Thinning Deft

The directions for Deft say not to thin it. If necessary, they have a proprietary thinner, but I've always thought that lacquer thinner was OK to use. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this?
I know that each layer of Deft is supposed to reliquify the layer under it, so there is no need to rub it out between coats. But to extend drying time, and therefore leveling time, wouldn't it make sense to thin out at least the last coat?
All hot tips about Deft are welcome.
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When wood edges were all the rage on countertops, all we used was Deft. LOTS of Deft. I can't imagine thinning it. It is quite thin as it is. If leveling it is a problem, are you in a cold area? Or aren't you putting it on thick enough? You have to use lots. A fine sanding sponge scuff does help in between coats.
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If Deft won't level, it is usually for that reason. It is one of the more forgiving finishes out there, and I have put it on so thick it looked like the bar top finishes. Still came out fine.
Unless your temps fall below the 60s in your application area, you shouldn't need to thin. I have sprayed (great), rolled (good but leaves a very light orange peel), brushed (small areas, great), and my favorite, padded (with store bought pads) barrels of Deft in the last 25 years.
To me, it is the great unsung hero on your hardware store's shelf. It is as reliable and predictable as they come. Before six panel doors became the rage, we used to give a natural finish to stain grade birch doors when doing interior finish outs, and often used it for interior cabinets as well.
There are better finishes out there, but not too many that are easier to apply that give you the lacquered professional look that product can give.

Amen. I put as much as I can hang on a vertical surface without sags, and on a horizontal surface I put as much as 4 mil thick. I allow extra drying time when I apply it that thick, but that's about it.

Shame on you! You know better than that. Stop with the sanding between coats on fresh lacquer! I'll bet if you asked your new CNC machine, it would tell you exactly the same thing.
;^)
Seriously, sanding between coats leaves behind dry debris and introduces the possibility of fine scratches into your substrate. And if you miscalculate, you can pill the surface and ruin it in places where your material is thicker and not cured.
Robert
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wrote:

Just a scuff to knock off some dirt bumps. Not to level brush marks. I always has great results from Deft...that's some wicked strong and awful smell.... Spraying Deft is a delight. (They say not to, because it is nasty and one needs a proper booth and respirators.)
I find the build a bit slow, 3 or 4 coats minimum. If I am spraying a serious piece, I spend the money and go to a 3-part acrylic, like Sikkens. Yes, it is expensive, but almost all solids and the best durability ever...and doesn't yellow (Deft does). And once you work out the ratios with matting clear, you can vary the sheen from 0 to 100%. And gloss is gloss... the wet look without that poured epoxy look. Have you ever tried Water based Deft?
r
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wrote:

24 hr minimum.
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I don't get that. I have heard and read that before, but I don't think it's any worse than any other high VOC product. A really healthy respect for its fumes are a must.

Ahhhh.... the siren's call of more sophisticated finishes.... hard to resist, no? The Sherwyn Williams guys just gave me about $600 worth of stuff (clear sealers) to "have fun with" so they could start selling more of their upper end product.
Their industrial coatings rep/guy got so excited after we talked for a while that he kinda ran away with himself. All I wanted was a couple of gallons to test, but all he had on hand was a fiver, so he gave that to me. It is an interesting product. You can add vinyl to it to make it more washable, or an acrylic to make it more wear resistant, but not both. You add your selected chemical, then some catalyst, and you are off.
When both parts are added, it will last just two hours in the gun, but 90 days if mixed in the 5 gallon bucket through the bung. My problem is this; I don't want to crack the five and get a gallon out to mess with as it will start the clock ticking on the five. On the other hand, there isn't a way in hell I would take this stuff to a client's house without thorough testing and practice.

No. I have heard through the grapevine it is a pretty good product, but no call for it on my end. Our air and shop requirements around here are still pretty loose, so no one minds the high VOC safety issues like they should. With that in mind we don't have much water based anything besides latex paint being used around here.
I have used "Defthane", which is their polyurethane. I only sprayed it, never applied it any other way. I went on great; one time I shot it out of a high pressure gun (unthinned) and it was perfect. Another time I used an HVLP CAS gun and thinned about 10%, and it too went on very well. I probably didn't need to thin it to shoot it with the CAS gun, but it slid out of the gun quite well.
I shot it on an exterior door that catches a lot of sun after stripping and staining. I see that door every once in a while, and after 4 years, it looks like new. Of course, seeing that now, no one around here carries Defthane, even if they carry the Deft lacquers.
Are you shooting much water based stuff? If so, on what?
Robert
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On Tue, 3 Feb 2009 19:25:54 -0800 (PST), KIMOSABE

I would not thin it. I can understand thinning for use in a spray gun. Light sanding (320 or 400 grit) between coats is traditional for a smoother finish. Sanding raises dust so there is extra work involved to clean and tack rag. Examine the surface with a work light at a low angle--you'll easily see the flaws that way due to shadows. If smoothness is not an issue, don't sand between coats. Whenever possible, I lay the piece horizontally to allow the finish to spread more evenly and prevent sags or drips.
Finishing is a scariest procedure in woodworking. Good luck!
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Hello,
You can thin Deft if you want to. I have but it really isn't necessary. I tend to use the proprietary thinner at least once since lacquer thinner is a real witch's brew of solvents and they tend to be optimized for each lacquer. Once I know what to expect, I try different thinners hoping to be able to get good results with a less expensive thinner.
If you want to extend drying time to give the lacquer a chance to level, you need lacquer retarder, not thinner. Be careful not to overdo the retarder or it will negatively impact the lacquer film.
Good Luck.
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I think they make a brushing type Deft.

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Here's the link to the brushing Deft. http://www.deftfinishes.com/trade/OurProducts/details.cfm?ProductID=4

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