I need help with ingredients for a finish

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Forum topic by keathb posted 03-17-2013 09:42 PM 962 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1964 days

03-17-2013 09:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey guys, I used to work with a guy who taught me to build furniture but I unfortunately never paid attention when he was mixing up the clear coat finish we would spray on after the stain was applied. I am now ready to spray an armoire I built (maple wood and a very dark stain) but I have no idea what to use. I plan on spraying it with one of my gravity fed spray guns.
Is there something I can use straight out of a can or do I need to mix things together? All I remember him using was some drops of something called fish eye eliminator and a couple of other things (maybe a thinner and poly?)...

Thanks for all your help and advice.

4 replies so far

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3280 days

#1 posted 03-18-2013 12:13 AM

If this is your first time spraying a piece of furniture, I would recommend lacquer. It’s easy to spray, dries extremely fast, easy to repair if you screw up and it will give you plenty of protection for something like your armoire.

Sherwin Williams makes a good nitrocelous lacquer. They also make a sanding sealer you can use to start with, but not necessary. You can usually spray lacquer straight from the can, but you can thin it a little (about 10 – 15%) with lacquer thinner that will allow it to flow out a little better, especially in colder weather.

The only time you should use fish eye eliminator is if the surface you are trying to spray is contaminated with something like wax, etc. (or your spray gun is not cleaned well and it’s contaminated).

BTW, I would practice spraying on some scrap wood first to get the feel for spraying and the product.
Instead of using fish eye eliminator, if you have any doubts, I would spray a light coat of shellac instead of the sanding sealer and that will do the same thing.

You need good ventilation, wear a good respirator and no flames.

-- John @

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2167 days

#2 posted 03-18-2013 12:40 AM

There’s a lot of folks that have some voodoo recipies for finishes, but I have a hard time believing that they would beat the chemists at the respected finish companies. But to each his own.

-- Brian

View steve's profile


363 posts in 1988 days

#3 posted 03-18-2013 12:59 AM

Right out of the can, man!
You could also use General Finishes Enduro water-based Lacquer – I’ve used regular Lacquer forever, until I tried this…Non-flammable, low odor, VOC-compliant…I spray it in my basement, 15’ from the furnace…cleans up with soap and water…did I state, NON FLAMMABLE! I challenge anyone to tell the difference between two boards sprayed both reg. Lacquer, and THIS water-based…there is absolutely NO difference, if anything, the water-based has a more pleasant sheen, perfect!
I took over a account for a company that sells Weather Instr. I am making the panels they mount to…They had alot of stock leftover from the supplier that used standard lacquer, they were concerned that the new (water-based lacquer spraying), would look different than the stock they had, I used the water-based on mine and they cannot see a difference…again, they like the new look of my system, BETTER! Nice…check it out.

-- steve/USA

View keathb's profile


10 posts in 1964 days

#4 posted 03-18-2013 02:37 AM

Thanks everyone, I believe it was in fact lacquer and thinner that he used to mix. Thanks for the help

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