Spray lacquer, wet sanding, purpleheart .... Finishing help

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 01-25-2012 10:31 PM 2490 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16579 posts in 2699 days

01-25-2012 10:31 PM

So heres my quandry gang ….

The material im working with is purpleheart.

Im working on a box wihere 2 sides will not be flat and flush, they will be jagged and they are end grain. I would like to wet sand the top and the 2 flush sides to get a real nice glossy finish on the purpleheart.

So to be able to get any finish on the 2 jagged sides i figured i would spray them with lacquer (like out of a spray paint can). There is no way i could get a rag or a brush into those small ittle spaces. Now if i spray the jagged sides can i wet sand that same spray lacquer on the top and the 2 flush sides using the spray? Or should i tape off the tope and the 2 flush sides and use another product on them and just spray the jagged edges?

- Chris

-- Something, something, something.

7 replies so far

View BentheViking's profile


1769 posts in 2256 days

#1 posted 01-26-2012 12:54 AM

Photos might be helpful

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View DrDirt's profile


4345 posts in 3435 days

#2 posted 01-26-2012 01:32 AM

Spray can lacquer is great stuff – but the layers are really really thin…so I don’t see wet sanding til you have around 3 to 5 coats on or you will cut right through the finish.

I have a cheap but works good HVLP gravity gun that runs off my compressor – and I spray Deft Brushing Lacquer. It has a LOT more solids in it so better coating, but also there are retarders and thickeners, that make it quite resistant to sagging/running or getting orange-peel.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3234 days

#3 posted 01-26-2012 02:37 AM

I would say more like 8 coats…. but yes, you can rub it out

-- Childress Woodworks

View chrisstef's profile


16579 posts in 2699 days

#4 posted 01-26-2012 02:51 AM

Ben, not to give away a project but envision a loose stack of lumber ;)

Ok so 8 coats sounds like a real blast and all but what if i used a different finish on the flat surfaces? LJ Bertha had a project where he used walnut danish oil wet sanded and wiped off and i was contemplating using a method similar to that.

Is there a better idea to finishing those loose ends that anyone can think of?

-- Something, something, something.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3234 days

#5 posted 01-26-2012 08:54 AM

Hmm. re-reading your post and the comment above. Sounds like you want to apply the lacquer with wet sandpaper? Not going to work. You would need to use an oil finish like the danish oil you mentioned. Or BLO or tung will work too. If you want to wet sand after the finish cures, then the lacquer will work fine and won’t take that long to apply all the coats necessary to rub it out.

How big is this box? Could you use the danish oil and “dip” the ends in it? That might work.

-- Childress Woodworks

View chrisstef's profile


16579 posts in 2699 days

#6 posted 01-26-2012 03:21 PM

I could definately dip the ends in, i bet the end grain would soak up a bunch of finish and not even drip on me. The box is small its like 10” long 5” wide. Once the oil (BLO or DO) dries i can spray the lacquer over that or should there be a seal coat in there?

-- Something, something, something.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2767 days

#7 posted 01-26-2012 03:50 PM

Here you can see where I put some finish on a very rough surface. I used spray on lacquer and I sprayed everything, including the smooth parts. I never over-sprayed because I did not want any runs or streaks. I believe I applied 10 coats.

One tip – Before spraying the rough surface, blast it with you air compressor to get it as clean as possible. In theory, a power washer may work even better, but it seemed to messy to me and it could have been too powerful.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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