lacquer durability?

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Spraying the kitchen cabinets with Hydrcote and noticed little whitish "dings" in the finish. Corners, mostly. Doesn't seem to take a lot to cause this damage. Haven't recoated to know if it's easily remedied.
I am spraying the water based lacquer over BLO, but I am allowing the BLO to thoroughly dry (otherwise, the lacquer just peels off).
Is this normal for Hydrocote? I mean, it's great that lacquer is a finish that's easily repaired, but thank goodness it is apparently, since it's gonna need repairining 4x a day. What's going on?
AM I gonna need to do a top coat with some poly (a much more durable finish that didn't need repariin' at all in my previous kitchen)?
Any/all advice welcome and appreciated.
Thanx Renata
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Regardless of the finish used, "sharp" corners naturally shed off and do not hold the material being applied very well. I would make sure that the corners are softened a bit so that they hold the finish.
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hold the material being applied very >well. I would make sure that the corners are softened a >bit so that they hold the finish.
Great advice, absolutely true.
But it also sounds like you may have an adhesion problem. That might mean that your BLO was thoroghly cured (a month? more?) not just dry to the touch.
It depends on when you put the BLO on the wood, what type it was, if there was anything mixed with the BLO or if the BLO was thinned.
Like Leon said, rounded or even slightly eased corners are the best

I just reread "little whitish "dings" in the finish".
With lacquer, I can tell you almost without doubt that you have an adhesion problem. The "whitish" area you are seeing is where the lacquer has separated from the wood due to lack of bonding for whatever reason there might be for that to happen.
Is it happening on all corners in traffic/use areas? Does it take much to do it?
If it were me (here we go....) I would my magnifying glass out and put a needle or an awl point in one of those little white dings and see if I could lift it up at the edge where the finish is still bonded. With the magnifying glass, you could see any movement, or worse, you could see if you were making the white ding bigger.
Good luck!
Robert
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On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 14:11:24 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

hold the material being applied very >well. I would make sure that the corners are softened a >bit so that they hold the finish.

Might be indeed. I'm starting to worry. Dried for about a week. Not having problems with any of the panels (cabinet sides, etc.), but these walnut handles I'm making are problematic.

Walnut, standard BLO from one of the borgs, not thinned, not mixed, one coat applied and wiped after ~10 minutes usually.

It's happening on these walnut handles, regularly, on all of them so far. Don't know if I'm knocking them against something (lightly), or not. I've had a periodic "peel back' in a couple spots on some of the other pieces, but that's extremely infrequent.
The handles are ~16"x2"x3/4" walnut.
I'm thinking I'm gonna have to switch to poly for these pieces. In fact, I'm kinda regretting not using poly in first place. I had much success with it on the last kitchen project. I'd read about how wonderful lacquer was, and decided to try it. Well, don't experiment on one's projects is a rule I didn't follow. It seemed to work great, but now this nasty rears its ugly head.
Would a single coat of poly overtop alleviate this issue? Or, maybe I should scrape off the lacquer and redo the finish w/something else? Or?
The biggest issue was something friendly to indoor spraying without a real spray booth set up. Even though I set up a somewhat enclosed environment, I was still wary of blowing up the house.

They are indeed little bubbles, so it does appear to be an adhesion problem, compounded by the sharp corner.

