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By Honest John
#1191915
I’ve got a rattle can or two of this lacquer that I’ve had for a year or two. It’s not a thing I have much experience of and I get earache from SWIMBO when I use it because of the smell that percolates through the house. I can’t use cellulose sanding sealer for the same reason. I have now figured out a way of applying these products right next to a vent axia fan that takes the stink outside, and so far no grief. I’ve used this lacquer on three small items, giving them 4 - 5 coats. The lacquer looks lovely and shiney when wet, but seems to dry without much shine. Do I need to buff this finish, or apply a wax? I didn’t use a sanding sealer base coat sort of assuming that the first coat of lacquer would seal the wood. Should I have used a sealer under the lacquer? And a final question, I have heard of people using car shop acrylic lacquers in their Woodworking. Are these cheaper products as any good. I notice the chestnut product is about £8. Toolstation do a 500mm rattle can for a little over £5. Even cheaper ones are available elsware. Any advice would be helpful.
User avatar
By custard
#1191989
Honest John wrote:I’ve got a rattle can or two of this lacquer that I’ve had for a year or two. It’s not a thing I have much experience of and I get earache from SWIMBO when I use it because of the smell that percolates through the house. I can’t use cellulose sanding sealer for the same reason. I have now figured out a way of applying these products right next to a vent axia fan that takes the stink outside, and so far no grief. I’ve used this lacquer on three small items, giving them 4 - 5 coats. The lacquer looks lovely and shiney when wet, but seems to dry without much shine. Do I need to buff this finish, or apply a wax? I didn’t use a sanding sealer base coat sort of assuming that the first coat of lacquer would seal the wood. Should I have used a sealer under the lacquer? And a final question, I have heard of people using car shop acrylic lacquers in their Woodworking. Are these cheaper products as any good. I notice the chestnut product is about £8. Toolstation do a 500mm rattle can for a little over £5. Even cheaper ones are available elsware. Any advice would be helpful.


Start from the beginning, if you want a true mirror gloss the grain needs filling, not so critical on Beech, Cherry or Maple, but very much the case with say Ash, Oak, or Mahogany. A sealing coat helps, especially the thicker sealing coats like a shellac sanding sealer, these go part way towards doing the job of a grain filler, but on tighter grained timber it's not absolutely essential.

Moving on, you'll never get the same spray quality from a rattle can as you will from a proper spray outfit. You could work on it with burnishing cream (make your own or Mylands do a decent one) or you could, as you suggested, apply some wax. For the best results you should use a hard wax with a high carnauba content. True hard waxes are much more work to apply, you're best using a french polishing style rubber but substituting white spirit for meths. I don't think hard waxes are available commercially any more so you'd have to brew your own, but if you want to send me a self addressed jiffy bag I'll return it with a chunk of proper hard wax. PM me if interested.

You don't say what the small items are, but if they don't need a super tough finish then there's a lot to be said for the old favourite of shellac sanding sealer followed by hard wax, it's quick, easy and cheap (a lot cheaper than rattle cans!) plus unlike oil varnish it doesn't yellow paler timbers.

Good luck!
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By Honest John
#1192037
Thanks for your reply Custard. The first item I used it on is Maple. The reason that I went down the spray can routewas for simplicity and protection. The item is a Christmas gift in the form of a trinket tray in the shape of a maple leaf that I cut out on a bandsaw then turned to a thin profile with the pointy parts of the leaf edge turned up. The leaf has then had the veins carved and pyrogaphed and then airbrushed to a red and gold/yellow colour. Because of the out turned and jagged edges to the leaf I didn’t feel confident to buff and polish on the lathe, so using this lacquer that has sat on the shelf for several years looked a good option. I was just very surprised that it did not dry with a sort of wet look finish.
The second item is a work in progress. Again a gift and is a large sycamore fruit bowl. The outer wall of the bowl has been drilled with many holes between 6mm and 25mm prior to turning and is like a collinder. The inside surface of the bowl has some colour and decoration with a Sorby texturing tool, and the texture has been highlited with Gilt Creme. Again to protect this inside surface while the outside was coloured I have applied 4 - 5 thin coats of lacquer. This looked magnificent when wet, but is less inspiring now it’s dried. I’m still working on the outside decoration and I still have some recovery options as I still have a chuck mount. I thought this was an easy and protective solution to these items but I’m not getting what I expected in the finish result.
User avatar
By custard
#1192045
Got it. For textured and fragile items different rules apply because it's difficult to achieve a really brilliant gloss without obscuring the textural details with an excess of finish or breaking the workpiece. If you look at the turnings and mouldings on antiques you'll invariably see any glossy patination is limited to the high spots, and on gilded carving it's customary to only burnish the high spots and leave other areas unburnished.
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By Honest John
#1192049
Just popped into the workshop at the football half time, and noticed that the two cans of Mylands that I’ve had a while aren’t the same :oops: one of them is something called Acrylic sealer. No mention of sanding sealer though. Anyway if flatted down the acrylic painted outside and given it a coat of this sealer stuff. Il see how that goes on with the lacquer on top after it’s cured.
User avatar
By Honest John
#1192048
Just popped into the workshop at the football half time, and noticed that the two cans of Mylands that I’ve had a while aren’t the same :oops: one of them is something called Acrylic sealer. No mention of sanding sealer though. Anyway if flatted down the acrylic painted outside and given it a coat of this sealer stuff. Il see how that goes on with the lacquer on top after it’s cured.