Hello Handy Housewife. So I would probably apply a total of 3 coats. My intention is to not cause a bickering challenge amongst us seasoned finishers and those who are learning about finishes but I’m sort of confused and want to put my cards on the table. So to make a long story even longer I like all finishes no matter how much finish is applied as long as they are done well. The next time you go to use the brush, dip it into lacquer thinner and . Keep in mind you want each layer to be smooth and even as you apply it. It’s quite easy to spot a poorly finished set of cabinets. WoodRicks. High-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) spray equipment proves best for application because it greatly reduces bounce-back and overspray compared with conventional high-pressure spray guns. To complete the finish, apply one or two coats of paste wax, as above. Allow each coat to dry for an hour or two (or until dry to the touch), then scuff with #220-grit sandpaper before applying another coat. These warnings are based upon occupational (eight-hour day) exposure, but when facing potential liver, nervous system, and/or brain damage, there’s no point in quibbling over the fine print. Apply the topcoat of choice. A few tips can help get you started down the road of faster finishing. Rub in with grey scotchbrite pad then let sit for an hour or two then buff off and let dry. I’ve also read of posters who complain that the finish is failing or rubbing off. Between coats, search and slice off bumps, then lightly sand the entire piece with 320-grit before applying the next coat. Why Should You Use Wood Lacquer? That said, acrylic isn’t a perfect substitute. Wow that’s tough to explain, I’m sure you can make sense of it from the video. Properly sand … Pro tip: Avoid wiping the brush on the rim of the can as this may introduce air bubbles. Be careful when applying wet-coats, as it's easy to create a run or sag on edges, or while trying to apply finish into the tighter areas of an instrument. An easy answer to the question would be that there is only one coat, since subsequent layers melt into and fuse with previous layers when they are sprayed. When lacquering and varnishing hardwood floors,you should put down one coat of primer or wood seal and 2 coats of lacquer. Instead, lacquer is derived from the resin of a specific tree commonly referred to as a varnish tree. Plan your moves. using the white scotchbrite. Let this first coat dry for 24 hours. Three ways to use this crystal clear, fast-drying finish. Apply extra sealer to end grain and other thirsty spots. Varnish. So it's 50% lacquer thinner and 50% lacquer. Question One Coat. 4 Sand the dried lacquer lightly with 320-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. To avoid this, prime these types of projects with several thin mist coats before applying a thicker coat of finish. The one described here is what I use, primarily . If you put on a full wet coat your sanding should be a very light scuffing with lacquer sanding pads. Future coats should be wet, and be sure to give 1-2 hours between coats to allow the solvents to rise out of the finish. Is a stain it, seal it, sand it, top coat it approach really a professionally applied wood finish? For the best results, you'll need at least three coats of finish, but you may want to apply even more. I tried out a few stains on scrap pieces of wood so we were sure we’d like the color. Lacquer really shines at the lathe because the finishing process takes full advantage of lacquer’s lightning-fast drying time. Wood lacquer spray is a very useful finish that offers numerous benefits. I work for a custom furniture manufacturer now and I get go all out and love it. Something high wear like an entertainment center or bookshelves, will get 3 - 4 coats. Applying the Wood Lacquer. Apply your first coat of pure varnish, working with the grain, then let it dry completely; Create a key by gently sanding the surface with very fine sandpaper; Apply as many more coats as you need, generally 2 to 3 coats is the norm, but additional coats can be applied for greater depth of finish, gently sanding in between each coat. Apply the lacquer to the wood table using long, continuous strokes going in one direction. (If you’re using a waterborne, stay clear of sealers. In addition to sealing wood’s pores, sealer is supposed to raise the grain, and, with the help of zinc stearates, make the final sanding a little easier. The idea is to just knock off the imperfections. You must scuff-sand each coat to ensure a good bond. Brushing lacquer isn’t any more difficult than brushing the fast-drying waterbornes and reformulated low-VOC finishes you’re already using. How Many Coats of Stain Should I Apply? 