Deft Brushing Lacquer problem

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I am using Deft Brushing Lacquer to refinish a mahogany table top. The first coat appeared to go on well. The second coat developed what appear to be craters in various places. I sanded with 320, cleaned with mineral spirits, and recoated. The pock marks came back.
I have never used any kind of lacquer before.
Do I have to sand back down to bare wood and start over.
I really don't like finishing. -or- I should have stuck with shellac.
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Sounds like surface contamination. You didn't by any chance get any silicone on the surface did you? Or any oils?

Should not have to as long as it's not silicone contaminated. Try to wipe it down again and make sure to let it thoroughly dry. Maybe try alcohol instead of mineral spirits. If the wood is well sealed at this point you can even use a detergent on it.

Well - that may not be a bad solution to this problem. First try another coat after cleaning it up well. If you still have problems, throw a coat of shellac on it as a barrier coat. Then you can try to lacquer over that for a more durable finish.
Can you post a picture of your piece over in the binaries group?
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-Mike-
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Mike, I have posted a couple of pictures of the problem on a.b.p.w.
A little more information: The table was used as a dining table and then as a laundry table. The top and both leaves were sanded down to (I thought) bare wood. The final sanding on the wood was with 220, using an ROS. First coat was applied and with the exception of some large blotchy dull spots, everything seemed fine. The second coat was applied and the "fisheye" showed up. The surface was sanded with 320 and everything seemed to be okay. I thinned the lacquer a little and applied the third coat; boom, they were back.
The shop is dry, albeit a little cool: some where in the mid sixties.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no silicone in play. The WD40 is tucked away safely on its shelf, where it has been for many weeks. I used mineral spirits as a cleaner, because that is what they said on the lacquer can. It, the thinner was allowed to dry for several hours and there appeared to be no sign of it when I applied the finish.
Any help is greatly appreciated. I have read the present responses and await any further input.
Thanks guys.
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It's hard to say what caused the fisheye, but that's what you've got. Did they recurr in the same place the second time? If so, there is some surface contamination that is causing this and after two attempts to further identify it are almost pointless. I'd seal it with shellac as I mentioned earlier and gently apply another coat of lacquer. Go easy with the first coat of lacquer so as not to disturb the shellac.
If the fisheye is appearing in different places than it had the first time, you have a contaminated lacquer. Contaminates in the can (if they are not of a related base) can often suspend in the lacquer and carry very nicely onto your workpiece. I somewhat doubt this is the case from the way you described the problem though.

Perfectly acceptable. Where the hell are you, that you are enjoying those temps this time of year?
Hope this helps.
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-Mike-
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Bill Waller wrote:

using the product. I have had orange peel when spraying paint on cars. It is caused by wax, silicone or other contaminates. I think when you still have orange peel when working on the car you can strip and clean again. Sometimes you can get some additive that can help. Back to the question. My guess is that you had some residual wax that lifted out with the solvent in the Deft. There is a wax and grease remover for automotive finishing. You apply is very wet with one rag and clean it with the second dry rag. Repeat. The question for you is if the contaminants will stay under the first coat or not.
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Lots of variables here Bill, including the possibility of your stearated sandpaper leaving residue. This can be a real problem with some papers, especially if used in a machine.
The craters (fisheyes?) are indeed probably from some contaminate.
I agree with all above, except on one big point:
I only clean my surfaces with a compatible thinner. So paint gets paint thinner or mineral spirits, shellac calls for anhydrous alcohol, and lacquer for lacquer thinner.
I found out the hard way that the crap you buy at HD (Kleen Strip, Crown, etc.) is literally the bottom of the barrel. When having problems with a finish on exterior doors, I couldn't get the fisheyes out of the door. I worked, sanded, cleaned, sealed, sprayed, screamed, pulled out hair, and then called someone that probably sold the finish on Noah's arc. He switched me over to good quality, non blended, non recycled lacquer thinner and it fixed it all.
I found out then, there are NO, NONE, ZERO requirements as to ingredients, purity, processes, strength or anything else when these guys make their solvents. It is that way for mineral spirits, even more generic for "paint thinner" (technically anything that thins paint) and lacquer thinner. That was years ago, and I forgotten all about it until about a year ago.
I went to a Sherwin Williams open house for industrial coatings and equipment, I picked up a couple of fives of "Sunnyvale" brand lacquer thinner for $20 a five as a promo My rep takes me aside to tell me about this stuff, and says "hey Robert, they have a kick ass deal on