Thanx. Renata
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I do not trust BLO. Love to use it mixed as a base for finish so I can enhance the grain but it is too finicky about curing. I have found straight BLO to be like good barbecue... it is "done" when it is done. As a semi natural product, it doesn't conform to any MSDS sheets you can find, doesn't have any kind of standards that are imposed on a certain product (for instance, almost all oil polys dry to the touch in two hours regardless of brand), it doesn't behave with any characteristics that can make it a reliable component for a lot of different kinds of finishes. Unthinned and unmixed, you never really know when it is cured.
When it is uncured, that makes it an unstable substrate for finish coats. I never put BLO on unless I cut it by 50 - 60% so it is like water. While the initial wow factor is the not the same as you are looking at the wood under magnified and distorted light from being under a slather coat of BLO compared to water thin stuff, in the end a properly thinned coat looks the same after you wipe off the excess and let it sit for a couple of weeks. If you thin the crap out of it and put on two coats, it will cure fast as it speeds up the outgassing and really activates the metallic driers making it go off nicely.
The first time I slathered on unthinned BLO and waited for 120 minutes and wiped off the excess, I felt my tightwad squarehead ass tighten up. Why did I just mop on material I had to mop off? How much stayed on? I didn't like it at all as it was too hard to control, and it was too hard to keep the application really even in cabinets as it would bank up in the inside corner, stay too much in 90 edges, and would congregate in small nicks. All recipes for problems for the finish coating.
Years later back in the science lab (backyard shop with a mug of coffee) I applied BLO in a thick coat on a piece of walnut. It had some swirly grain that had raised slightly in the planer, so it was what I was looking for. Wiped on, waited, wiped off. Waited about 4 - 5 hours and repeated with a really thin coat to even out the dry spots. Next weekend, went out an checked it over. Looked dry.
Sanded it with 150g garnet on a block. It didn't come off cleanly but was a little pasty. I was surprised as it was dry to the touch and in moderate weather I expected more curing. It outright clogged 220g. So I sanded it off and looked here and there at the board. In the porous areas, I took a cabinet scraper (after sanding the area) and scraped off deeper into the wood. Like a candle, where the wood was more swirly and porous, it had wicked in more oil, and it wasn't cured. After a week? No more BLO for me. I use about a quart a year mixing it with other things.

I would check for peel back on the other pieces in the way you checked these handles. It might be localized, but it might not, and it may be peeling and it may not.

IT IS! I love it, but like SP, I only use NC. I have heard a lot of great new of high qualtiy finishing going on with water borne, but I have found NC to be very forgiving, very responsive to experimentation, and very reliable.

I would feel TOO bad about that. Find me someone that hasn't done that once or twice... or three times. (Maybe four..)

Putting a coat of finish over a badly bonded base will not be a good thing at all. In fact, you could really screw the pooch as it might make the undercoating of Hydrocote blister and peel away like a paint stripper. And worse, you don't know how well an oil poly will bond to the water based lacquer anyway.

A great concern. To me, the only drawback to lacquer is the fumes.
In the end, I am thinking that what happened was a couple of things. First, the oil wasn't cured out. Unthinned, it can take a while. Second, you put a water based finish on it. You know the old saw, "oil and water don't mix". Until the BLO completely catalyzes and turns to plastic resin, it still has oil in the coating layer. You sprayed water based on it while it was still working, sealing in the air and stopping the curing process.
You can "push" BLO with an oil based finish on top, and that is why it is so successful in the shop as it is for most. The thinners and solvents in an oil based finish will in some cases resolvate and combine with the BLO, not simply adhere if it isn't fully cured. But even if it is fully cured out, a good oil based product will stick like glue to the BLO. For that matter, if it is fully cured so will a good water borne lacquer. Regardless, I would never slather on BLO and wipe off. It is thinned or nothing for me.
I am thinking that if it were me, I would scrape off the finish on the handles, wipe them down with naptha (or VPM, same thing) really well, and let them dry out for a couple of days or a week. If poly is a coating you are happy with go after them with poly after that.
Anything else, post it here. Hope this helps.
Robert
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First, let me say - Thanx very much for all the advice/help!!
On Wed, 15 Aug 2007 23:01:31 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

First new rule for me - thin the BLO, apply 2 coats.

I have stopped slathering actually, since I noticed as well, that I was wiping off what I had just put on. Try to get an one even, thin coat that doesn't require much wiping afterwards (I do wipe, but I'm not removing much excess). However, I do like your idea of thinning it, since it will dry much, much faster.

Yes, but what else pops the grain as nicely?

Know a good brand/ have any recommendations?

At this point, I'm seriously leaning to switching to something oil borne for the handles. They seem to be the only problematic pieces. They need to be scraped (which means removing the drawer fronts, probably - <primal scream>!), cleaned as you suggest, the corners knocked off more, possibly have the BLO touched up, then put an oil based finish over the works.
Just gotta investigate a good finish (which I'm hoping you folks will give me additional info so I can cheat this process). I do have an HVLP system, so it will be suitable for spray.

