Woodfinishers Weblog

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Acrylic Lacquer: A new, low voc clear coating for wood.

    No two finishing lines are exactly the same. Nor are the finishing standards or production goals identical from facility to facility  or shop to shop. To satisfy a wide range of variables relating to application, curing, finish durability, appearance, environmental requirements, “green” sustainability initiatives, and cost, I have been on a constant search for the different coatings out in the market.  To this end we have brought in yet another product for our customers to use.


   First of for those who may not be  familure with some of the other products that are generally use in the world of finishing to day.


   Nitro cellulose Lacquer, the basics.

Nitrocellulose lacquer is made by mixing fast-drying solvents generally know as lacquer thinners with wood and cotton pulp containing cellulose that has been broken down by acids. A chemist working for the DuPont Chemical Company, is credited for inventing nitrocellulose lacquer in 1921. It was quickly picked up by Henry Ford for his mass-produced automobiles because finished cars could come off the assembly line faster. Not long afterward, nitrocellulose lacquer replaced shellac and oil-based varnishes and became the preferred finish and the industry standard for furniture and cabinet manufacturers.
: nitrocellulose lacquer is relatively inexpensive and dries quickly. The cured resins provide a reasonable protective layer of film over the wood. After the hard film cures, it rubs out well and provides it signature  smooth and silky surface that, Also, because it is an evaporative finish, each new coat of lacquer blends into all the previous coats, making it easy to repair.

The benefits for large and small production shops are considerable

The disadvantages to using nitrocellulose lacquer are also notable. The film yellows as it ages, and it can eventually shrink to the point of causing cracks (often called crazing) to form in the surface. Generally this occurs when you have over built the coating. As well, it does not hold up well in moisture i.e. your kitchen and bathroom.  Best results fore application are by spraying it on; but the overspray is highly flammable. (The same ingredients that go into nitrocellulose lacquers are also used in the manufacture of some explosives.)

Because it dries so quickly, when applied under conditions of high humidity, the lacquer film can trap condensed moisture and cause the finish film to appear cloudy — a problem referred to as blushing. You can overcome that finishing obstacle by adding a slower-drying thinner, called a retarder, which allows the moisture to escape before it gets trapped in the film.


  The need for something that doesn’t yellow and has a greater moisture tolerance.


Acrylic lacquer


  With the increased popularity of using unstained, light-colored woods (such as ash, birch, and maple), woodworkers and furniture manufacturers wanted to avoid the yellowing problems associated with nitrocellulose lacquer as it ages. The finishing industry responded by developing lacquers containing acrylic resins that are truly “water-white.” Acrylic resins go on crystal-clear and stay that way over time. The most widely used of these products is called CAB-acrylic lacquer, made with cellulose acetate butyrate and acrylic resins.: it is best applied by spray equipment, diluted with regular lacquer thinner to obtain the ideal spraying viscosity, and it is fast-drying. Acrylic lacquer is often used as a protective topcoat over colored pigment lacquers to make them wear better and to enhance their resistance to scratches.

Acrylic lacquer dries to a less brittle and more flexible film than that of nitrocellulose lacquer. It is also more expensive. Otherwise, the working properties are much the same


The acrylic Lacquer I like:


Renner the Italian wood coating manufacture has long provided me with exceptional water based products wanted to get into the American nitro cellulous lacquer market and released their “JL” series 161 VOC acrylic lacquer. Why they had to go and name it like that is beyond me, I would have preferred a snazzy marketing name that I could refer to it as, but, oh well.


Here are the qualities of this product:


Low VOC, more environmentally friendly and you can reduce it and still be compliant; a word of caution though, over thinning it has caused problems. Suggested total amount you thin it is not more than 5%.


Low Odor, It does have a smell but it’s not half as bad as other products.


Self Sealing, You don’t need a different product to seal this with. Best practice is to lay down two thin coat and then sand it as if it were a sanding sealer.


Non-Yellowing, what else do you say this doesn’t yellow as any regular lacquer or Pre catalyzed lacquer will.


Dies Quickly and Hard, I have had a hard time digging my nails in to this stuff, so it is almost as hard as a pre-cat if not harder. As well the acrylic is much more UV resistant,


18% Solids, this is a term that a lot of people don’t get but is a very important datum when evaluating a coating. Basically it’s thicker and so you get more square foot coverage. For reference the most common lacquer on the market is 11% solids it’s cheaper but you have to spray twice as much. For most shops there labor is more costly than there materials and so the few buck you save on materials ultimately cost you more in the long run.  