cheerfully told me that they are recyclers, and they simply take the products used in certain manufacturing areas (anywhere from huge furniture makers to car wreck repair shops) and filter it out, and mix it to a certain minimum VOC driven formula. His company literally manufactured nothing. They were well aware that they were considered "gunwash" and that was just fine with him.
He proudly told me that they tested out with less contaminates than either Crown or Kleen Strip and proceeded to show me his company's tests, and asked me if I had ever noticed a difference in the smells/ odor of the Kleen Strip product. I had, and indicated so, and he told me that odor was dependent on where they got their material (this also included his product) to start their batching process. I certainly don't know this to be true, but it made sense. His regional boss was irritated with him for filling me in with all the details, but it was a really slow show and it wasn't like he was telling me any trade secrets.
He rattled off every name you see in HS and Lowes, and told me that they were all recyclers, and that even though some of them put out some virgin product, they all recycled and blended to make mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, and the most blended of all, paint thinner.
His lacquer thinner product did work great for gun cleaning. And to tell the truth, in moderate weather (70s to about 80) I couldn't tell any difference when shooting batches of lacquer thinned with it or the good stuff. But it got squirrelly and a little unpredicatable when mixing and spraying before and after those temps.
The SW product gives me a much more predictable finish, but it costs twice as much. For finishing of the really good stuff, I use STARZ brand lacquer thinner, guys that actually manufacture their own products. It is expensive, but coupled with a gallon of "gunwash" for cleaning the price isn't bad..
I would say to clean your surface really well with a clean cloth, and sand with non stearated (or quality stearated) paper. Clean with a good lacquer thinner. Thin your lacquer (Deft I go about 10% unless it is above 85 or so) with a good quality paint store lacquer. Apply.
Save the mineral spirits made from "who knows what and how" for painted projects.
Robert
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On 30 Jan 2007 00:35:43 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Now this is something I am going to try out on the Laptop tray. Last time I sprayed lacquer fisheyes were a problem now, I know why, hopefully I will be more successful.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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wrote:

Don't be too quick to jump on this Mark. Robert's comments are dead accurate, so I'm not contradicting him at all, but most fisheye is caused by contamination in the spray system. Typically, oil or water in the tank or lines. I'd be looking there first. Always drain the tank before every spray. Don't use oilers in your lines. Use water traps on your guns.
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wrote:

I use an HVLP system with a turbine, no compressor, but a through cleaning prior to use ain't a bad idea. But then I is anal about such things any way. But it is a tad chilly at present.
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I use the same type HVLP rig about half the time. Switching to turbine powered HVLP helped me in a coupel of ways; first, it is not uncommon for us to have 80 - 90 percent humidity days which filled my moisture traps to the point I had to bleed them twice a day (I always wondered how much got through anyway) so the warm dry air fixed that. The other thing would be that the air is clean, filitered to something like .5 microns or some business like that. Clean, dry guns are really happy guns.
I meticulously clean my guns after each session (can't get 'em too clean), breaking them down and brushing them out. Before I start a new session, I always shoot a few ozs of the appropriate thinner through the gun just in case something dissolved or went gooey in the gun between uses.
Robert
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Hey... I didn't mean I had THE answer, just another possibility. If it was used in the laundry room.... ouch. Surfectants are probably worse than silicone residue as you can at least work them out enough to get something to stick to it. But soap... it just seems to work itself in deeper.
I like your idea of sealing and starting again. I couldn't agree more that it is probably some contaminant left on the wood. But... just raising the possibility of other culprits. I think I was having some kind of flashback, reliving all the frustration with that damn project when that happened.
Always good to see your input, Mike.
Robert
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Sorry Robert - I wasn't try to imply that. I was trying to chide in with another idea. Bad wording I think. My bad.

