brushing lacquer

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 06-08-2012 01:54 AM 3542 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1100 posts in 1706 days

06-08-2012 01:54 AM

First time in over 30 years I’m using lacquer again. I bought Deft brushing lacquer as it was recommended to me. Really nice stuff. I’m just putting it on drawers for the kitchen right now, but I can see myself going to this in place of poly real easy. My wife….. not so much. She walked in the shop and said, “Wow….. smells strong!”
I told her it’s because it is powerful mojo.

Actually, it doesn’t smell much different from her nail polish, but she’d need a lot more toes to put out the kind of solvent smell I was putting out.

French doors of the shop open, window open, and a fan blowing out the door so fresh air came in the window. I think I was well ventilated and I certainly don’t seem to have been affected by the solvent flashing off. Takes just under an hour to brush a coat on all the drawer parts. Tomorrow morning I’ll flip ‘em and do the insides. I just put 2 coats on the underside of the drawer bottoms and the back side of the backs. The insides will probably get 3 coats.

Bottoms and backs are 5/8 Baltic Birch. Wife wants slab fronts so those will be 3/4 Baltic Birch. Blum Tandembox is pretty sweet.

Anyways…. maybe the lacquer did get to me… I’m ramblin’! :)

8 replies so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3227 posts in 1654 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 02:07 AM

Hey Charilie, good progress has been made.
I use Deft almost exclusively here because in this remote area, no one sells regular lacquer. I thin it with either acetone or lacquer thinner and spray it. It builds quickly and two coats are usually enough. Sands as easily as lacquer. It dries slower because it is a brushing lacquer, but acetone addresses that by speeding things up dramatically.
The concentrated fumes are explosive, so do be very careful with ventilation.
Originally I think it was for floors, so it is very durable. And it is serviceable. Any wear or damage, clean, sand and recoat. It will adhere to the previous coats chemically and physically. Not so with poly. It generally sheds touch up work because there is no chemical adhesion, only mechanical.
No pictures? Loopy from fumes would be good … {:-/ POWERFUL mojo!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL There are three types of people...those who are good at math and those who aren't.

View KarenW's profile


131 posts in 1608 days

#2 posted 06-08-2012 12:04 PM

Deft is also my choice finish and I use just over 100 gallons a year for basic finishing. For table tops or things that get heavy use I usually go with a pre-cat lacquer but Deft does a fine job for most of my customers. Normally I do 3 coats with a finish sand between #2 and #3 but on natural pieces (those with no stain) I do 4 coats – it’s a nice build-up without feeling plastic. I run a fairly powerful filtered exhaust fan with plenty of fresh filtered incoming air and wear a respirator while spraying but the few visitors to the shop always remark on the smell—it is powerful.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1706 days

#3 posted 06-08-2012 12:22 PM

Unfortunately, my compressor is too small to keep up with spraying this. And, to be honest, I think it would take a considerable amount of planning and shifting of stuff in my small shop to get set up to spray all these pieces. If I upgrade my compressor, I would consider making an outdoor spray booth from one of those pop-up type things (10×10) with plastic sides and a provision for fans. Something to look into for the future. For right now I’ll have to be satisfied with brushing it on even though I know it takes longer.

I’m guessing (because I haven’t sprayed this stuff) that when you spray it, it goes on a little thinner than when I’m brushing it. Like 3 coats sprayed is thinner than 3 coats brushed? I was going to do 3 coats brushed on the interior of the drawer bottom. The backs can get 2 coats I think, but the bottoms would be more subject to …. I don’t know…. abrasion from putting things in and out? Really though, you don’t slide things out of a drawer. You pick them up and set them down. We’ll see.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1706 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 04:49 PM

WOW! Does that stuff ever dry faster when it’s warmer outside. First coat this morning I had no problem keeping a wet edge. It was about 68 or 70 this morning. I just did a second coat and REALLY had to stay on top of it. Not like “panic hurry”, but certainly no dilly dallying around. Had to keep moving at a brisk pace. :)

When lacquer is dry…. do you wax it? I used satin lacquer. Waxing might make it kinda shiny. Just leave it be?
Again, this is the insides of kitchen drawers. Not a piano or something.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2055 days

#5 posted 06-08-2012 05:26 PM

I just leave it be without wax, but I also spray it. You might have a little more luck with drying time by adding some lacquer thinner. Spraying it produces a much thinner coat, but I usually put on two thin coats per “coat”. Sometimes if I want a thicker coat I spray more “coats” per coat.

I have sprayed with a porter cable pancake compressor before, and it works. It will run nonstop, but once you spray lacquer you will never go back. It begs to be sprayed.

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1934 days

#6 posted 06-08-2012 05:31 PM

Once it is completely dry and cured, (about 2-3 days), you can polish it with clear coat compound. I use Novus #2 and it shines like a mirror. There are Mother’s products that are similar. Not the liquid cleaner, but the final polishing compound, usually a light tan thick liquid.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 1895 days

#7 posted 06-08-2012 05:57 PM

Charlie, buddy….3 words, wear a respirator. I have a big shop, use HVLP, and still wear a respirator when I apply lacquer. If you like the stuff and plan to use it regularly, this is a good practice to adopt, no matter how “well” ventilated is your shop.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Earlextech's profile


1157 posts in 2110 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 08:30 PM

I misssss reelel lacquerr.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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