Need help fixing bad clear lacquer coat on doors

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Old 09-14-13, 01:43 PM
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Need help fixing bad clear lacquer coat on doors

Hello All,
I desperately need help. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

We have a pair of wooden double front doors that are starting to crack and roughen up due to direct sunlight in the afternoon. Since I've had somewhat little experience from painting my wood cabinets in the past I was going to paint a coat of clear polyurethane on them to protect from the heat. However, my husband was trying to be helpful one day and bought a can of spray clear lacquer and apply it to our doors. The outcome is horrible! There are patches of uneven shine from the lacquer as well as patches of bubbles throughout.

How do I go about fixing this? I plan to thin out the lacquer coat with lacquer thinner, and then apply a coat of clear polyurethane. Will this work? Once I thin out the clear lacquer coat, will the stain on the wood comes off as well? Do I need to stain the doors again?

Is this something I can do on my own?

Thank you in advance!!
 
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Old 09-14-13, 02:07 PM
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Yeah i wouldn't suggest you even touch it with lacquer thinner. Instead get a synthetic steel wool pad or a scotchbrite pad and scrub the finish with that to even out the sheen. Once you do that you should be ready for your poly finish.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 02:21 PM
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xsleeper, thank you for your suggestion. I tried to sand it with rough sand paper but it didn't do anything. Will try the steel wool next
If you dont mind, can you tell me why I shouldn't use the lacquer thinner? I assume it would mess up the wood stain?
Thanks a bunch.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 02:33 PM
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It will smear the lacquer around and make an even bigger mess. You would really have to scrub and scrape and use a LOT of lacquer thinner to completely remove the lacquer an yes, it would likely lighten the stain in the process.

Synthetic steel wool is usually better... but if you have some plain steel wool that is course, not fine, that would probably work too. Re steel wool leaves lots of steel fibers that are usually a mess to wipe up and keep from contaminating the new finish unless you really clean up well.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 03:58 AM
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I'm not sure why sandpaper wasn't effective for you although with sandpaper it's best to always sand with the direction of the wood's grain. Steel wool is a little more forgiving with the direction it's used [sanding scratches that are cross grain often show up in the finish] I've never used the synthetic steel wool. I would think sandpaper would be more effective than steel wool at getting rid of the bubbles.

A spar urethane [like MInwax's Helsman] will hold up better to the elements than regular poly.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 06:49 AM
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sand all the lacquer off. It is not meant for exterior application and will fail. Put a good exterior urethane or spar varnish on it. If it gets a lot of direct sun, look to reapply a coat every couple of years. You will clean, scuff sand and reapply.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 09:39 AM
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Thank you!

Thank you all for your advices.
And yes, I don't know why sanding did not work Maybe I used the wrong grit.
what grit of sandpaper should I get? Thanks!
also, just a thought, would it be easier to sand it off if I apply just a tiny bit of lacquer thinner beforehand?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-18-13, 04:48 AM
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use 120 to 150. The thinner will probably soften the underlying layers. you can try it. Put some on a rag and gently wipe at it.
 
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Old 09-18-13, 04:56 AM
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If you use lacquer thinner, be sure to turn your rag over [or get a new one] as needed so you remove the lacquer and don't just move it around. Softening up the lacquer with thinner might make it plug up the sandpaper quicker.
 
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Old 09-18-13, 11:30 AM
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thank you

Thank you all for your advice. Will try this project this weekend. Wish me luck
 
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