Thank You very, very much!
Renata

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<snip of a long and useful tale...>

Waterlox Original. Sealer/Finish, maybe three coats, or follwoed up by their varnish. Wipe it on with an old tshirt or a good paper towel.
For the handles, it's dead solid easy. That's why I like it.
It's on the blanket chest that became a coffee table. Red oak, 4 or 5 coats of this, and it doesn't show where the grandkids beat on it with their toys and such. It would be great on walnut handles.
I use for all sorts of walnut stuff, most of which is of modest scale and gets looked at pretty closely.
Woodcraft sells it here, but so do other places. Just not everywhere.
We're rooting for you to get that kitchen complete, photographed, and up on the web!
Patriarch
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I've never used BLO or water-base laquer, so I cannot comment on what might have happened. However (since you asked), I use Watco Danish Oil, which according to Flexner, is really a wiping varnish. I use 1 light coat and wipe off any excess almost immediately. It really pops the grain, and dries pretty quickly (overnight). I usually give it a week, just to make sure it's fully cured. I use laquer over the Watco, and have had zero problems. I do not own any spray equipment, so I usually brush on several coats of Deft laquer, flatten it out with 220 grit sandpaper, and spray the final coat from a rattle can. To me, the beauty of laquer is that it is nearly fool-proof.
Regards, John.
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Absolutely no problem. I always enjoy helping someone that is out there going after it, someone that appreciates the help. I don't see any reason for anyone to suffer along the same trail as I have to learn this stuff.

Stop at two. Don't be afraid to drop the hammer on the thinner. I cut it wayyy down like I said so I can get those little resin bonds in motion as soon as possible.

that doesn't require much wiping afterwards (I do >wipe, but I'm not removing much excess).
Wait until you thin it down. You won't believe how little you will wipe off. On a hot day with something like maple, you probably won't wipe anything off! (That is a very good thing!) But I would still wait about a week before final finishing if you have it, no matter what the top coat choice will be.

My very favorite formula, bar none: 1/3 shellac sanding sealer (Zinseer off the shelf for me as I don't make my own), 1/3 BLO, and 1/3 gum spirits turpentine. Wipe on two thin coats, and you can be finishing the next day. It evens out the grain and will take a light sanding, and the shellac seals the surface. As you work. Put it on with an old tee shirt you have run through the dryer by itself to get any lint off of it you can.
Do NOT use mineral spirits in that formula, or paint thinner, but gum spirits only. I don't know what it is, maybe the high alkaline content in real pine/fir turps as opposed to the manufactured stuff, but the gum ingredient makes the difference. You can still find it still at most of the smaller hardware stores. I buy mine at a local ACE and it has a pine branch on it. It will remind you of your grandpa's garage when you open the can.

My favorite is pretty expensive and is mail order only. It is about $45 or so a gallon with a two gallon minimum.
But I have had great success with the Old Master's brand and use it frequently. Check this out:
http://www.oldmastrs.com/ctrOilBClears.html
Go down a few entries and you will see "Clear Wood Finish". That's the stuff. That link also has the MSDS sheets and some appliction guidelines. You can find this at a lot of better paint stores, and I buy mine at a local Benjamin Moore dealer.
Then there's good old DEFT. I still use this stuff on occasion as it is easy to apply, very forgiving and will thin/cleanup/recoat just about as well as any finish out there. It wears really well, too.

If the pieces are a problem and you are worried about wear, coating application, etc., go back to that link and look at their gel varnish. That is a great product. I am not much for wipe on products as they take too many applications and too much time. That's why I bought the spray system. But on the other hand, if a product works, why not. Their brand of gel varnish was a surprise for me and about three coats (that will look nice) is acceptable in my timing schedule.

<primal scream>!), cleaned as you suggest, >the corners knocked off more, possibly have the BLO touched >up, then put an oil based finish over the works.
Don't even try to put NC over water borne. One of my amigos tried it after he messed up his water borne application and it realy made a huge mess that showed up about 10 days later. He sanded the rails and stiles clean (carcass construction) but gave up and remade the doors.
It is hard to go back over something, but it will be harder for you to look at the work you did and hate it more every day. Worse, you will be explaining to everyone what happened, how it happened, why it doesn't look right, and all the other crap that will take away from the fact you made the cabinets. That in itself is something to be proud of!
Besides... you'll never make this same mistake again, right?

