Lacquer for a bar finish?

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Forum topic by crank49 posted 06-17-2014 04:48 AM 1336 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4030 posts in 2967 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.

6 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1798 posts in 2313 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 3920 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 (online now)


17381 posts in 3002 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.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2687 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"!

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Monte Pittman

29224 posts in 2334 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.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5657 posts in 2809 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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