Cautions I have found:


Don’t over thin it. With a lacquer thinner, you can thin it 5 or 10% but not beyond that it will blush and do strange things. In essence when you thin some materials you are trying to increase the viscosity and make it come out of your spray gun better. If you over thin it you begin to alter the chemical make up and that is where you get into problems.


Don’t apply it over another manufactures sealer. A, you don’t need to use a sealer and B, the acrylics are not compatible with the lacquers when you do this the nitro-cellulous  in the earlier coating get re-wetted and then reacts with the acrylic resins and does weird stuff.


I now have several large manufactures using this product and having great successes with it.


If you are interested in this product give me a call if you have had successes or failure with this product I would like to know about them. One of the things I have learned in this business is that you test always. The greatest test of a coating is the test of time. How long did it last and where?









April 22, 2009 - Posted by | Acrylic Lacquer, Finishing failures and the fix | , , , , ,


  1. I am buying a bed from IKEA that is made out of
    Fiberboard, Particleboard, Birch veneer, Clear acrylic lacquer. My question is, is it possible to paint black over the current paint? I dont know if it is possible because of the acrylic lacquer. If you know of any way to paint over it, please let me know. Thank you!

    Comment by Sage | June 25, 2009

  2. hi i am also doing lacquer bussines at india.
    i am selling nc lacquer/acrylic lacquer.
    can u send me your your product range detail for bussines.

    + 91~09772033334

    Comment by prithvi singh rathore | June 29, 2009

  3. Hi, Yes yo can paint over that, clean it and sand it with 220 grit sand paper and then paint it you can go over it with a good latex if you want. With the sand paper you are giving it a good mechanical bond. Zar makes good primer that will stick anything to any other coating I think its called barrier coat and that will give you and ever better adhesion.

    Best of luck,

    Comment by Greg Saunders | July 2, 2009

  4. Dear Prithvi,
    You can go to my web site at http://www.annexpaint.com as I populate it with materials they will be available for purchase.

    Best, Greg

    Comment by Greg Saunders | July 2, 2009

  5. I bought an IKEA bookcase (used) that had scratches in a few locations on the top surface. According to the IKEA website, it is pine covered with an acrylic lacquer. I have sanded out the scratches, but now don’t know whether I should attempt to apply an acrylic coat. What would you suggest?

    Comment by Jim | July 5, 2009

  6. HI Jim,
    Yes, I would prep the surface properly and then apply any stain touch up that you might need ( you might not as Ikea is usually unstained ) and then apply a good coat of acrylic lacquer I have the Renner that you can order on line from me. or you can find a paint shop in your area that stocks lacquers and wood finishing materials and get an Acrylic from them. Check out the different tips in the category on Acrylic lacquers.

    Best of Luck,


    Comment by Greg Saunders | July 9, 2009

  7. Hi, I have picked up this hobby of building wood things (dressers, bed frame and even a lamp). I got the wood from my local lowes and homedepot. I sanded the wood with a orbital 80 grit and then with 150 grit. Then I applied the Miniwax stain and polyurethane. What I’m trying to achieve is the polished smooth look and feel like if you brought it from a Ikea. My wood feels smooth (sort of) but never smooth to the touch. What can I do or what I’m I doing wrong. Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Marlene | October 19, 2009

  8. Hi Marlene,

    My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I would recommend you get the book by Bob Flexner and I think it is called understanding wood finishing or something like that it is the best book on wood finishing and will give you all the data you will need. You can Google Bob Flexner and find the book as well as I would bet you could find it in the do it your self sections of any book store. In brief you will need to sand it down to at least 180 if not 220 before you apply your stains and coatings. The random orbital sander is good but you should do the last sanding by hand and with the grain. with some woods you need a stain controller so that the wood will take the stain evenly and not look darker in some places and lighter in others. Next thing you need to do is spray on sealer and sand that down to real smooth Then you apply the top coat for best results use a spray gun. There are a few things that will get you going in the right direction.
    Best ,Greg

    Comment by Greg Saunders | November 25, 2009

  9. Hi Marlene,
    Have I not replied to your message in all this time? sorry about that not sure how that one slipped by. I would recommed a book written by Bob Flexner called understanding wood finishing, or wood finishng basics I would say that it is one of the best and simplest books on the market. That being said there are several steps a professional finisher would take to make that come out smooth the first thing is that you have to sand it down to 220 and then you need to apply a sealer let that dry and sand that lightly with 220 paper and then put your top coats on lightly sanding between coats. you would do well to get a spray gun as well. You are never going to get the really smooth finish with a brush

    Comment by Greg Saunders | January 19, 2010

  10. I have a slab of walnut wood that is in its most raw form, still rounded and with the bark on one side. The other side is cut from a sawmill showing the wood grain.I am looking to make this slab into the top of a table.I am wondering what kind of clear sealant I will need to keep it waterproof from spill but still show all the natural detail of the woodgrain. Also, how long would this slab need to be dried before I can put a sealant on? Thanks, Brooke.