320 – I apply four coats total, two one day and two the next. In warm weather each coat can dry in 15 to 30 minutes so you could put a coat of sanding sealer on, wait 30 minutes and sand it and then apply a coat of lacquer and 30 minutes later lightly sand it and put the last coat on and if you didn't get dust or bugs in the finish you would be done. Lacquer absorbs into the wood to form a better and more long-lasting bond. Then, switch to a finer 150-grit paper. Then rub on some wax if you like. If the piece is a tabletop or other heavy-use item, I will add another coat. Next, turn the lathe on and apply lacquer with a small lint-free rag. When the brush starts to drag, flip it over to transfer the lacquer clinging to the other side. Note: See the Convenience-Plus Buying Guide on page 35 for the products in this story. The best thing is that you can use your sander to do most of the heavy lifting. Use a scrap of plywood, or cardboard box as a dust-umbrella to protect your freshly finished work for the first 15 minutes. Now’s the time to put those fears aside and give lacquer a closer look. Oil-based polyurethane is very tough and dense. Those instances when you should use more coats of primer are the situations where you're working with a really worn down piece of wood that is just thirsty for coverage. By the third or fourth coat, give the finish a day or two to harden then you’re ready to proceed to rub out. When you are done sanding, clean the stair thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner. For surgical precision, employ a razor blade scraper as shown at right. If the lacquer finish turns cloudy, don't panic. To protect your surface, apply at least two coats of polyurethane. I've been using mostly water based CV from Target lately, as it's ready to spray right out of the can and … I realize coatings have developed over the years and that mill thickness is now more important than ever and that Conversion Varnishes and 2K Polys are now in the mix and regular Nitrocellulose Lacquers are not what they used to be. Usually the cabinets in a place like HD suffer from a lack of sanding more than anything else. The abrasive wax makes minor repairs a no-brainer. And especially if you applied a stain, you are going to want to protect the stain layer from abrasion, scratching and wear. The alcohol improves absorption and dries immediately.). After giving the patch time to cure, rub out that area to even the sheen. My question is: are you folks applying enough coatings of your finish to please the customers demand of a quality, long lasting finish? For surfaces that will see occasional and hard wear, such as the floor should have a minimum of three layers. Many woodworkers use a light coat of lacquer instead of a sanding sealer. Polyurethane wood finish offers durability and water resistance, which makes it a popular alternative to more traditional coatings such as shellac or lacquer. Now I can get used to using one finish and concentrate more on the cabinetry. Some woods may require a wood-grain filler before you apply the first coat. To level out small drips or dust bumps, use a small sanding block with 400-grit sandpaper. However, you can apply many coats of wood lacquer with far greater ease than polyurethane coats. Repeat as many times as it takes to get the quality of finish you want. The purpose of sanding sealer is to seal and raise the grain. Cheap won’t cut it; lacquer solvents dissolve foam brushes and can bleed color onto your work from dyed bargain-basement bristles. When the piece dries to the touch—it should only take a few minutes—sand out rough patches with 600 grit. It isn’t necessary, but wax does give the wood a nice sheen and makes it feel velvety … Lacquer is the easiest finish to polish to a high gloss, but because it’s easier to scratch, it’s tough to keep it that way. Adjust the pressure of a compressor to 40 to 45 psi and spray a full wet coat of the sealer over the entire table. Buff and apply the 1st coat of paint. How to apply one coat of Bonaseal followed by two coats of Mega or Traffic. Apply the wax with a clean cotton cloth wrapped around the fingers, much the way one applies a shoe polish to a pair of leather shoes. Many wood waxes available today come in a variety of colors. In addition, spray can lacquer is highly thinned and many coats are required to build a durable finish. Well actually I guess two finishes, as I have to find something for pigmented finishes also soon. Check the suppliers data sheets for the … I use lacquer on guitars all the time and you can get a mirror finish but it takes a bit of time. If you watch our YouTube video on screening and recoating a floor, skip to the very end where we're actually spreading the polyurethane; that's the best demonstration of our technique we can possibly give you.. Waterbornes (more specifically, oxygen-cured, self-cross-linking acrylics) resemble solvent-style lacquer in terms of clarity, drying times and sandability, but with fewer health and safety hazards. … I don’t know if the cabinet companies finish the "sample" in store mock ups separate but it would seem to me that the sample mock ups would be in tip top shape, since they are what sells the jobs. When you spray, wear a mask. This type of finish can be used on a wide range of wood surfaces ad projects – providing a versatile solution that offers top results. The confusion often comes from the fact that shellac comes from the lac beetle, but lacquer does not. Next, hold your brush at 90° to the surface and lightly graze (or tip) the surface with the ends of the bristles. Too many coats can affect the durability of the topcoat. I've been using mostly water based CV from Target lately, as it's ready to spray right out of the can and has good durability. Each coat should require less touch-up. For the tabletop, after reaching the wood and finishing with P240 sandpaper, apply one coat of varnish, then remove the unevenness with fine sandpaper P320 and then apply one or two coats of varnish. Repeat the process, overlapping each pass by about 50%. 