Lacquer for a bar finish?

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Forum topic by crank49 posted 06-17-2014 04:48 AM 1019 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3979 posts in 2390 days

06-17-2014 04:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cherry finishing question

I recently remodeled a home.
I contracted the cabinet work because my shop is in storage and I had to deal with severe time crunch.
The kitchen island cabinet is made of Cherry. The “Eat at” top is a glue up, 1-3/4” thick by 18” wide.
The cabinet maker finished all this with spray on lacquer.
Then he tells me we cant sit wet stuff on it. Need to use coasters for glasses.
WTF. If lacquer won’t take water exposure why use it to finish a bar?

Anyway, anyone have a suggestion for what finish I can put on this cherry bar top?
Will the new finish work on top of the lacquer? Or will I have to strip the lacquer first?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

6 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1614 posts in 1735 days

#1 posted 06-17-2014 05:00 AM

You’ll have to find out what kind of lacquer it is but it should be possible to apply a good pre-cat lacquer over the top of the existing lacquer or even some post-cat lacquers. If he used a typical nitro lacquer then it probably won’t handle standing water which is why he’d have recommended coasters.

Unfortunately, the post cats aren’t something you can use outside of a professional shop setting equipped with spray guns and booth.

-- See my work at and

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3343 days

#2 posted 06-17-2014 02:09 PM

I agree he should not have used that for a table top it will be full of rings in no time. I would just use a card scrapper and finish with wipe on polly.

View chrisstef's profile


15458 posts in 2425 days

#3 posted 06-17-2014 02:39 PM

Ive had good luck with Arm-R-Seal on my walnut countertops. Ive also heard that general finishes High Performance works very well too. Wish I could help out on the compatability issue, but I just don’t have enough experience in it.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Earlextech's profile


1157 posts in 2109 days

#4 posted 06-17-2014 03:29 PM

Sand lightly with 220 or so…one or two coats of de-waxed shellac…then apply any poly you choose. Then send the cabinetmaker a bill for your work because he should have known better.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21531 posts in 1757 days

#5 posted 06-17-2014 03:38 PM

I am in the WTF was he thinking category. Guess what gets set on bars? Duh! All suggestions above should work. You could always pour on epoxy coating.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4824 posts in 2232 days

#6 posted 06-17-2014 04:23 PM

I have had pre-cat lacquer on dining tables for years, including daily use dining tables. They show absolutely no water damage. I wipe on some Howard’s walnut wax every couple years, but otherwise they are maintenance-free.
The lacquer used was almost certainly pre-cat.
I would wax it and enjoy your new bar.

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

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