    Comment by Brooke | February 14, 2010

  11. Hi Brook,

    You should get a moisture meter for lumber and check the moisture content. that will tell you if it has dried out enough. I believe you want it below 8% moisture befor you can consider it has dried sufficiently to seal. After that I would recommend either a polyurethane or a Conversion varnish. WE have those two products in both water base materials and solvent based. How much wear and tear is this table top going to get? Is it in a commercial restaurant? if so I would go with a professional polyurethane if not then you can go with the conversion varnish. it is very hard but a little easier then the Poly to apply. Don’t get the home depot brand it is not very good.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | February 14, 2010

  12. Hi,

    I want to use a drawer unit from IKEA in my bathroom and at the description of the unit, it says main parts are made of Particleboard and they are Oak veneer with Clear acrylic lacquer. I was wondering if this unit will be durable and water-resistant enough in the bathroom since it has the clear acrylic finish or should I re-coat it on top of the existing coat?



    Comment by Hesna | February 15, 2010

  13. Hi Hesna,

    That would depend on what acrylic lacquer they used. The Acrylic lacquer I have is good and tough and has would stand up to kitchens and bathroom moisture abuse. Normally Acrylic lacquers or Cab Acrylics haven’t been all that tough and were known for there softness. that being said were are in an era of ever advancing chemistry and I have been surprised by what some of the Ikea furniture has stood up to.

    On the other hand they aren’t going to make any promises to anything.

    What would I do? IF you really liked the piece I would re-coat it now. Next best plan install it an see how it does. if the finish begins to show sign of deterioration then pull it out and re-do it.

    Hope that helps.


    Comment by Greg Saunders | February 15, 2010

  14. Great Info on both NC Lacquers and Acrylic Lacquers. We have used NC primarily, but of course when spraying with acrylic latex as base, NC tends to want to “craze” on the surface. We are currently using a satin Poly to give a stonger topcoat and seal in the glazing, but if you know of any tricks, or if acrylic lacquer would work over the acrylic latex, I’d be interested in trying it.

    From Scott to Finish

    Comment by fromscott2finish | April 5, 2010

  15. Hi Good work on using the Poly as the top coat for extra hardness, that is about the best you can do. The Acrylic lacquer over the acrylic latex that should work just fine, if you have ever used the old cab acrylic lacquer it’s pretty much the same thing.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | April 7, 2010

  16. Will a lacquer top coat work over metal that has had a coat of Rub-n-Buf applied? I want the R-n-B effect to be more durable.

    Comment by ron dean | August 3, 2010

  17. HI Mohsin,
    I don’t do car coatings we do do funiture coatings, please refer to the web site for information on our specific products. We do not ship over seas if you have a specific question about a specific product please feel free to ask other wise most of the information you would need is there on the site.

    thank you

    Comment by Greg Saunders | August 8, 2010

  18. Hi Rob,

    I’m not familiar with the Rub and Buff product. If it is a wax or silicon product the lacquer will not work over the top of it, you can lacquer directly to the metal but I would apply an adhesion promoter first we have such a product, I would have to see if it is on the web site or not. most automotive paint stores have such a product. Bull dog is a common one. ours is a new product called Mustang and I find that it works better then the Bull dog I think I have a posting on the matter where we applied some water based lacquer over a plastic.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | August 8, 2010

  19. i am doing painting and ceramic work on wooden boxes. how can i do the top coat. should i apply varnish or nc lacquer. if nc then any specific? i don’t have much idea about paints.i have necol nc paints. i thinj=k that is nc clear that will do or not. reply me soon
    thank you

    Comment by rinku | September 22, 2010

  20. Hi sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner. if you are not familiar with nitro lacquers I wouldn’t get in to that at this point, I would use a water based lacquer or a water based conversion varnish, the latter will hold up the best. the question is what is the look you are going for and where is the product going to be used. If it is commercial High Moisture or what.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | November 15, 2010

  21. Hi. I am doing a bit of d.i.y for a friend and staining his floorboards which are red deal.The stain he provided is cellulose based light oak. I have sanded and washed these boards and applied 4 coats. The varnish he supplied is polyeurithane . will they react with each other.