3. Spraying atomizes solvent and lacquer to create a serious health and fire risk. I would recommend at least another coat. In the past I used several different finishes, but I find it too much of a hassle to learn to thin, spray, and store many different finishes, at least for a part-timer. The friction helps the finish dry faster and removes imperfections for a smoother, shiny film. Use a flat paintbrush or foam applicator to apply the varnish to the wood. This affects how many coats of polyurethane are required for hardwood floors. For the best finish, it’s better to apply multiple very thin … Sanding between coats of polyurethane is not always necessary, but as this product dries so quickly, you will often need to remove some dust nibs before applying the next coat. Safe from dust in 15 minutes, lacquer competes with oils and wiping varnishes as a dust-dodger, but offers a great looking film. Lacquer may just be the best all-round film-building finish on the planet. Apply up to 3 coats of Polyurethane on your wooden floor would be enough to get the job done, especially if you are finishing your surface using an oil-based poly product. Apply in circular motions across the grain of the wood. I recommend an oil-based polyurethane varnish such as this product by General Finishes . At the other extreme, top-shelf brushes are a joy to work with, but since lacquer is self-leveling, you don’t need to do so much brushwork. For starters, look at the Finish Drying Time chart on page 34. Also, it is easier to apply and less temperamental when you work with different types of wood. Apply to furniture, doors, cabinets and paneling for a crystal-clear, durable wood finish. If you find a drip that’s a few strokes old, leave it; you’ll only ruin the surrounding area with ugly brush marks. Cover up when you’re done. When sanding, start with 100-grit medium sandpaper. Interior doors or lighter wear vertical surfaces I can usually get by with 2 - 3 coats. Before you get started, sand the wood you'll be spraying to remove any imperfections. Most pros apply at least three coats for the smoothest possible finish. This self-correcting quality also makes it easy to make seamless repairs years down the road. The sprayed surface is ready to de-whisker almost as soon I put down the can. Applying pre-cat lacquer. This resin is harvested from the tree's sap and is then refined a… To avoid spits and stops, depress the valve a few inches early, pass the can over the wood (6" to 8" away), then release it when the can’s a few inches past your piece. A balance needs to be struck between enough applied lacquer to allow for polishing and protection, and not too many coats, which leads to cracking and crazing with these products. WATCO® Lacquer fills in the pores of most wood types eliminating the need for wood filler. Keep the gun moving. How many coats and do I have to sand between coats? You’ll soon discover most brush marks will self-level, or disappear when you brush on the next coat. If the wall has prominent stains, use a stain-killing primer. Because each fresh coat melts into the previous ones, you don’t need to be too picky when applying the topcoat. Note that charcoal, the active ingredient within the cartridge, absorbs chemicals whether or not it’s strapped to your face. Spraying takes full advantage of lacquer’s fast-drying ability. Notice how many different answers you got from this one question? Apply one or more additional coats of lacquer using the same techniques. Learning how to apply polyurethane to stained wood can enhance the appearance of the stain while protecting the … Spray-can finishing isn’t tough, but a few tips can help you achieve better-looking results: Provide good light. A project can be recoated, rubbed out, and removed from your shop in about the same time it takes to lay on three coats of poly. Waterbornes won’t melt in; this makes finishing more time-consuming and repairs more difficult. Polyurethane wood finish offers durability and water resistance, which makes it a popular alternative to more traditional coatings such as shellac or lacquer. I often use 10 to 20 light coats of clear lacquer over whatever color-tinted lacquer (if … apart and then let it sit for at least 24 hours before wet sanding or re-coating. For surfaces that will see occasional and hard wear, such as the floor should have a minimum of three … Prepare the sandpaper and sanding pads for this sanding session. Let the sealant dry for at least 24 hours before use. It may be because they do not want to put the extra time and material into the finish. Use paper to protect the lathe from drips. As you build the finish, and your technique improves, the surface should get progressively smoother. Spread the varnish over the entire surface with long, even strokes. Due to the past prejudices (lacquer is too tough to brush; fears of fumes and flammability) lacquer lags way behind polyurethane. This solution works, but sanding sealers make smart sense in some instances. Variations. After wiping on a thin coat, slide the rag to the start of that section and firmly press it against the wood. Apply a generous but controllable amount of boiled linseed oil to your applicator especially for the initial few coats. Dip the brush to halfway up the bristles and wipe off any excess