:07 AM


Rich, is it ready for waxing after this, or do you need to do anything else it after the retarder?

- ToddJB

Feed N Wax claims to be compatible with lacquer finishes, and I use it a lot, so I doubt that alone is the problem.

I wish I could see it in person. Is it embedded in the finish, or can you rub it and have some of it come off? Like I said, I’ve had it happen to me, but it was right away.

Edit: I almost forgot to answer your question. After the retarder evaporates, it will harden back to its original state. Be careful not to rub it while it’s still wet, that will cause a mess. I’d give it a few hours before trying to wax it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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bd1886

28 posts in 85 days


#6 posted 07-11-2018 02:15 AM

Entrapment causes milking (mostly) and it can come from moisture (the #1 cause), environmental oils and residual dissimilar solvents. It tends to be easily reversible by just cleaning off what’s on top and re-activating the original finish providing it is the type of finish that dissolves from the top down. (Lacquers, penatrating oil, “true” varnish (nothing urethane, catylized, polyurethane etc.).
I love the properties of all Howard’s products for some things but there are inherent issues to be aware of when using it because many are mineral oil based. (It doesn’t really dry, it just penetrates and replenishes existing finishes or itself, and once used? Best to stay on top of upkeep with either itself or a compatable wax.)

Looking at your piece I would expect active lacquer solvent, residual moisture, or active natural resins (in that order) to be the culprit here…. with natural resins least likely by quite a margin.
Solution? Clean Howards off with a good scrubbing using paint thinner and let dry. Second light wipe with paint thinner to minimize any residual mineral oil/wax residue, then a couple light circular/pouncing wipes of lacquer thinner to get back to square one and let it cure.

Can’t tell for sure but betting the finish was not cured before using the Howard’s? (How long had it sat before applying the Howard’s?)

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HerbC

1785 posts in 2981 days


#7 posted 07-11-2018 02:24 AM

That sure looks like lacquer blushing which can be caused by high humidity while applying the lacquer.

The way to fix/avoid it if you’re using a spray gun system is to add a retarding agent to the lacquer.

If you are using spray cans and have this problem, get Behlen’s Blush Eraser (available from Amazon here and it will fix the problem.

I think you will need to remove the Howard’s Wax and Feed before using the blush eraser…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View enazle's profile

enazle

66 posts in 130 days


#8 posted 07-11-2018 02:38 AM

How big of an area are we looking at? Could be blushing, could be just sanded with out you wax. The divots being white look like they are full of sanding dust. You say you have waxed the piece, I would try removing the wax with naphtha or mineral spirits. If when wet the area clears it is not blushed but a sanded area.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1665 posts in 1920 days


#9 posted 07-11-2018 02:55 AM

The sure fire fix is too squirt some lighter fluid on the spot lite it up.
Let it burn for out it will go away quick.
It will pull the moisture out
It may come back if your piece is still drying

-- Aj

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TheFridge

10141 posts in 1608 days


#10 posted 07-11-2018 04:59 AM

I vote for burning :) sorry. I’m no help. I’d probably douse it in lacquer thinner and get most of the finish off to let it breath then try again.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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ToddJB

8211 posts in 2252 days


#11 posted 07-11-2018 05:40 AM

Thanks guys. I’m going to try the clean it well with paint thinner approach and let it dry. If it dries back white, I’ll grab a can of blush eraser on my way home from work and give that a go.

I’ll keep you abreast. (Fridge, I’ll keep you two – I know how you like ‘em.)

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6184 posts in 1260 days


#12 posted 07-11-2018 10:29 AM

Hey! I like ‘em too and I answered before Fridge!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

216 posts in 1595 days


#13 posted 07-11-2018 12:47 PM

I’ve not used the particular lacquer that you show in your pic, but my supplier of rattle can lacquer would tell you that 4 or 5 days was not enough to ensure the lacquer was completely hard. When you sanded it, the heat softened the lacquer and moisture and maybe wax got into it.

When I’ve rushed things, I’ve gotten the same results as you.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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ScottM

671 posts in 2268 days


#14 posted 07-11-2018 01:13 PM



I ve not used the particular lacquer that you show in your pic, but my supplier of rattle can lacquer would tell you that 4 or 5 days was not enough to ensure the lacquer was completely hard. When you sanded it, the heat softened the lacquer and moisture and maybe wax got into it.

When I ve rushed things, I ve gotten the same results as you.

- gwilki

Ditto. You should let lacquer set up for a week or so to let it fully cure before waxing. I was told the petroleum contents of the wax can sort of melt the lacquer. Not saying it isn’t blushing. Just saying you may have more than one issue.

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

8211 posts in 2252 days


#15 posted 07-11-2018 02:24 PM



Hey! I like ‘em too and I answered before Fridge!

- HokieKen

Jealousy doesn’t suit you, Kenny.

Just saying you may have more than one issue.

- ScottM

Well, that’s guaranteed.

Cleaned it off really well this morning. Let it dry for the day and grab some retarder on the way home tonight

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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