paint and lacquer together

Old 08-08-01, 12:12 AM
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I have two chairs that I would like to refinish, both partially with a clear finish and partially with an opaque paint.

The first chair I am stripping off some of the paint and would simply like to apply a clear lacquer or finish over the exposed wood parts. Would it work just to brush the clear finish over the entire chair, painted parts and all?

The second chair already has a faded finish on it, and I would like to have some areas of the chair painted in the end. I will probably be refinishing the clear areas. Can I just apply the paint over the clear finish? Or should I apply the paint first and lacquer or varnish over everything? Or must I carefully do the painted parts and clear parts separately so as not to overlap.

In both cases, the painted and clear areas are not necessarily divided nicely along different "pieces" of the chair.

Thanks so much for any help,
Old 08-08-01, 06:59 PM
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Let's address one BIG problem you're most likely not aware of first - then we'll get to the questions specifically.

Over-the-counter lacquers, whether aersol or brush on, are nor 'clear' - they have an amber cast to them, which will affect the color of the paint beneath. (Yes, you can apply lacquer over paint.)

If you want to use lacquer, you'll have to go through a refinishing supply house to get what is called 'water clear' lacquer. This has no color at all. It is, as the name suggests, as clear as water. Unfortunately, even water clear lacquer will yellow with age, some faster than others. And the yellowing is dependent on the amount of exposure to sunlight.

I would suggest cleaning up the areas you want to be natural; repainting whatever is necessary; allow the whole thing to dry for several days, then coat the entire piece with Minwax polycrylic (an acrylic variation of polyurethane), or similar product. It is water clear, and stays that way, and it's more durable than lacquer of any kind.

PS - If you're going to apply paint over a clear finish, you must at least sand the finish first to give the paint a 'tooth' to hang on
Old 08-08-01, 09:10 PM
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Thanks a lot for that info, George.

No, I didn't know that about the yellow tinge of lacquer. Before I wrote my question I read through the wood furniture refinishing section of the main web site. And under the "lacquer info" section it just says that it's a clear finish and doesn't mention anything about the yellowing -- even in the "negatives" section. So thanks for clarifying. It might be a good idea for someone to add that in.

It seems that you have a lot of good advice that could be incorporated back into that permanent part of the web site,
sort of like a FAQ.


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