Finishing Question, lacquer


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Old 12-11-08, 10:21 AM
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Finishing Question, lacquer

I am refinishing an oak table and have applied the first coat of clear lacquer.

Being in Florida, I know I have to make sure everything is perfectly dry before I sand and reapply. Problem is, the 220 sandaper is gumming up--not a lot--but some as I feather sand for the next coat.

The lacquer was bought at Lowes just a few months ago, so I don't think it is that.

Should the paper be gumming up like this?
 
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Old 12-11-08, 01:16 PM
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Welcome to theforums!

Usually when sandpaper gums up it's an indication that the coating hasn't throughly dried. I used to paint in fla and know all about your humidty

Unless you are having trouble sanding the lacquer smooth, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Not all sandpaper is the same, red garnett an aluminum oxide work best for most paints but I've never used a lot of lacquer.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 03:30 PM
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IMHO, lacquer is a poor finish to use in the south, or for that matter, anywhere that is moist. It does not resist wet or heat well. I would use polyurethane in either an oil base or water base. Oil base will tend to yellow somewhat, and water base will leave a nearly clear finish. Both are considerably more resistant finishes.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 04:50 PM
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If you sand lacquer with sandpaper, it will eventually gum up. If I sand with sandpaper, I'll sand very lightly with 180 grit and change paper often before it gums up too much- 220 gums up fast. I think the friction from sanding must create heat that melts the bits of lacquer.

I've had better success sanding lacquer with lacquer pads which are kind of similar to a Scotch Brite pad, or a synthetic steel wool pad. You want one that is course enough to smooth out any imperfections, but not so course that it scratches the coating. Don't remember for sure, but I think I use the "fine" grade of pads.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 06:30 PM
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Finishing with Lacquer

Thanks for the help. It reminds me of an old "Maverick" television show episode where our hero wasn't paying much attention to the advice being given him by his cell mate as to how to escape from the small town jail. The second time he was thrown in the same jail cell it all came back to him.

Yes, lacquer and Maverick have a lot in common.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 04:22 AM
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I find I must disagree with the comments that lacquer is a poor choice. The type purchased at Lowes is probably a nitro and is a poor quality product, not because of the environment but because of the chemical make-up of the product. A catalized product of some sort would be better. Such product can be found a some Quality Paint Stores. (I may even throw SW into that mix, at least some of their Contractor Stores). But I digress.

The issue may be more with the sand paper then the product. Look for a Fre-cut type or a sanding sponge.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 04:41 AM
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I agree with BC on his comments with one exception.

I use a lot of lacquer in my shop (catalyzed). I sand with wet/dry Trimite paper and I use it wet. This will keep the paper from gumming up - or at least slow the process.

I never use anything rougher than 240 on lacquer finishes. For me, anything rougher cuts too fast and increases the probability I will cut through the finish and the stain.

I typically use either 400 or 600 wet/dry paper for sanding before the final finish coat.
 
 

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