There are a lot of good finishes out there and many ways of applying them. But you won't regret spending time with the lacquer learning curve, water borne or NC. Compare lacquer to other finishes and you can see why it is the standard for almost all cabinet shops, on site finishing (me!), no site refinishing (me!) and for many furniture makers (think French polish). This is NC only:
- Cleans up easily - Easy to repair - Flexible mixing allows adjustments for temp and humidity - Easy to build up a thick finish quickly - Second, third and fourth coats can be applied the same day - Compatible will 99% of stains and dyes - Small imprefections are easy to buff out - Quick dry times make the "contamination window" small; this is really important when finishing in a small shop or garage - Easy to get, and not expensive to use - Requres no special equipment for application - Gives a great finish
All good reasons to keep this finish in your back pocket for use.
Keep postin'. We'll get you squared away!
Robert
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On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 23:50:40 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Been away for last few days, so haven't done much, but 'puttering' at the moment, so decided to check back here.

that doesn't require much wiping afterwards (I do >wipe, but I'm not removing much excess).

Was gonna research this - but then you went and read my mind. Thanx for stressing gum only as sometimes I get impatient and work w/what I have.

What is it? I had to order the Hydrcote mail order and was planning on perhaps trying the magnaseal from them. I was highly pleased with their service and I had the stuff in a few days. Since I only probably need about 2 more gallons, that' probably not an issue. So, please share...

I've used this in brush on form in days gone by. Recall it had a funky smell. But, I did like the end result.

These handles are all a problem. Just looked at 2 more that I though had had plenty of time to dry, and the finish is "blistering" on the face of the walnut.
Since the handles aren't a big deal, wipe on wouldn't kill me (time is much more important). But, I'm thinking of stripping the doors I've already done and refinishing them and the others (that aren't yet sprayed) withi somehting other than the Hydrocote lacquer. So, one product fo everything is better.

<primal scream>!), cleaned as you suggest, >the corners knocked off more, possibly have the BLO touched >up, then put an oil based finish over the works.

It is a GOOD thing you said this. Because, that's exactly what I was thinking about, figuring the waterborne had plenty of time to dry (on the doors, not the handles - them I would've stripped).

Yup, you got me pegged. My neighbors just told me to stop being such a perfectionsist. Hard to change at this point.

Oh yes indeed, never again. There's so many new ones (mistakes) just waiting to be made.

All excellent reasons!

Thanx. My plan is to switch to something oil based, and redo the handles. Probably the doors as well. I can now spray in a better ventilated area so water borne isn't an issue. I like your lacquer suggestion, just gonna figure out which one to use - too many choices!
Renata

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On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 23:50:40 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

I've heard of lost of oil / varnish blends, and of adding just a shot of oil to shellac for French Polishing. I'd never heard of this blend, so I'd thought I'd give it a shot. The "real" turpentine I have is Ace's house brand, the shellac is Seal Coat.
This works GREAT! It gives me the color I want, while being foolproof to apply and fast drying. Nothing seems to leach back out of open pores like a natural stain or thinned BLO would.
I tried it on QSWO, red oak, maple, and pine, and was so excited about it, I kept looking for different scraps! I'm in the process of finishing a bunch of trim, so tomorrow I'll see how Ultrastar goes over it.
Thanks for a great tip!
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I'll have to try this out, it sounds pretty cool.
One thing I had noticed when I first read this was the "off the shelf" Zinser shellac. Be careful, from what I can tell the normal Zinser Bulles Eye shellac is NOT dewaxed, at least it doesn't say so anywhere I can find. So putting other finishes over it could be a problem. I suppose the "sanding sealer" version (as mentioned by nail is dewaxed. Just be sure to use a dewaxed shellac.
Honestly, I have finished over a non-dewaed shellac before without a problem (that I ever saw) but it can be a legitimate issue.

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Love to hear what you think as I know you do a lot of finishing as well.

It is dewaxed, indeed.

