Why has my walnut developed a red tinge with ac lacquer?

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Forum topic by 404 - Not Found posted 10-07-2011 05:25 PM 1089 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2964 days

10-07-2011 05:25 PM

Just thought I’d throw this out there. The centre leaves of a table I’m making went a completely different colour to the rest of the table top… very red. When the whole job was assembled before spraying, there was a very slight colour variation as the leaves came out of a different plank. I wiped all the dust off with white spirit – on the whole, it looked good.
Because I’m so cramped for space in my little workshop, I sprayed the two halves of the table first and had the leaves put away to do later. When I sprayed the leaves and put them back on, they were dark, and pink and red in comparison to the tobacco colour of the rest of the table.
I sanded them back down to bare and re-lacquered them, they look much better this time. Any ideas what might have gone wrong?
I read an article once that said cherry can react badly with acid catalysed lacquer, but other walnut I’ve sprayed has been perfect. If anyone can enlighten, I’d be grateful.

6 replies so far

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2872 posts in 2509 days

#1 posted 10-07-2011 08:46 PM

I’m going to stick my head out here and say that there might have been an atmospheric reaction to the leaves while you sprayed the middle. The best example I can give is purpleheart, which when you plane or cut it, turns a mottled gray/purple. Two or three days later, it’s back to that wonderful wild purple we all know. Most woods will do some color change from atmosphere, you can see the changes when you first plane off the skin. Also, where did you store them? Anything in the atmosphere there, like dryer exhaust, car exhaust, anything like that? Maybe even totally stagnet air?

Just guessing, but I’ve seen way too many planks change color over the years just sitting around, no sunlight.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2964 days

#2 posted 10-07-2011 10:23 PM

Still mystified by this. There were only two days between spraying the extension leaves and the rest of the table top, they were folded flat – topsides in to each other and the only contaminant would have been overspray. I wondered if I’d maybe put too much catalyst in when spraying these, or maybe it’s because I had the lacquer in the pot overnight before spraying as a basecoat, or maybe I went too heavy trying to fill the grain with the first two coats.
I think it’s more to do with the lacquer than the timber – as I tested an offcut from the leaves that has been lying around for weeks and that went the colour it should have gone in the first place. Needless to say, if there is another job like this, I’ll do it all at the same time.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2964 days

#3 posted 10-11-2011 01:08 AM

My lacquering woes continue with the extension leaves which seem to change colour like a chameleon. I addressed the issue of matching the colour of the walnut by applying a thinned dark oak stain to kill the red. However, after building up with 3 dry coats and putting on the first wet coat to level, the yellow pigment in the dark oak seems to have bled thru to the surface. More sanding, more dry coats, more dry coats tomorrow before flatting down for polishing, p400, p600, p800, p1200, p1500, p2000 and cutting paste and wax. This job is becoming a test of endurance.

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5654 posts in 2808 days

#4 posted 10-11-2011 01:34 AM

any pictures?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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2131 posts in 3739 days

#5 posted 10-11-2011 03:01 AM

If the leaves were made from different boards, they could have come from a different tree. I have a table top that has a red tone to it. I debating on what type of base to make for it (maybe metal) since normally walnut is very brown. More than likely it’s just something peculiar to that tree.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2964 days

#6 posted 10-11-2011 11:37 AM

Top to bottom, in all pics table top on right, extension leaf on left

The red nightmare – after two wet coats of ac lacquer

took it back to bare, re lacquered it with dry coats – it was better bit still not right (no photo)

The yellow nightmare – after taking it back to bare again, put a diluted dark oak stain on it (tested first on offcuts) and it was a really good match, built up with dry coats and it was still good, then I went and put a wet coat on and the colour bled to top

Where I’m at now with dry coats, which is as good as its going to get before polishing the whole lot

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