    Comment by Hughie | May 11, 2011

  22. Hi Hughie,
    Good on you for taking on the project, Cellulose base stain doesn’t really communicate anything to me, but I’m guessing that you are referring to a lacquer based stain, that would be one that smells more like a solvent ( like acetone or Lacquer thinner) than and oil. The stain and the poly shouldn’t have any conflicts, however you must make sure that the stain is good and dry, like at least 24 hours in a warm and dry environment If you don’t have the heat or have too much humidity your stain wont dry and then your top coats will Blush, ( have a white milky, cloudy appearance) this comes from the solvents in the stain still evaporating but getting caught in the subsequent coatings, they will be tiny bubbles if you were to look at them under a magnifying glass. SO make sure that your stain is good and dry and you should have no problems. best of luck, Greg

    Comment by Greg Saunders | May 11, 2011

  23. turned out great, thanks .

    Comment by Hughie | May 12, 2011

  24. Hi another ‘can I paint’ question – I might buy tidaholm kitchen cabinet doors from ikea and paint them white – they are solid oak frame, then fibre/particle board panel with oak veneer and acrylic lacquer. I was going to try painting some eggshell or satin wood straight on to see how it looks but all the advice seems to recommend sanding and priming first – what is your view? I’m not v DIY so don’t want to undertake something I can’t manage!

    Comment by Phillipa | August 31, 2011

  25. Hi Greg, I,ve never had a reason untill now to paint cabinets. I have several that I need to construct, paint, and clearcoat. Curious, can I spray a good latex paint and clearcoat with a lacquer finish? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! Paul

    Comment by Paul | October 17, 2011

  26. Hi Paul, the Simple asnwer to your question is “yes”. You can do all those things and if you set you mind to it yo can also build rocket ships, admitedly, cabinet making is not as complex as Rocketry but the point being is that there is a technology to both of these areas it and if you want it to look good you have to know the technology. it’s not hard but there are people who make a very good living doing this stuff professionally. You can caertainly learn it and get good relitively quickly if you want to. Part of the pocess is being willing to learn and make some mistakes in the process. So the question you have above, latex paint and then a clear coat over that. You could do that and you could use the Acrylic low VOC lacquer but what I would suggest is that you skip the latex paint and just use a lacquer. you can get an undercoat ( primer) and have that tinted if you have a dark color you are going for and then have you lacquer made to the color of your choice. Lacquers lay down and look smoother and better than a regular paint. But with a good spray gun you can do a lot with just paint. what is you budget and what is the look you want. Send pictures and I’ll post your project along with your write up ofthe experence if oyu are intersted.
    Best of luck,
    Greg Saunders

    Comment by Greg Saunders | October 18, 2011

  27. My son has an entertainment cabinet that has a thick, clear coating over the doors that cover the t.v.. However, the doors have some cracks in them that look just like cracks in glass. Is there any way to repair these cracks or would it be too costly? The largest crack is maybe 5 inches long.Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Michele

    Comment by Michele | November 15, 2011

  28. Hi Michele,

    Sorry, No there is no way to repair those cracks in the finish, If the doors weren’t stuck or hit in some way causing the cracks then I would say that when the finish was applied it was either applied too thick or it was over catalyzed causing it to become excessively brittle and then cracking. The handling for this would be to strip the finish off and then redo it. If it has been under a year that you purchased it you might be able to take it back to the manufacture and get it replaces if there is no sign of trauma to the door that caused the crack. Greg

    Comment by Greg Saunders | November 15, 2011

  29. I am in CA and some counties carry kleen strip lacquer thinner shows voc 30& howi can i identiyb
    etween new or old formulas

    cinndy millerr2R

    Comment by cindy | November 29, 2011

  30. The simple answer to to look at the VOCs and you’ll know that the Higher VOCs are the older materials. That being said I have 25 VOC Lacquer thinner that is performing very well. It is the mineral spirits that has been the problem. 0 VOC Mineral spirits is somewhat similar to dehydrated water and about as useful. Here in LA county you can still buy the old Lacquer thinner, not quite sure how they are getting away with that as it is theoretically illegal.
    let me know what else yo find on the matter.


    Comment by Greg Saunders | November 30, 2011

  31. I am redoing a old dresser for a friend and her new baby, It’s about 24 years old. I’m not sure if it has lead paint on it or not. I was going to sand it but now I’m not sure. It’s not real wood. I believe it’s particle board of some sort. I was going to sand it, prime it then paint it and decorate with acrylic paints and then put a clear coat over it. I recently read something about low VOC paints and clear coats. Do you recommend any certain brands of paints and clear coats? And should I sand this piece or not? Thank you for any help.

