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.
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?
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.
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.
It has been years since I brushed on Deft. I never had orange peel when
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.
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
will still get your guns and equipment clean." And, the Sunnyvale man
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
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
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.
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.
(sixoneeight) = 618
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.
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.
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
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 ...) ;)
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
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.
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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