can I french polish on a lacquer base ?

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Forum topic by dclark1943 posted 03-30-2014 04:53 PM 1250 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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245 posts in 1607 days

03-30-2014 04:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing sanding veneering

My question is the title: can I french polish on a lacquer base? I have a lacquer finished box, but would like a better finish – - so I am thinking – - french polishing – but can I use the shellac and alcohol over the lacquer without the lacquer “melting”? Or do I need to remove the lacquer and start over? or can I get a better finish on the lacquer?

The box is extremely smooth (almost reflective) but has minute crazing. its over a walnut burl veneer, and I have maybe 8 coats of base with sanding progressively from 320 up to 800 as I built up the base, – - so perhaps the answer is simply more lacquer and more cutting back?

-- Dave, Kansas City

3 replies so far

View knotheadswoodshed's profile


201 posts in 1592 days

#1 posted 03-30-2014 05:09 PM

Hi Dave, you can wet sand it with micro mesh or rotten stone then buff it out. If it is just some crazing, you can also just try buffing it with polishing compound.
How did your show go?

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities"

View dclark1943's profile


245 posts in 1607 days

#2 posted 03-30-2014 05:14 PM

Randy, thanks for the input, the show was a great venue. Met many folks, handed out a boatload of cards, talked shop with many, but had limited sales. However the other vendors shared the same results; so I wasn’t disappointed.

-- Dave, Kansas City

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3820 days

#3 posted 03-30-2014 11:58 PM

Dave: Yes you can french polish over lacquer. The alcohol should not have any impact on the prior finish.

One trick that I’ve found in covering up small voids is I’ve sprayed shellac until You’ve got a good base and then wet sand it with oil. (I use baby oil) and get it smooth and then do the final coats of french polish. That’s a lot easier than doing 100 sessions of french polish to build up a good base. If I’ve got a real void I may just drip a blob over the void and then sand it down to rest of the surface and then finish with french polish.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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