    Lisa E.

    Comment by Lisa Enriquez | December 20, 2011

  32. Hi Lisa,
    The lead base paint legislation came out in 1978 and so if your dresser was manufactured in America then the chances are that it doesn’t have lead base paint on it. however if it was made in Mexico or China there is a very good chance that it has lead based paint on it. You should sand it down but wear a dust mask and ventilate the area well and clean up after your self. Run a shop vac while sanding and that will pick up most of the particulates. There are also sanders that have vacuum attachments if you are going to be doing this a lot I would recommend getting something like that. As for paints that I would recommend, I have a bunch of things that I sell on my web site but to be honest I sure that you can find something locally that would do the job well for your needs. Lowe’s and home depot both carry products that will work for your needs. The CIC water based conversion varnish is a clear coat that I sell and is good and very hard it can be applied with a brush. It is $50 a gallon. The minwax water based, O VOC polyurethane is not as hard but would probably do the job for you and it is available at Lowe’s. You would put that on after you prime it and paint your acrylic artistry on it. For best results you should spray it on. Using a spray gun is easy but you’ll need the equipment for it. You don’t have to go there if you don’t want to. Best of luck on your project.
    Greg Saunders

    Comment by Greg Saunders | December 27, 2011

  33. Hi Greg, I was given the Ikea Stornas buffet cabinet in gray-brown and want to re-paint/stain it with a dark brown color. The main parts are made of Solid pine and it’s tinted with clear acrylic lacquer. would I need to sand it down and then paint over with a tinted dark brown acrylic lacquer? Also, the backing is fiberboard, can I paint over it with the same stuff? I’ve never done anything like this before. What would be the best way of going about this?

    Comment by Katie | January 5, 2012

  34. The Answer is yes. You can sand it all down and the re stain it and then lacquer over that or you can sand it down and paint it. Have fun at it If you don’t like the way that it turnd out you can sand it down and do it again. If you want to get a really good finish have some one spray the paint or Lacquer on. or just brush it on.
    Best of luck,

    Comment by Greg Saunders | January 6, 2012

  35. Hi Greg, I have 8 spindle back windsor chairs probably 10 plus years old. They have been painted army green, then distressed, then some sort of acrylic lacquer or other?over the paint. This clear coat material reacts very quickly to a chemical stripper (like exfoliating skin) and leaves the paint alone…… I need to apply as painlessly as possible, black paint over this acrylic and other distressed surfaces (wood and paint) with some kind of black paint that will adhere to and not react poorly to these surfaces and stick. I can abrade most of these surfaces fairly easily with a phenolic abrasive material or apply some sort of adhesive agent to hasten the sticking power of the black paint. I do not know what to use as paint or lacquer. I have all kinds of spray equipment to utilize. Is there a black lacquer paint that would do the job. Thanks for your help, Duncan at ACK March 29 2012

    Comment by Duncan Fog | March 29, 2012

  36. How does the renner brand compare to say a Campbell brand. I tried putting an alcohol based “chalk glaze” over the Campbell water Bourne finish, but had an adhesion problem with the topcoat. Luckily I did a test piece. Would I expect this problem with the renner brand or do you have another suggestion, other than using conventional lacquer.

    Comment by Sean | March 30, 2012

  37. Hi Sean,
    The Renner is great I’m not sure how it stacks up with the campbell’s which is a respected brand of it’s own as I haven’t played around with their water based materials at all. 5 Years ago you could uniformaly say that all North American water based coatings were pretty crappy. That has changed quite a bit over the last few years.

    All that said, I wouldn’t recommend a alcohol glaze over a water based product I would use instead a water based glaze system that was compatible and the best I have found of those is the CIC glaze system. Even the Renners glaze is not as good as the CICs glaze. You do have to scuff sand the coating you are glazing on top of, other than that it is the closest to an oil based / naptha based glaze I have seen.

    When you say “chalk” are you refering to the spray on “break away” kind of glaze? you might try giving the coating you are about to spray that stuff on a gray pad scuff sanding and see if that doesn’t handle the adheasion issues.
    Greg Saunders

    Comment by Greg Saunders | April 2, 2012

  38. Hi Duncan,
    I was just at a business conference and every time I would ask a lawyer a question the answer would be “that depends” so I have come to hate that answer. But it does depend on what finish and what look you want. The more you can scuff sand the better that is always going to promote adhesion. Something that I have had a great success with in that exact situation is using and adhesion promoter before you spray the Lacquer or whatever coating you are going to use. Are these out door chairs that are going to get exposure or are they in the formal dining room. If they are in the dining room I would recommend a conversion varnish either solvent or water based and I would do the scuff sanding and then use the adhesion promoter ( mustang is the product I am most familiar with and we sell that in our store).

