Brushing lacquer finishing schedule and hardness

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 11-12-2012 10:15 PM 8547 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2115 days

11-12-2012 10:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lacquer

Sorry to bug you guys again but I find myself at a bit of a loss and Google isn’t helpful.

I’m using the Deft brushing lacquer for the first time. From what I have heard on here and on the can, the lacquer is supposed to be dry in about 2 hours. Lacquer is one of the fastest drying finishes.

I tried wet sanding some lacquer that been drying for about a day and a half. The lacquer was clearly too soft. I was able to scratch it with a piece of wood on a towel. And I got more of a matte sheen than a gloss sheen (gloss is the goal). And I sanded from 600 up to 2,500.

My suspicison is that the lacquer is supposed to be harder than this. I shouldn’t be able to scratch it with a fingernail. And if it was harder it would probably take a better polish.

I’ve been using the sniff test to check for lacquer dryness and I can’t smell lacquer thinner.

So the questions are…. how long does it take for this stuff to fully dry? How long should I wait before trying to get a high gloss polish on it?

And how hard is the stuff supposed to be? Should I be able to scratch it with a fingernail or wood splinter when fully dried?

And in case you ask, the stuff is drying in a barn that is essentially the same as the outside temperature. And it’s cold and wet here in Oregon.

Thank you!
From what I understand lacquer doesn’t cure in the strict sense. It’s a film forming finish that dies by solvent evaporation.

5 replies so far

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 11-12-2012 10:28 PM

Anything under it, like Linseed oil? or is it lacquer over bare wood?

I always gave lacquer 3-5 days before trying to rub it out. I always used Deft Brushing lqcquer from Lowes.
It is basic NC Lacquer with a bunch of retarder in it. It dries slower (2 hours vs. 30 minutes) but for curing it is about the same ~couple days.

Sorry I don’t know how hard it is.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2308 days

#2 posted 11-12-2012 10:57 PM

Did you stir it? I used Deft brushing lacquer here this summer on my kitchen cabinets. Used it more recently as it was cooling off and it dried MUCH more slowly when it was cold. The “wet” might also be affecting it adversely. If the temperature is not in the range recommended on the can you could have problems

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2873 days

#3 posted 11-13-2012 12:12 AM

The longer you wait, the better the rubout in general.

The other variable is coat thickness. Many thin coats will be harder than several thick ones.

I also think your low temps and high humidity are thwarting the drying. It needs some warmth to cure.

Coming to you live and direct from over on the Dry Side of Oregon where, right now, it is raining.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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915 posts in 2115 days

#4 posted 11-13-2012 01:19 AM

Excellent questions. Under the lacquer is Minwax stain and Deft’s brushing lacquer sanding sealer (two coats). The stain dried fully before I put on the sanding sealer and the sealer sanded down just fine.

I did stir it before every application.

The temperatures haven’t been freezing here but they are probably in the 50s and 40s (Farenheit). It rains pretty much constantly and will do so all winter. On days it doesn’t rain it will be cold.

I haven’t had any problems like blushing or cracking or any of the things I might have expected with the humidity here.

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915 posts in 2115 days

#5 posted 11-13-2012 07:48 AM

Is this a case where it simply won’t dry at all in the low temperatures and high humidity of the Willamette Valley?

I was thinking perhaps I didn’t put enough coats on. I’ve got about 2 coats on most of it. I didn’t want to overdo it. I’m using the lacquer instead of poly because I don’t want it to look like it was dipped in plastic. I am concerned that too much lacquer will basically make it look like plastic.

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