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Help me choose a lacquer!

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Forum topic by Stockfoot posted 07-23-2014 07:21 AM 730 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Stockfoot

23 posts in 81 days


07-23-2014 07:21 AM

Hey everyone, I have been mainly using polyurethane on all my projects but I want to transition to lacquer. Can anyone recommend me their favorite lacquer. I want one with good protection that won’t yellow.

I am willing to get a spray system if need be. I hear that normal lacquer yellows easily and that CAB lacquer is pretty good. And I suppose what would be a reasonable spray system as well. I mainly do personal projects and some larger furniture like chairs and a tv stand.


18 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1234 days


#1 posted 07-23-2014 07:59 AM

What’s your budget for a spray system?
I have the fuji mini-mite 4 and love it.

As for lacquer, I only use waterbornes. General finishes enduro clear poly is my current fave. Quick drying and very durable.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rrww's profile

rrww

263 posts in 770 days


#2 posted 07-23-2014 11:27 AM

+1 on the Waterbased products – clarity with no yellowing

If your new to spraying its just as easy to start with waterbased products, and its better for you too. And you don’t need to worry about fire hazards.

Spraying is the way to go – it offers many advantages over hand applied finishes. Do you have a compressor? If so how big?

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1514 posts in 929 days


#3 posted 07-23-2014 01:24 PM

Spraying, as previously suggested, is a smooth and simple way to apply your finishes.
Just a little over 2 years ago I made the transition from a traditional spray gun and compressor to the Earlex 5500 HVLP System and never looked back. The cloud of over-spray no longer lingers in the air and it takes less product, by nature of the HVLP system, to get the job done. I don’t know why I waited this long to switch, probably that ‘Old Dog, New Tricks’ thing.

With That being said, to your point, I’m rather partial to General Finishes’ products and in your case I suggest their Enduro Clear Poly, as NiteWalker also recommended. I have also used WaterLox and Arm-R-Seal.
I prefer the ease of clean-up of water based finishes.
...by the way, the Earlex 5500 HVLP did a terrific job with Lowe’s tintable based Latex primer and paint on a Formica/ MDF, commissioned cabinet/manicure bar I built earlier this year.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

171 posts in 387 days


#4 posted 07-23-2014 01:46 PM

Hey Stock, if you’re serious about using lacquer, get prepared for sticker shock. In the last 2 years it’s gone from 23-24 dollars a gallon to $42 for searler and $44 for lacquer overcoat. That is the Maclac brand sold in the west. You can get the regular stuff that yellows over time or you can get “Water clear”, which doesn’t change over time.
Some labels will indicate “Non Photochemically reactive” or “Photochemically reactive”. I’ve used lacquer for over 40 years, and still haven’t actually looked up what that means..
I have no experience with water borne lacquers, so can give you no information.
I’ll say this though. For the last 30 years, I’ve have not had the need to clean out my spray tanks. I have 2. One is for sanding sealer, and the other is for top coat. As long as there are no leaks at the gasket, and the hose doesn’t breathe, the lacquer will not deteriorate nor dry up over time in the tank or hose. I just put in more and do my spraying…. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

979 posts in 1347 days


#5 posted 07-23-2014 02:01 PM

If you’re new to this you should be considering water borne top coats. General Finishes and Aqua Coat are my favorites. Been using water borne for about 25 yrs. Sprays great and easy cleanup.
http://aquacoat.com/
http://generalfinishes.com/

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

View brtech's profile

brtech

673 posts in 1579 days


#6 posted 07-23-2014 05:25 PM

Photochemically reactive means that it reacts (changes) on exposure to light (mostly UV I would guess). I would expect that to yellow over time when exposed to light, and worse if it was outside.

Non-photochemically reactive would mean it DOESN’T react to light.

View Stockfoot's profile

Stockfoot

23 posts in 81 days


#7 posted 07-23-2014 06:17 PM

Thanks guys, this info is great! So far you guys are making e lean towards the water based generals finish. I use a lot of water based dyes on my woods, would I have to seal the layer with some dewaxed shellac or would it be okay to just spray on since you don’t have to wipe with spray systems or soak the wood heavily.