    Greg Saunders

    Comment by Greg Saunders | April 2, 2012

  39. Hi Greg,

    We recently bought a kitchen island from Ikea bade of birch wood and finished with a clear acrylic lacquer. Is there any way to stain the wood easily to a dark brown? I have used gel varnish/stain products in the past, which seem to give a nice result. What do you suggest?


    Comment by amy | September 11, 2012

  40. Certainly you can stain the wood a darker color, you’ll have to remove the current acrylic clear coat first to be able to stain the wood and then after that you would have to re-clear coat the stained wood. stain goes directly on to the bare wood, you can paint over top of the lacquer but that isn’t the look that you want I don’t think. You can also apply a translucent glaze on top of the acrylic lacquer and that shade the currently look but that again is different than staining the wood.

    I would suggest yo get a soybean stripper, they are not toxic or explosive and strip the counter top down. following the instructions on using the stripper. Then on the underside of the counter top in and area that is not seen try out the stain you want and see how it looks ( stain it let that dry and them put some of your clear coat on it to see what the final product is going to look like the clear coat will make the stain come alive and give it more pop) once you are happy with the color then do the entire counter top.

    I’m a big fan of testing things out first so that I have a reasonably good Idea of what they are going to look like. As well do your testing over a large enough area so that you can see what the variations of the wood are going to do with your stain. Make sure you are happy with that. the various densities of wood take stain differently, the softer spots the stain absorbs deeper and so comes out darker. If it comes out too blotchy then you have to do other things to prevent that. That being said the birch generally takes stain pretty evenly.

    Be This might be a little more than you were thinking of but it is and easy fun and rewarding do-it-yourself project.

    Best of Luck,

    Comment by Greg Saunders | September 13, 2012

  41. Greg, looks like you are doing a great service for aspiring woodworkers so many thanks for a fantastic resource. I have a query regarding lacquering ply wood. I’ve made a table from 18mm birch ply. The top is removeable and made as a large composite plywood, 20 pieces of 18mm laminated together so the top surface is the exposed endgrain. I have osmo’d this, but want to give it a tougher wearing sealed finish in contrast to the osmo finish to the body of the table. With this in mind I am thinking of a clear lacquer. Can this be applied to the osmo’d ply? Do you have any tips to offer? I would attach a pic to explain my description, but I cant see a facility for this

    Many Thanks


    Comment by Matthew Murphy | March 12, 2013

  42. Hi Matthew, sounds like a great project, I would love to see a picture, you can send that to me at greg@annexpaint.com and I’ll post it. I’m guessing you used the osmo top coat, I pulled up the Materials Safety Data sheet from the osmo web site and found that the principal ingredients is Naphtha, they no doubt have several other oils and proprietary ingredients which they’re not listing, so it a little hard to tell how well another coating is going to stick, generally speaking if it is and oily coating then you are going to have troubles getting anything to stick. these types of coatings are designed to be re-applied as they dry out. I would go to their web site :http://www.osmona.com/index.html get a contact number and give them a call. Generally speaking its best to use the same manufactures coatings over something previously applied. And they would know best what will work.
    All that being said, I always recommend a conversion varnish or polyurethane for a top coat on a table, lesser products don’t hold up as well. Both of these products have been made into water based products.If you want water based, the osmo has a whopping 400 grams/liter VOC, which is 4 times the legal limit here in southern California, it probably works great, sad we can’t use it here.
    Depending on the effect you want you could sand it back and then put a clear grain filler on it, sand that down to supper smooth and then put a polyurethane on it. for reference the two component polyurethanes are by for the better product, the ones that are a 4:1 mix are true polyurethanes.I have found that the single component products you get at the big hardware stores are not all that good. There is a video on the blog of a full grain fill done on a door, I don’t know if you are going for that effect or not.
    Send me pictures and let me know what the osmo guys say.
    Best of luck,
    Greg Saunders

    Comment by Greg Saunders | March 14, 2013

  43. Can you tell me if there is any toxicity or allergenic properties associated with the final cured product?

    Comment by clayton | January 31, 2014

  44. Hi Greg,
    I bought an Ikea pine venerated door coated with “tinted clear acrylic lacquer”. For visual interest I attached unfinished pine molding. I would like to put a coat of water based polyurethane (like minwax polycrylic) to the whole thing. Will the water based poly adhere well to the acrylic lacquer? Any prep to do? I was thinking to do a light sanding before. Will that suffice, or should I use lacquer thinner to remove the acrylic lacquer before the slight sanding? Or is there a brush-on acrylic lacquer that would work (even though I would prefer the polycrylic as I already have it)? Thanks.

