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Old 04-08-2009, 12:52 AM
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Default Lacquer Types?

Hi,


What is the difference , pros, cons, for different uses between Pre-Catalyzed lacquer, and Nitrocellulose based lacquer?


Seth
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Lacquer Types?

Regular old nitrocellulose has been around a long time. The base, nitrocellulose, is basically a compound made when you start mixing nitric acid and cellulose fiber - cotton, or wood fiber for example.
The base itself can be manipulated many ways but the one we care about in finishing is a flexible film.
In my experience, plain old nitro is dead easy to apply, easy to repair, and looks pretty respectable. It can be left as sprayed or rubbed out. It can be tinted, toned, whatever.
It is not super high on my durability list. It does amber some with age, and repeat exposure to water or abrasion take its toll, often in flaking off in chunks. I have a dining chair that looks good as new. A coffee table thats seen heavy kid use, not so much.
Big difference between nitro and others though is it is an evaporative finish. Solvent dissipates, finish film remains. Ten years later, you add solvent, it gets sticky.
CAB I rarely recall the exact name I think its cetyl acetate butylrate - at any rate (ok, not so funny) this is also evaporative but it is often referred to as "water white" meaning it does not amber, but stays clear. Acetic acid rather than nitric is used in the base, and I'm pretty sure I read that cellulose is still a primary component. CAB Acrylic is widely regarded by many in the Kitchen cabinet industry as the "go to" finish.
You can also get it in a pre cat formula. Confused? It has better wear resistance, water resistance than its nitro cousin and repairs as easily, unless you're using the precat.
Now catalyzed finishes no matter their name, pre cat, post cat, conversion varnish, it boils down to this. When the solvent evaporates, a chemical reaction occurs, and thats it. You're not remelting the stuff.
I've used a hoop of them too. Most of the precat I've been ho hum over.
I was pretty impressed with the end result of Sherwins Kem Var conversion varnish though I do have to say that is one damn fickle finish to play with.
Spray tips just so, temp and humidity, and solvents. They recommend MAK as a reductant but it flashed so fast. I went to Xylol after confirming compatibility and it not only stunk less, I had enough time to get a full coat on before it dried on me.
Catalyzed finishes are super easy to rub out in general because they're so hard. They almost scratch easier I think. No flex. But theres not much to repairing them other than a whole new coat. You'll get witness lines any other way.
Or we could start talking waterbornes, which are a completely different game chemically, but so worth looking in to anymore.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Lacquer Types?

There is no correlation between a water white lacquer and pre-cat. The water white lacquer has a tendency to make the wood finish look less "wet" in the wood grain.

An example of using this is when I had a customer ask me to make her oak cabinets look like unfinished wood. I applied a white pickling stain to the oak, which when dry wasn't noticeable as changing the color of the raw oak. Then I applied the water white lacquer, and the oak appeared to have no finish at all, and the color remained the light pinkish/white of raw oak, but with a slight sheen.

The difference between this and any standard lacquer is quite noticeable. On the back side of panels I applied a standard lacquer over the pickling stain, and the panels had the normal "wet" appearance.

A catalyzed lacquer is more durable, and is best used for tables and other horizontal surfaces where wear is more of a problem. It is only marginally more difficult to apply, but is more difficult to repair any defects from the application process. Because it is so much harder, I typically use my Dynabrade sanders between coats, as normal sanding does not level the surface as rapidly.

I use an airless sprayer when applying lacquer, so one coat for me is comparable to many, many coats with HVLP.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Lacquer Types?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickChristopherson View Post
I use an airless sprayer when applying lacquer, so one coat for me is comparable to many, many coats with HVLP.


?????
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Lacquer Types?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
?????
Ya know Chris, it is easier answering a question when you actually ask it.

At 1200 psi, with un-thinned lacquer, the product delivery rate for lacquer is high enough that you have to move very fast. For example, when I am spraying a raised panel cabinet door, the entire process for hitting all 4 edges and the entire field takes about 3 to 5 seconds, and the initial build before offgassing is about 1/32 inch.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Lacquer Types?

They now have Pre- Cat Lacquers in a water born mix called Poly Star and Ultra Star by ML Campbell. Easy to use, non- flamable and approved by Kicthen & bath assoc. ML Campbell also has a tech question repair or problem hot line to call.

Terry
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