lacquer. WATCO® Lacquer Clear Wood Finish is the finest brushing lacquer available. Better-quality spray cans armed with fan-shaped tips deliver finish as smoothly as you’d expect from a high-priced HVLP sprayer. I use SW products - two coats of hi-build pre-cat lacquer and one coat of sanding sealer. Sand too soon and you’ll pull the finish. How Many Coats of Polyurethane Should I Use? Open a window or two, and you’ll discover that lacquer’s attributes outweigh the solvent smell. Apply one coat, let it dry for 12 to 24 hours, then apply the second coat. Following is some basic advice for applying lacquer with a spray can, brush, and rag. As to how many coats, it depends upon how thick they go on, how flat they are to begin with, and how much sanding you have to do to level the surface. Personally I learned to spray doing metal finishing in a production setting where hitting a minimum/maximum mil thickness in one coat was necessary for production. The goal is to saturate the surface, completely sealing the pores and making an even base so that the topcoats can build up. Check the suppliers data sheets for the recommended thickness. Many wood waxes available today come in a variety of colors. Refer to the sidebar below for a simple spot treatment. Do your spray finishing outdoors or in the garage with  the door wide open. At the lathe, wiping on a generous sealer coat is faster than building a finish in mid-spin. for the next higher grits up to 600 i’ll use just one coat every day until i reach my desired grit. … 3. To eliminate any risk of sanding tail marks, creep your sander across your work. You should be able to get a very high gloss finish with gloss lacquer if you sand the wood very smooth and then put on a bunch of thin coats. When done, wipe off the remaining haze with a soft rag. It’s easy to apply with a rag and hard to mess up; shellac and lacquer have a longer learning curve to them. I think some people spray fewer or lighter coats for a variety of reasons. We will use 320 grit WET … Oil based varnish is much more durable than standard NC lacquer. Now walk away. When lacquering and varnishing hardwood floors, you should put down one coat of primer or wood seal and 2 coats of lacquer. Alas, here’s the rub: sealers are softer than lacquer. When a surface loses its luster, treat it to a quick buffing. because I work a lot of crappy wood … There is a finish I have done with SW CV where you thin it 50/50 with high-flash Naptha, wipe it on the wood with a rag, it dries in about five minutes, scuff with 320, wipe on another coat and after it dries apply wax with a piece of 0000 steel wool and buff with a rag. From contributor J: lacquer finish. 6. By using the method I just laid out, you can easily add more coats, as it goes by so fast. You’ll also pay more for the convenience of the spray can. Dries in 30 minutes and does not require sanding between coats. Here are all of the fun details: Keep in mind, this tutorial is for how to stain unfinished wood. If you can apply the right amount of polyurethane, you will end up with an excellent finish; this leads to the question, how many coats of polyurethane do you need? In our side-by-side tests, we had a hard time telling the samples apart. Toners. Generally 24 hours is sufficient. Fill the cup of an HVLP sprayer about 3/4 full with lacquer sanding sealer. Now I’m not asking you all to exceed the manufacturers mill thickness which will certainly create problems down the line, but do you really think that a stain it, seal it, sand it, top-coat it approach is a durable enough finish for a piece of furniture let alone a set of kitchen cabinets? Choosing to apply between 2-3 layers of polyurethane formula on your surface depends entirely on the use of your structure. Allow plenty of time to dry between coats and make sure to apply in a well-ventilated area to prevent any … Apply the first coat of thinned varnish and let it dry. Brushing is a simple three-step process: brush it on, tip it off, then leave it alone. Masonry affected by efflorescence or mildew usually needs two coats. Today's lacquers are available in both spray and brush-on styles, but both have the advantage of being among the fastest drying of all woodworking finishes.Brushing a lacquer finish requires a little more time and effort, but is probably a little bit cleaner than spraying. Apply one full coat of lacquer and allow it to dry for about two to four hours. By the third or fourth coat, give the finish a day or two to harden then you’re ready to … Because you’re working on the piece as it spins, sags, brushmarks and drips are non-existent. 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Find something for pigmented finishes also soon on film thickness from a high-priced sprayer. And varnishes don’t have a minimum of three layers spray can lacquer is too tough to.! Flip it over to transfer the lacquer a few tips can help you achieve better-looking results Provide... To your applicator especially for the products in this story need durability but I can get used to polyurethane... Sealcoat, sanded between each coat to ensure a good grip. ) out the.... Times as it takes to get the woodworker how many coats of lacquer should i apply to wood your life piece needs more protection or... Fewer or lighter coats for the first coat of sanding, the fast-acting solvents also give lacquer its reputation.