View Stockfoot's profile

Stockfoot

23 posts in 81 days


#8 posted 07-23-2014 06:39 PM

Another reason I wanted to switch to lacquer was rubbing out the finish at the end

View Iwud4u's profile

Iwud4u

363 posts in 186 days


#9 posted 07-24-2014 01:04 AM

I used to use sealer and lacquer as nubsnsstubs said, but I moved out of that cave about 2000 years ago. ;)
I have been using pre-cat lacquer.
You can use it as a self sealer or you can seal first with a vinyl sealer.
It’s a much stronger and better finish than nitrocellulose lacquers and less coats are required.
Sherwin Williams or ML Cambell’s Magnalac are 2 of the popular brands of pre-cat.
Both are quality finishes that leave wood looking soft and smooth like furniture,
instead of the plastic look that regular lacquer leaves.

I also spray from pressure pots, using binks 2001 guns.

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

655 posts in 966 days


#10 posted 07-24-2014 02:09 AM



Hey Stock, if you re serious about using lacquer, get prepared for sticker shock. In the last 2 years it s gone from 23-24 dollars a gallon to $42 for searler and $44 for lacquer overcoat. That is the Maclac brand sold in the west. You can get the regular stuff that yellows over time or you can get “Water clear”, which doesn t change over time.
Some labels will indicate “Non Photochemically reactive” or “Photochemically reactive”. I ve used lacquer for over 40 years, and still haven t actually looked up what that means..
I have no experience with water borne lacquers, so can give you no information.
I ll say this though. For the last 30 years, I ve have not had the need to clean out my spray tanks. I have 2. One is for sanding sealer, and the other is for top coat. As long as there are no leaks at the gasket, and the hose doesn t breathe, the lacquer will not deteriorate nor dry up over time in the tank or hose. I just put in more and do my spraying…. Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

I didn’t know either so I looked it up. Took less than a minute.

It’s really not that complicated. If the color (can be a clear coat as well) is photo-chemically reactive it means it will react with exposure to light sources (the sun being the worst, of course). Reds are usually the worst to shift and wash out, clears can dull, yellow, etc. Non-photo-chemically reactive usually means light stable although that doesn’t exactly mean they are totally immune to shifting over time. If you are particularly concerned about a base coat color washing out or fading over time always try to cover it with a good UV resistant quality clear. It does help a lot.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

799 posts in 973 days


#11 posted 07-24-2014 04:50 PM

We’re using Sherwin Williams CAB precat lacquer and have had good success with it for years on almost every piece of furniture. It’s repairable, rubs out well and can be brought up to a mirror finish if desired even when using the semi-gloss version of the product. Occasionally we’ll go with conversion varnish if we want more durability but that’s rare.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

580 posts in 81 days


#12 posted 07-25-2014 02:51 AM



We re using Sherwin Williams CAB precat lacquer and have had good success with it for years on almost every piece of furniture. It s repairable, rubs out well and can be brought up to a mirror finish if desired even when using the semi-gloss version of the product. Occasionally we ll go with conversion varnish if we want more durability but that s rare.

- JAAune

Do you use a vinyl sealer on some woods?

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1722 posts in 1766 days


#13 posted 07-25-2014 03:16 AM

Hmmm. All this time I thought that the photochemically reactive part of the pollution problem was the solvents released into the air reacting in sunlight. Guess I learn something new every day. Anyone use acetone or Isopropyl Alcohol as a thinner for paint?

I actually like the yellowing of nitrocellulose lacquer, btw.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

799 posts in 973 days


#14 posted 07-25-2014 03:17 AM

@TimberTailor

No. It would be an extra product we’d have to stock and the lacquer itself sands well enough for our purposes. From what I’ve read and heard from other sources, we’re probably losing some moisture resistance by skipping the vinyl sealer but that’s only ever been an issue in kitchens and bathrooms and for those rare cabinetry jobs, we’ve switched to conversion varnish.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View rrww's profile

rrww

263 posts in 770 days


#15 posted 07-25-2014 11:31 AM

The biggest benefit in using a sealer is the rapid dry time, along with high solids. This means it usually dries faster, sands easier, and fills better. Usually only used in production where time is money – nothing wrong with just using the first coat or two of the finish as a sealer. We use it every day in a production setting just because of handling time.

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