I have a small box, walnut and maple, that was finished with
Watco Danish oil. Looks good, but I'd like a more protective
Do I need to prep the surface in some way before I apply the
Delete the ZZZ.
It keeps spam
off the server.
To put any finish over oil, the oil has to be cured. This can range from
weeks to months. If you are using an oil based finsih, this wait time isnt as
critical. Over lacquer, it may look fine for a while but will turn cloudy and
chip off if oil not cured.
I really don't know why you'd want to lacquer over a perfectly good oil
finish unless you want a higher gloss. It won't protect from knocks, it's
brittle, it chips, it crazes, it's apt to blush and it's a pig to recover it
when it does. An oil finish is the easiest thing in the world to get
looking good again.
However, it's your box, and if you really must lacquer it, there's nothing
to stop you. Remove any wax you might have put over the Danish oil ( white
spirit/turps substitute), give it a light steel-wooling all over with 0000
to key it and go for it.
While you're getting high on the lacquer fumes, you can try repeating the
mantra "WTF am I doing this?" as you apply your lacquer. It won't help you
to achieve a better finish, not will it make a lacquer coat 2 thou thick any
more protective. But it may help you to remember next time!
Best of luck,
Just remember, Frank's opinion, as well as mine, is worth exactly what you
paid for it. But here's an idea you might want to try. Take a cutoff of
the species in your project, and finish it in your originally intended
manner. If it gives the result you want, then go for it. Basically, don't
practice on your project.
Two cautions about lacquer. If you can smell it, you should be using a
respirator. Like alcohol, it kills brain cells, but without the fun parts.
Also, it is rather explosive. Brushing lacquer is fairly safe, but you must
have a proper setup if you are going to spray it.
Don't sell yourself short, nor me. The opinion of an experienced man (or
woman too, come to that!), if given with his reasons for holding that
opinion, aren't worthless, even when they are given freely. In fact, I've
paid a great deal in time, treasure and sweat to buy that experience, and,
reading through some of your old posts, you have too.
I'd like to think that my opinions and advice over the years have helped
many people, as I'm sure yours have, prolific poster that you are.
I'm also humble enough to admit that, even with 40 years of woodworking
behind me, I learn something nearly every day from the wreck contributors.
I certainly don't count their contributions - or yours - as being
As for my apparent prejudice against a nitro finish - well you're talking to
the man who bought 11 large 5-drawer mahogany chests-of-drawers from a
military surplus auction when they took all the beautiful old furniture out
of the officer's houses in 1979 and gave them crap G-Plan stuff. I learned
then what a fragile finish lacquer is as well what a pain it is to try to
restore. IMO, based on that and other experiences, the main - and possibly
the only - advantage to a lacquer finish is speed. You can get a
good-looking finish very quickly, particularly when you're spraying the
stuff, since it's dry enough to take another coat in minutes, rather than
hours. Good attribute if you're running a production line. I ended up
stripping the bloody stuff off with dope thinners and varnishing the chests.
And, yup, I made a fair amount of money on that deal, as well as losing a
fair few brain cells in the process. As you said, you get the hangover
without the fun.
I'm now donning my flameproof suit, as I know that at least one wrecker is a
big fan of nitro!
Meanwhile, keep up your valuable work.
All the best,
<snip of sensible thoughts>
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