Create a matte finish on satin lacquer

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Forum topic by keninblaine posted 01-18-2014 09:07 PM 1492 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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130 posts in 1625 days

01-18-2014 09:07 PM

I have used satin lacquer on my desk project, but find it a little too glossy since the other custom cabinets in the house are finished to a matte and I’m trying to match it. I have 3 or 4 coats of satin Watco aerosol lacquer on one of the pieces and haven’t done the others until I’m satisfied I can get the right effect.

Can I wet sand the satin to get more of a matte finish, and if so, what would be the appropriate grit? I’m assuming something like 1200 or even maybe 900? I will experiment on some spare pieces but wanted to avoid buying expensive paper if it isn’t the right stuff or right method.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

9 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3132 days

#1 posted 01-18-2014 09:37 PM

You should start with a higher grit number, just in case. You can buy an assortment of really fine wet or dry paper at the automotive stores. You may even need 2000 grit to get the finish sheen you want. Figure something like $6.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2340 days

#2 posted 01-18-2014 11:01 PM

You can alter the sheen by giving the surface a quick wipe with a rag lightly dampened with lacquer thinner. You’d have to do experiments to determine what can be accomplished with this method.

-- See my work at and

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2992 days

#3 posted 01-19-2014 12:53 AM

2000 will polish it to a high sheen. I’d start with 600 and 0000 wire wool.

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130 posts in 1625 days

#4 posted 01-19-2014 12:55 AM

Yes, it is my understanding that the finer paper like 2000 will result in a high gloss. I think I’ll try 600 or higher, and go up if I need any more sheen. Similar to wet sanding a car.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2384 days

#5 posted 01-19-2014 01:03 AM

Unless the finish is already absolutely flat, sanding will leave the minute depressions glossier. Best to rub out with pumice lubed with mineral oil or water.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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1735 posts in 2832 days

#6 posted 01-19-2014 01:53 AM

#0000 steel wool

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130 posts in 1625 days

#7 posted 01-20-2014 04:38 AM

#0000 steel wool doesn’t seem to be doing much to cut the gloss. May have to try something coarser.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

View keninblaine's profile


130 posts in 1625 days

#8 posted 01-21-2014 01:21 AM

I’ve tried #000 steel wool, as well as 1000 grit paper, but while each dulls the surface a little, once I rub it with my hands or a cloth, it brings back the satin sheen again.

Is anyone familiar with any aerosol products available in matte finish? I haven’t found any matte by Deft or Watco. I’ve found some Krylon and Rustoleum spray matte lacquers on line, but am not sure if they work well in this application. Most seem to be aimed at protecting artwork etc.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

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130 posts in 1625 days

#9 posted 01-24-2014 01:38 AM

I found a “flat” finish lacquer in aerosol, by Behlen, at Grizzly. While still not as flat as expected, it is close enough. They also have a “dead flat”, but I didn’t try that as I’ve already gone through 3 or 4 trial finishes and I’m close enough. I did try a Krylon matte aerosol from Michaels, and while more flat than the Behlen, it had a poorer nozzle putting out more of a spot circular spray, so cumbersome on larger surfaces.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

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