Clear coat choice

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Forum topic by azlogger posted 04-10-2014 12:31 AM 1124 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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37 posts in 1581 days

04-10-2014 12:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: clear coat paint finish

Hi. As a disclaimer to start with, I know almost nothing about finishes.
I have been and will be making quite a lot at the CNC routed wall plaques shown in the attached image. They are simply cut down everywhere except where the letters, stars, and edge are. Then I spray paint them and sand the paint off the top surface to give it that contrast.
Now I would like to put a nice clear coat on these, to seal and protect them(again, I don’t know if this is even necessary).
Since I am making quite a number of these, I don’t want anything that dries too slow.
So if you can just recommend a nice clear coat that won’t hurt the paint and dries fast, that’s all I need. Or you can tell me I’m crazy and I should do it totally different if that’s what you think ;)

-- Who needs PLANS??!! Be original!!

8 replies so far

View gamygeezer's profile


166 posts in 1548 days

#1 posted 04-10-2014 12:42 AM

I’ve always liked de-waxed shellac. A commercial version is Zinsser Sealcoat. Dilute it 1:1 with denatured alcohol and brush it on, or buy it in a spray can.

-- What's a vibrant young guy like me doing in a broken down old body like this?

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2568 days

#2 posted 04-10-2014 12:43 AM

I like lacquer for this purpose. It dries quickly and provides nice protection. Depending on which one you get though it can affect the final color as many have an amber hue to them. It can be applied to paint, just make sure the paint is completely dry before applying. It can be purchased in rattle cans or in regular cans and either brushed on or spayed (preferred).

View azlogger's profile


37 posts in 1581 days

#3 posted 04-10-2014 01:19 AM

Thanks for the replies!
I’m thinking I probably better go with a spray can, since I have raised letters that might not work so great with a brush?
On Home Depot’s app they show a pic of a spray can and it says “Deft 1-aerosol satin interior clear wood finish brushing lacquer”. So what’s that? It says aerosol but also says brushing! And it says it can be applied with a brush or pad. ???

-- Who needs PLANS??!! Be original!!

View azlogger's profile


37 posts in 1581 days

#4 posted 04-10-2014 01:38 AM

My local hardware store sells that zinsser shellac (spray can). I might give that a try as soon as I get a chance. It is ok on the paint I assume?

-- Who needs PLANS??!! Be original!!

View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 1812 days

#5 posted 04-10-2014 02:28 AM

I think that shellac might be a safer choice than lacquer, unless of course, the paint itself is lacquer based. If not, there’s a remote chance that the lacquer will act like a paint stripper and cause the paint to lift and wrinkle. If that happens, your only recourse will be to strip and start again. At the very least, be sure to test your products for compatibility before you totally commit.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1855 days

#6 posted 04-10-2014 02:48 AM

You will have the least reactions on top of painted surfaces with a water-based clear coat. That has been my comparative experience regarding different oil-based finishes, clear lacquer and shellacs.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View azlogger's profile


37 posts in 1581 days

#7 posted 04-10-2014 03:03 AM

I’ve read in some of my research of using minwax polycrylic. It’s water based, but it’s still pretty slow…I guess all clear coats are…

-- Who needs PLANS??!! Be original!!

View Loren's profile


10244 posts in 3611 days

#8 posted 04-10-2014 03:27 AM

Try shellac.

Oil-modified waterborne poly dries pretty quick and being water soluble
it’s a lot less costly to clean a spray gun using it. I’ve been
padding it on like shellac lately and it’s kind of similar
and forgiving applied this way. I’ve sprayed it before
(I’m not very good) on guitars and been driven mad
by runs. Your product is probably lower end though and
nobody will care about unevenness in the finish as long
as the sheen is consistent.

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