    Comment by Oscar | February 18, 2014

  45. HI Oscar,
    Clean the surface well and then a light sanding as you have mentioned and that should do the trick, most water based products rely primarily on mechanical adhesion, meaning that there is no chemical bonding in-between the two coatings, lacquer based products will “melt” together while the water based products wont, that being said you need to give the surface a profile so that there is something for your coating to grab on to, i.e. the sanded surface. preferably you’ll spray this on for a better soother finish. best of luck.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | February 19, 2014

  46. Hi Clayton,
    There shouldn’t be any such reaction but I would test it, there are VOCs in the product, acetone and other volatile chemicals, and I would give it a full 30 days cure time. that is the out side window. in 7 days you’ll be 95% cured that of course will depend on temperature humidity and air flow. If you have someone with a hyper sensitivity to such things I would go with a 100% water based product. I have had lacquered products fully cured only to go in to a house and sit in the sunlight and heat up to 110 degrees and as a result do a little more off gassing, it does eventually all go away. Another point to this would be putting on thin coats and letting them dry well before applying the next coat. When you lay on heavy coats on top of heavy coats you trap solvents in the coating and they take longer to cure. putting on heavy coats is generally not a good practice in the first place, it is however more economical for the finisher.


    Comment by Greg Saunders | February 19, 2014

  47. Hi Greg,

    I purchased an Ikea bookcase to use as a linen cabinet in the master bath. Product description says its made of “Particleboard, Ash veneer, Paper, Stain.” I like the color and don’t plan on painting/staining it. Can I apply a clear acrylic lacquer to the entire thing so that it’ll be moisture resistant? Will the acrylic lacquer make it so that the bookcase will be suitable for the bathroom? thanks!

    Comment by Emily T | April 6, 2015

  48. I have an exterior door that is stained and covered with a clear auto lacquer that is flaking in places. What can I put over this finish?

    Comment by G. Arthur | May 1, 2015

  49. Hi Grerg,
    I have been using morells acrylic lacquer thined to 50% with a pu thinner as a first coat sealer and it finishes natural wood or hdf after sanding on first coat..like glass.However I find that pu/standard thinners is not a great solvent for cleaning pots afterwards,leading to build up in the pot,can you suggest a solvent.Also I was thinking of adding a white tint to the mix for sealing/white priming painted projects,perhaps this is a “cart before the horse approach”…can you advise if ther is a tint I can use or perhaps you have an all in one product for sealing/priming.
    Thanks dar.

    Comment by dary mc cormack | May 10, 2015

  50. Hi thanks for your questions, I’m not familiar with that product, I’m guessing the abbreviation PU is polyurethane that being the case acetone or lacquer thinner works great for clean up. and that being said the sooner you an clean a gun and the less time you have a catalyzed product in a gun the better. that’s kinda interesting using a poly urethane thinner as a thinner for an acrylic lacquer, you can easily over thin an acrylic lacquer and have it blush on you but you say you are thinning it 50% wow, that’s something new for me. how does that affect the drying and cure time which is the other problem I have had with the acrylic lacquers time?

    Comment by Greg Saunders | May 11, 2015

  51. nothing, you need to strip it down and start fresh, sorry to be the bearer of the bad news that flaking off is the paint oxidizing the sun has eaten out all the UV inhibitors and it is slowly ( or not ) cooking it. if you put something over that it will continue to cook and when that detaches so will the product you put on top of it. Sand it down re-stain it and use a product like the pinnacle 149cl clear that I have mentioned on the blog tis is a poly urethane designed and used for wood. this is a product I know and love but there are others that are probably just as good. Ilva is a good one just not compliant in my area.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | May 11, 2015

  52. sorry I’ve been remiss in answering some of the comments that have been left for me. the simple answer is yes a good acrylic lacquer will do well for you. that being said, make sure that you get enough on and that you seal all sides top and bottom if there is particle board that is on the ground be sure to seal that bottom side and better yet get the particle board off the floor. in time if that bottom is left to sit in water it will wick up into the board and destroy it.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | May 11, 2015

  53. Haven’t had a prob with drying time,if im working on 30/40 kitchen cabinet doors youre good to turn the first door once the last one has been sealed..so about 45 min.I dont finish with a lacquer thinned that strong,that mix would be purely for sealing,it works great for mdf/hdf doors,so perhaps you know of a white tint you could add to an acrylic lacquer I think this would cut out the need for a primer coat.
    thanks Dary.

