Finish disasters

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Forum topic by Airspeed posted 03-26-2013 06:28 PM 1113 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 1902 days

03-26-2013 06:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

I’m sitting in the corner of my shop waiting for the lacquer to harden between coats and started thinking of all the awful things that have happened while applying a finish. When I first started spraying my projects I bought a cheap gun from Sears, the cap would never thread right and would fall off. I was spraying the top of a toy box with urethane when the cap suddenly fell off dumping almost a quart of urethane on the whole box, as soon as I noticed I moved the gun and spilled the rest on a project I needed to stain, ruined that one! It wouldn’t stain filled with urethane. Another time I was pouring some bar top resin and my then shoulder length hair fell into it, I didn’t notice for a couple hours until I tried to put on a dust mask, the entire side of my head was encased in plastic. I’d be interested to hear your disastrous finishing mishaps.


10 replies so far

View Airspeed's profile


445 posts in 1902 days

#1 posted 03-26-2013 06:52 PM

I just remembered another! A few years ago I bought a new washer and dryer, my dryer vent runs through the basement where my shop is, some how I forgot to reconnect the vent duct, a few days later I sprayed a cabinet while my wife was upstairs doing laundry, when I finished spraying I went upstairs t let the finish harden, a couple hours later I went down to check it and it had grown fur, the entire cabinet was coated with dryer lint. I instantly wanted to barf from the trauma! Had to let it harden a couple days and sanded the entire cabinet all over again.


View pintodeluxe's profile


5661 posts in 2813 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 07:05 PM

I had some cherry wainscoting that I used a pre-stain conditioner (shellac washcoat). After the stain dried for a day, I sprayed the lacquer. I quickly ran out of space to set trim aside in my shop. After the pieces of the project were dry to the touch, I set them outside in the shade on some sawhorses. The sun moved in and baked the freshly coated lacquer, which began to crinkle. I noticed it in time, and only lost a piece or two but it could have been a disaster.
Have never had anything like that before or since.

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

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2025 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 07:15 PM

Cat walked across a blanket chest freshly urethaned. I did not even know the cat was in the shop. Spent the next night sanding the paw prints out of the top. nowadays I check for cats prior to finishing.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

942 posts in 2235 days

#4 posted 03-26-2013 08:01 PM

I sharpened a chipbreaker.

-- Jerry

View Hammerthumb's profile


2844 posts in 1975 days

#5 posted 03-26-2013 08:08 PM

I have 2 stories. Both of which are finishing floors. First one is where a customer had his dog locked up in a bedroom while I applied urethane in a living room. The owner accidentally let the dog out and it came bounding down the hall at full speed and when it hit the fresh finish, it went slip sliding across the floor. When I came back the next day to fix the mess I saw that the dog had been shaved bald. Second one is where I was doing a bleached floor in a casino with 2 part wood bleach. Nasty stuff. I had told my workers that they needed face protection and elbow length gloves. One of the guys forgot gloves so another one of my workers shared by giving one of his gloves to him. The guy that shared the glove was on his knees applying the bleach with the gloved hand. He didn’t realize that using the other hand to balance onself would put you in contact with the bleach. After a few minutes he realized the mistake as his hand started burning! I had some vinager on hand for neutralization so we got his hand washed off with that and then a lot of cold water. He was hispanic at the time, but is only 98% hispanic now as his hand was permanently bleached white. Saw him a month ago and after 7 years, he still has a lily white palm on one hand.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


11628 posts in 2380 days

#6 posted 03-28-2013 07:17 AM

Today I learned that lacquer thinner will leach the red out of padauk. Not amused.

-- Rick M,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29233 posts in 2338 days

#7 posted 03-28-2013 09:46 AM

2 days ago I found a towel sitting on a bar top. I had poured the epoxy that morning. Stepson had tossed it on there not knowing it was wet. It has been sanded and I will repour the top coat later today.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3893 days

#8 posted 03-28-2013 12:27 PM

I was contracted to spray a grand piano in glossy black lacquer. The owner of the piano had it stripped down to bare wood ready for spray and had rented an automotive spray booth for this.

I arrived with my equipment and read the label on the lacquer bucket and commented that it doesnt read “PreCat” and commented that I think this is post cat meaning it needs the catalyst added. After much debate and finally the supplier expert arrived giving the “OK to spray”

After the flawless application of the first coat, with no runs, no sags, no splatter………it was indeed post cat lacquer therefor rendering the piano to be the worlds largest fly trap.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View jeffswildwood's profile


3190 posts in 1977 days

#9 posted 03-28-2013 12:43 PM

Here’s one for ya, I finished a project, all sanded ready to stain the next day. When the next day came I noticed the cat had “marked his territory” on the side. When dry I sanded again and the stain was gone. Stained the project, no problem, no marks. But when I applied the urethane the “mark” came back! Now more sanding and creative staining to do. Finally made the “mark” disappear.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View oldnovice's profile


6855 posts in 3368 days

#10 posted 03-28-2013 06:58 PM

I had just finished sanding a pine coffee table and moved it out of my shop so residual dust would not settle on it as I was going to finish it the next day. Later that evening I just happened to go back into the basement and as I approached the coffee table I could see a tiny stream of water coming from a bad sweated elbow joint (never leaked in the previous 20 years) and landing right on top of the coffee table.

Wait for it to dry and defuzz after fixing the leak! Fortunately it just took more work and the table was not lost!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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