Stripping lacquer > white film


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Old 07-16-07, 02:43 PM
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Stripping lacquer > white film

I have a 50-year-old table, in pieces with a deteriorated lacquer finish, that had sat in a crawl space for 12 years and in my garage for another three. I was going to paint it, but I just wanted to see what the wood looked like under the crazed, almost opaque greenish-brownish finish. Using 0000 steel wool and some acetone, I started scrubbing off the lacquer. I really got caught up in the excitement of the moment, because the wood is a beautiful reddish-brown, slightly open-grained one, (mahogany?) and I am very pleased with the result so far. Except that a thin white film has formed on the surfaces. What do I do now?

I was planning to go over it again with more acetone to finish cleaning off the old lacquer, and want to follow that with some other kind of finish. On the pieces I've built, I used Minwax Antique Oil Finish, but somehow I doubt that will work here. What would you recommend? Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Maria
 
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Old 07-16-07, 03:28 PM
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That thin white film film may be leftover lacquer in the pores of the wood. Try Lacquer Thinner and a courser material to remove it. You should also sand prior to doing anything. This should take the rest off.
 
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Old 07-17-07, 08:04 AM
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Stripping lacquer > white film

Thank you for the information. Once sanded, can I apply any kind of finish I choose? I'm open to anything except more lacquer or poly, leaning toward tung oil.

Maria
 
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Old 07-17-07, 10:29 AM
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I would have a suggestion that when you sand be sure you are working with solid wood and not veneer.
I got caught this way when what looked solid wasn't and sanded too deep.

I would also recommend you look into a water based clear finish.
I have used Flecto Diamond Finish in a satin sheen and have been impressed with its durability.
Many makers have this type so there is a lot of choice.
 
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Old 07-17-07, 01:57 PM
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Stripping lacquer > white film

This table is completely disassembled, right down to the pegs, and I am sure it's solid. It originally came from a high-end workroom, so it seems reasonable. BTW, should I get new pegs, or can I reuse these? They're pretty loose now and I'd have to pack something into the holes with them, I guess.

Thanks for the suggestion of a water-based finish. I've only used oil-based poly, and while it is lovely and durable, it took a very long time to dry between coats and it gave me a headache.

Maria
 
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Old 07-18-07, 04:05 AM
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Just out of curiosity why not lacquer?

the most durable finish (sans a lacquer) will be a urethane. use a fan to vent the area. Tung oils, waxes, mineral oil, and the like have little to no durability, especially on a table. A water borne urethane should work or an oil but you want a film and that film needs to be durable or all your work is for naught.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 06:59 AM
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Stripping lacquer > white film

I have gotten the impression that lacquer is best sprayed, not brushed, and I can't justify investing in the tools for it. Also, the old lacquer was discolored and crazed, like an antique dish. I suppose the products are better now, but I've used both oil and urethane finishes before, and if they'd be suitable, I'd prefer to use one of them.

I am very grateful for all of the advice I've received here. Thanks so much!

Maria
 
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Old 07-18-07, 05:05 PM
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white film- what to do

Hello,

If you are satisfied that you have stripped off all the old finish with remover or lacquer thinner and still see a white haze, don't worry. This is fine and will actually go away when you spray or brush on your lacquer finish. At my refinishing shop www.xxxxxxxxxxcom I often see this happen with old finishes. You can also try wiping the table with mineral spirits as a final cleaner too, this will wash off any remaining oils that may be in the wood and help eliminate any fish eye effect you may get with the lacquer you use. at my shop I only use oil finishes, however I do not recommend a urethane finish on antiques at all.

Be sure to use a sanding sealer under your lacquer and sand to a fine 400 grit.
Linda
 

Last edited by GregH; 07-20-07 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Links to personal websites not permitted.......Please read our rules!
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Old 07-20-07, 07:01 PM
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Stripping lacquer > white film

Linda, I took a look at your site and I am impressed! I have a bunch of sewing machine cabinets to work on and I thought I'd practice on this falling-apart table first. Then I found out what nice construction and materials it has, so decided to seek expert advice. My inclination has always been to use an oil finish on this piece. Do you use a commercial preparation or your own recipe?

Maria
 
 

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