We're on the same page. I felt this urge to be anal and cover all the bases I think.
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wrote:

Well you both have given me good information. Any reading material to recommend, be it books or a URL link for fighting with lacquer?
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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Mike, I never took it the wrong way. I was kind of kidding around myself. I think you only want to cover the bases (as I do) because you know how many variables there are. And if you are like me, you are instantly thrown back into the nightmare of not having one damn clue of what you did wrong, only to find one little, tiny thing. Learning to apply is rewarding, but to do it right there are a lot of variables, and for me, I have found out that there is a new starting point with every finish.
Doesn't seem that long ago I was relying on your encouragement to get after spraying poly. I was spraying a little lacquer, lots of industrial oils, and wouldn't screw with poly at all unless I could pad it on. Now I spray with wild abandon, and it is EASY to shoot. You were right, but chances are without some advice and a subtle push, it might not have happened yet. It's just too easy to bad mouth poly in all its forms, especially if you don't want to use it!
You should see the stuff I am using now for just about everything. It is a conversion lacquer (not pre-catalysed) that has poly urethane resins in it. You can use it on just about everything, it is very stable, very predictable, and has excellent adhesion, clarity and wear. I buy it straight from the guy that makes it, and it winds up being something like $45 a gallon, which really isn't bad for a product of this caliber. It builds great, dries hard as hell. You can recoat as many times as you want with about 30 - 45 minutes between coats. I had some trouble learning to use it and went through a bunch before I started using it on client projects. The only down side... you cannot brush this stuff.
But the guy that makes it is someone you can talk to on the phone. He was sypathetic to the fact it was 90 degrees here in June, 95+ in July, and well over 100 degrees in August. I now have all my formulas written down so I'll know how much to "hit" the product to accelerate, retard, or thin when spraying. I am watching the mahogany front door of a local country club to see how my finish is holding up. I sprayed it over the summer when it was in the early to mid nineties, with about 80% relative humidity. Looks great, taking the beating really well. One more S. Texas summer ought to tell the tale.
Anyway, always good to see you around, Mike. Working on anything interesting?
Robert
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"Mike Marlow" wrote in message

That's quite alright! ... thanks to you both I learn more about finishing, and particularly spray finishing, from watching you two guys post then all other sources combined.
Thanks! ... and keep it up!
(the finishing advice that is ...) ;)
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Damn it. I was hoping I was hearing those long sought after words that every man longs to hear, but as it is, you sound just like my wife.
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-Mike-
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wrote:

What you have is a surface tension problem. Typically when a coating is applied to a surface where the surface is variable as to its substrate paint will flow differently perhaps flowing nicely on a dry wood surface yet not flowing at all over some parts of the wood surface where microscopic pores contain wood resin. It happens more often when spaying than brushing or rolling because of the particle size when applied to the surface. The only way I have found to eliminate the craters to apply light coats, wet or dry sand in between coats and coat by coat the craters will diminish. It may take 3,4.or 5 coats. Mark
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There are such things as fish-eye eliminators... what they are, are some controlled amount of silicones. The cause is likely to have been the use of a product like Pledge, during the table's life-time. When that contaminant seeps through a hairline crack in the finish, into the wood, and there will be lots of those, they will never, ever come out. Sand all you want, you'll never get to the bottom of the seepage. Sanding sealers have better luck at plugging those silicone-laden pores. Maybe two coats of a lacquer-based sanding sealer, unthinned. Don't be shy, lay it on. I have refinished some table tops and after a while, you will beat them. Allow in the in-between coats to dry properly, usually 24 hours at room temp. Scuff lightly with 220, go again.
After spraying a LOT of product over the years, I found the best way to deal with fish-eyes, is not to fret over them too much.
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Yup, there are. I don't use them - I just lay on light coats to bridge and get past the problem.

Yup again.
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The job is done. I would like to thank all of those who took the time to put me in the right direction. I ended up using three coats of sanding sealer after sanding off the botches lacquer job.
I then sprayed several coated of Deft spray lacquer and finished with several more coats of the brushing lacquer. I probably could have left it with the spray, but the build-up I got wit the brushing lacquer is what I really wanted. Although the can says that sanding between coats in not necessary, I felt better rubbing the surface down with 600 paper between coats 1 & 2 and then 0000 steel wool between the final coats. FYI, I used 400 and then 600 between the coats of sealer. Old habits die hard.
The table is now back in its home in the front hall. :-)
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