Deft Brushing Lacquer problem

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Good for you Bill. Sounds like you tamed the monster. Since this all started a while back, I think others would enjoy it if you would start a new subject on the goup and just post exactly what you did, that way others could learn from you, too. Also, it is a good thing when someone takes the time to thank those that attempted help out. You got some good commentary going here.
Just my 0.02.
Robert
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In response to Robert's suggestion that I explain this little project, I submit the following "term paper". (Robert's request can be found at the bottom of the message.)
The Project: Refinish a pre-Civil War drop leaf table that has been in my wife's family since it was made.
The Plan: take the table apart so that the joints could be re-glued and also to make removal of the finish easier. Pre-finish the various pieces using Deft Brushing Lacquer. I usually use shellac when redoing older pieces, but in this case, the table lives in the front hall and sees some abuse that shellac would not easily withstand.
First steps: the table was completely disassembled and the old finish was removed mechanically. This went reasonably well. The table had been refinished in 1929 and through the years the joints had loosened considerably. The top was held in place with some (what appeared to be) #10 slotted wood screws.
Legs, aprons, and leaf supports: These were sanded down to 220 and the finish went on very nicely.
The top: This is where the problem reared its ugly head, or should I say eyes. The table had been used as a laundry table at some point in its life. Even though I had sanded it sown to what appeared to be nice bare mahogany, when I applied the lacquer, fisheyes appeared. There were a few on one leaf, a larger number on the main top and the second leaf looked like it had some kind of disease.
I place a query on this group (see below) and got a number of varied, but helpful and insightful answers.
The final solution: Once again the finish was removed and the top was sanded down to 320. When I was satisfied that it was as clean as it would ever be, I applied three coats of sanding sealer. I sanded with 320 between the first and second coat and used 0000 steel wool between coats tow and three.
I then sprayed three coats of Deft lacquer (in the aerosol can), rubbing out with the 000 wool between each coat. I probably could have continued with the spray process, but the delivery from the can was not what I was looking for. Basically, I wanted a barrier coat between the sealer and the final brush coats. The spray coats were to protect the sealer from possible brush drag.
The final coats wee applied over a three day span to allow full drying between coats. I don't care that the can said I could recoat in two hours. I just was not comfortable with that scenario. I also disregarded the can's instruction saying the there was no need to sand between coats.
Again, I resorted to my 0000 steel wool.
The final coat went on and was not sanded.
I attached the top to the reassembled legs and apron, cut an acrylic sheet to protect it from soda cans and potential plant drippings.
It is now back in the hall where it is no longer an eyesore. :-)
A couple of notes: I used mineral spirits to remove any dust left from sanding (or wooling) between coats. When I was finished with the main top, as I was cleaning the brush, I noticed to little drip blobs. I carefully took the brush, wet with lacquer thinner and did a quick little swipe over the two blobs. They disappeared and there is no sign of them in the finished project. Whew.
Again, I would like to thank all of those who responded to my initial query. Their responses were very helpful and put me on the right track.
wrote:

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wrote:

Be aware that lacquer melts into itself. You really can recoat it that quick, and sanding is only needed to fix defects (dust nibs, etc...), not for adhesion.
Other than that, nice write-up!
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between
was
instruction
Well - yes and no. Lacquer will burn into itself, but that is best relied upon when the stuff is in flash, and not after a full dry. Since the OP waited until the coats were dry to apply the next coat, I would at least scruff it. There is a risk of edge lifting when applying over dry coats.
--

-Mike-
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wrote:

Respectfully disagree based on my own experiences and Deft's documentation:
<http://www.deftfinishes.com/trade/Expert/index.cfm#topcoat
How would scuffing a fully cured nitrocellulose lacquer surface change the way the next coat interfaces with the existing coat?
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Some catalysed lacquers (certainly most automotive ones) don't melt into themselves that well. A scuffing would give it 'tooth' and de-glaze the surface. Nitro-cellulose lacquers, even the mildly catalysed ones, will respond to a 50% thinned blast of lacquer , instead of a scuffing. The simple test, is to apply some thinners to see if it softens the existing coats. If it is a catalysed lacquer and you spray it with a full-strength catalysed lacquer, without scuffing.. the edges WILL lift... very visible on 32 dark stained cherry(shudder) doors. DAMHIKT. (We had to sand everything, right into the nooks and crannies of raised panel doors...2 guys, 2 days. Then re-stain the sand-throughs, feathering, re-sealing, then fight the farking fish-eyes...at least a $ 2000.00 problem)
Always test with thinners.
I agree that the best results are wet on tacky... after a flash-off but not dry.
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Bill Waller wrote:

Excellent!
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Nice job on the project description and report. I have no doubt others will find that enlightening when they are searching the group for info on similar (or the same!) problems.
Thanks!
Robert
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