I agree. But like you, I haven't actually had a problem with the straight BullsEye finish (as opposed to the sanding sealer) stuff holding onto a final coating. It may be because the process that stuff so heavily when it is manufactured that the dewaxing is not an issue like it is when you make it from flakes.
Robert
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kept looking for different scraps! >I'm in the process of finishing a bunch of trim, so >tomorrow I'll see how Ultrastar goes

Thanks for the follow up, Barry! I always get a charge out of helping someone else get ahead, as I have certainly had my share of help on occasion. That formula has been with me for so long I am not sure where I got it, but the original was different. This one is the "all purpose" version.
Don't even try it with regular turps; total waste of time as I found it. It remains oily. Something in the heavy alkali of the natural turps would be my guess that breaks down the BLO a bit.
I used to make it a little thicker, and when I didn't understand what Japan drier actually did, I used to put in some of that, too. I am not sure why, except it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now I am set with two medium coats.
I have found a few good swipes of that will help seal some wood against warpage (think half lap doors) and help stabilze long trim pieces. It works great as a wash coat under stains, glazes, varnish, poly... you name it. Just enough shellac in this to prime and seal.
I will be interested (as in very) to see how it works under the Cambell. I have used it under water white NC with great success. I liked the tone it gave the wood (birch) since water white gives you NO grain enhancement or toning. As you know, it looks like someone wrapped teh wood in saran wrap. So I am wondering how you will like it under your UltraStar...
Post results!
Robert
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On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 23:27:37 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Fan-freakin'-tastic!
After only 1-1/2 days of dry time with the 1/3's Seal Coat / "real" Turpentine / BLO blend, two coats of water based Ultrastar Dull lacquer took PERFECTLY! It looks EXACTLY like my BLO rubs with a Seal Coat barrier, and better than oil based natural stains, with far less waiting.
I did a OSWQ, maple, and red oak scrap. All seem to show no ill effects with the fast drying secret blend under Ultrastar.
No more natural stain or waiting a week or so for BLO to dry for me!
I'll post pics on the binary sister if requested.
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Turpentine / BLO blend, two coats of water >based Ultrastar Dull lacquer took PERFECTLY! It looks >EXACTLY like my BLO rubs with a Seal

Barry - as you know I have an allergy (it's getting better!) to water borne products. I would love to see pics of the final product under the Ultrastar as by almost all accounts that or Oxford is the water borne of choice.
I am really pleased for you that it worked so well and glad it did! And since you know time is not only money but convenience, applying that stuff with a rag without having to set up a spray area is almost a gift. I will be interested to see where you go with that stuff under different stains and glazes.
We may actually be the only guys left on this thread, so if it would be easier, just zip 'em up, and send them to me directly.
Address: snipped-for-privacy@thegarbagesbcglobal.net
Just take out "thetrash" and "thegarbage".
Thanks for the follow up!
Robert
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Hey! Some of us are still interested! It's not like a political thread or anything.
Patriarch
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"Patriarch" wrote in message

Me too! Hell, I'm writing a book strictly from Robert's posts on the subject. :)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/08/07
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'll get some up on the web this weekend. I've shown the QSWO sample to some "civilians", and the results have all been "WOW!"

Me too! <G>

Not only does it dry very fast and not leach back out, but the extra Seal Coat step is eliminated.
I'm already thinking of experimenting with Trans-Tint, Solar Lux, or Mixol in it. This is one of the most useful tips I've gotten in ages.
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On Thu, 23 Aug 2007 21:22:17 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Turpentine / BLO blend, two coats of water >based Ultrastar Dull lacquer took PERFECTLY! It looks >EXACTLY like my BLO rubs with a Seal

-snip-
Hey! Please don't. I'm still around as well. Waiting on my delivery of lacquer (today, I hope), but I have tried your concoction.
As you stated, after 2 coats, it is indeed, almost identical to straight BLO, and dries SOOO much more quickly. Thank You!
But, it sure does have a puky stink.
I decided to go with Hood Finishing MagnaShield lacquer (instead of the Kwick Kleen) because they're closer to me and I'll have the products by today (so I can work this weekend).
I asked Hood's "chemist" if I could spray the magna shield over the resisthane (water borne) and he said a thin coat followed by regular coat(s) should work. I'll let you know how this turns out.
He also stated that the water borne stuff does have a more plasticy look, so I do hope that I can spray over it with the new stuff, as I gotta go over what I've done finished thus far (7 drawer fronts, 4 doors). The handles I still plan to scrape, clean, knock off corners better, touch up w/your 3 part concoction, and spray.
Depending on how different it appears, I'm hoping to not have to "top coat" the cabinet faces that are exposed (though not a disaster, it would mean spraying in the kitchen since they're installed).
Renata

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