rubbing out laquer

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Forum topic by bob101 posted 09-20-2014 12:39 PM 1122 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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328 posts in 3648 days

09-20-2014 12:39 PM

ok I have a question. I have recently finished a humidor with lacquer and want to “rub out “the finish, I have applied six coats so far , is this enough to start the process? , or do I need top apply more. I have done a lot of reading and some say three coats , and some as high as ten or more. Just wondering how many coats you all apply and what your procedures are. Thanks in advance.

-- rob, ont,canada

6 replies so far

View knotheadswoodshed's profile


225 posts in 2371 days

#1 posted 09-20-2014 12:57 PM

you should be fine at 6, the most important thing (IMO) is to make sure you let the lacquer cure for at least a week, longer is better.

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

View Mario's profile


182 posts in 3594 days

#2 posted 09-20-2014 12:59 PM

If your lacquer coats are even without any noticeable defects and the edges are evenly covered that should be enough. 6 coats thinned 70-100% is right for a good finish with ample “room” for rubbing.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16280 posts in 4416 days

#3 posted 09-20-2014 01:08 PM

I agree with what Randy said. But keep in mind the number of coats needed for a silky-smooth rubout depends to some extent on the quality and smoothness of the surface you started with. In other words, your finish has to be just thick enough that once it is rubbed out it will be perfectly flat, not following the contour of any grain or imperfection in the surface. Six coats is probably fine, but more might be needed in some cases. I hope that makes sense.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 2047 days

#4 posted 09-20-2014 08:28 PM

Six coats is probably plenty. As Randy said, the important thing is to allow the lacquer to cure thoroughly. Assuming that you’re using old school nitrocellulose lacquer, you can build the film to a considerable degree before you have to worry about issues like checking and cracking. The other piece of good news is that lacquer, along with shellac, is the easiest finish to rub out, due to the way it chemically bonds to itself, as well as the fact that it is relatively brittle.

View OSU55's profile


1961 posts in 2188 days

#5 posted 09-21-2014 01:22 AM

My process with burn-in type finishes (lacquer, shellac) is to apply several coats, let dry until finish will powder with sanding, sand with 320/400 to see how level it is. Recoat. Sand, recoat, etc. until I get the finish fully level. This prevents sanding through the topcoat into the stain/color.

View bob101's profile


328 posts in 3648 days

#6 posted 09-21-2014 12:20 PM

thanks a lot guys for the great advice.

-- rob, ont,canada

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