Does Deft go bad?

In the middle of reading the shellac thread, it occurs to me that Deft might also go bad. Does it? The question is because I have nearly a gallon left over from my kitchen remodel of the early 80s (remodel is a layman's term for completely gutting it and building anew!). I made the cabinets from select white birch and finished them with Deft, absolutely beautiful! (It broke my heart to leave it all behind, my heart and soul were in that kitchen I remodeled after 13 years of a 1900 kitchen that even had the sink in a separate room, like a pantry!)
For Christmas this year, my two older sons each have a set of bookshelves. The middle son wanted theirs painted so that was easy (also finished and delivered). The oldest, however, wants his left natural so I plan to finish them with Deft. I've not even opened the can so am not sure what condition it's in so this question may be irrelevant anyway, but I'm still curious. If it appears good, I sure don't want to mess up two 6-foot tall bookshelves if it does go bad. Twenty years is a long time, after all, and I *don't* want to do extra sanding to get it off to do it right.
Moving forward with the idea that this is unusable and no longer sold (the only places I've asked don't have it, but have something else "just like it"), what would give as good a finished (no pun intended) result as Deft?
Glenna
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It could be beyond use but generally, if it hasent all evaporated or solidified, it should be OK I'd presume.
Step one, oepn the can and carefully remove the film from the top. Might be an inch thick by now.
Step two, mix like hell. There are lots of additives such as flatteners and pigment of it's not gloss.
Step three, test it before use.
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Hi Glenna:
I recently bought a 1 gallon can of Deft at Lowe's, so it's still made. It's clear laquer, so if some of it has evaporated, laquer thinner might bring it back. If you're unsure, test it on something else first.
Regards, John.
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Deft has a proprietary solvent per a finishing guru several years ago. I commented on the amazing self leveling attributes and his comment was lacquer thinner could be used for spraying but not brushing, get the real stuff for that.
wrote:

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On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 09:05:17 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

Deft is still sold but yours is probably still good.
Deft is little more than solvent based lacquer with some butyl cellosolve in it to provide good leveling characteristics when applied with a brush.
If there is a good seal on the can, you should be fine. There should be no skinning or clumping.
If it seems a bit thick to you, mix in a bit of slow lacquer thinner, or butyl cellosolve, which can be had from a good paint supply but is expensive.
Regards, Tom.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 09:05:17 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

Any good lacquer, if you're spraying. Deft is simply a brushable lacquer. Behlen's also makes a brushing lacquer.
Remember, lacquer is an evaporative finish. This means that the finish can be reconstituted by it's solvent. Adding lacquer thinner to an old can of Deft will probably freshen the contents to a usable state. Test on scrap!
Barry
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I've got a can that I've used on and off for the past 5 years and even being open and exposed to air and shut again... it still was perfect. Maybe I'm dumb, but like all my marine varnishes, I store clear finishes upside down. Keep your can lips clean, and use a wood block to get a nice closure... and no leaks.
Still, I've never had a gummy film when I've opened the can and I always assumed that ordinary lacquer thinner would work in a pinch if I didn't want to buy the fancy thinner. I do imagine there has to be some minor discoloration (?) over the years but I don't know because I've usually used it on teak projects... not light colored woods.
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 09:05:17 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

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Glenna Rose wrote:

Was Deft something different in the '80s? They sell stuff everywhere in a white can with blue markings that calls itself Deft. Lacquer products.
I don't think I'd use 20 year old anything on a project I cared anything about, personally.
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