    Comment by dary mc cormack | May 12, 2015

  54. you would be able to tint that with UTCs. white after the factory tints never “Hide” well.so if you need it to cover well You might ask the manufacture if they provide a white. But if not then you could use a good waterbased acrylic primer and top coat that with the clear which would go over it well old acrylic lacquer use to be called CAB acrylic It was a great non yellowing clear coat over a painted surface. – Greg

    Comment by Greg Saunders | May 13, 2015

  55. Thanks Greg.
    Its all been interesting reading.

    Comment by dary mc cormack | May 13, 2015

  56. I am trying to restore the navy blue gloss lacquer coating on a custom made round platform bed with a plywood cabinet/headboard. There are areas of separation and chips as thick as potato chips. It is almost as if the wood structure had first been given a thin skin prior to being lacquered……or maybe the thin skin came with the appearance of lacquer. The edges have no seams so I assumed it was sprayed with thick high gloss lacquer but someone suggested to me that the seams of the skin were sealed with heat to appear as if spray lacquered. If there is a skin it can’t be any thicker than a sheet of photocopy paper….it is certainly not as thick as any sheet of Formica laminate I’ve ever seen nor is it thick like any sheet of acrylic/lucite I’ve seen. Is there such a thing as a flexible skin with the appearance of high gloss lacquer? If so could i use it to make patch repairs to the chips? On the bowed drawer face there are vertical cracks. Do I have to fill the crack with some sort of Bondo, wet sand and spray with gloss paint or could I possibly use a heat gun to melt it back together? Is there a way to attach photos?

    Comment by beyondgorgeosity | January 12, 2016

  57. Hi sorry for getting back to you so late I’m out of town on vacation. but I still try to answer all the messages you can send me pictures to Greg@annexpaint.com. I would say that the coating was put on too thick and it shrank you would most likely have to sand it down and quite a bit and then yes you could fill it with a bondo then re prime it and top coat with a lacquer or other coating. Greg

    Comment by Greg Saunders | January 30, 2016

  58. Hi Greg,

    The acrylic lacquer sounds like a pritey good product, tempted to give it a try. Just wondering how you know what the right viscosity is, if you use the 5% as a rule or if you just know from experience when it is just right? Also the fast drying time is a bonus, does that mean I could potentially spray 2 or 3 or more coats in one day?

    Very informative post ✅ thanks,

    Comment by Tim | October 21, 2016

  59. what is the correct viscosity is a good question, it is a moving target, the size of your needle, temperature and humidity and as well the temperature of the material. you could put on additional coats in a day if you go too fast between coats you might run into some blushing. this product is Chrystal clean and wont yellow in the sun light It isn’t however the hardest coating and is in fact on the softer side of things. I wouldn’t recommend building this product too much.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | October 23, 2016

  60. Hi, Greg

    thanks for your value information. now I have a customer using CAB acrylic top coat apply on the NC primer, they saw cracking issue. how can this crack issue be solved if they stick on this hybrid system as this is economic and have potential big volumes.

    Comment by Tommy | January 17, 2017

  61. for starters I wouldn’t use NC primer I would use a non stated primer, a vinyl primer or use it self seal. after that I would make sure that the sealer wasn’t built up too much and that it was given enough time to cure. cracking usually comes when the earlier layers are not sufficiently cured and the are covered with a top coat that now cures faster than the earlier coats as it is on the surface and exposed to the air. that later topcoat dries hard and then days or weeks later the lower coats cure and shrink leaving the later brittle coats no option but to crack. I would use the CAB acrylic as a self sealing product that would cost a little more in material but would save a step. Let me know if that helps.

    Greg Saunders

    Comment by Greg Saunders | January 18, 2017

  62. I have recently purchased a dining room table that was sealed with NC lacquer…..Is there any way I can waterproof and scratch proof a brand new table to make it more functional.

    Comment by Gigi Kirn | December 8, 2017

  63. yes but it will take some work, first you are to have to clean it and scuff sand it down and then you’ll put on a sealer/barrier coat of a shellac or other such type of coating and then you can put on a tougher strong product like a polyurethane or conversion varnish. IF you are not a finisher I suggest you find a Professional. If you are do-it-yourselfer good luck

    Comment by Greg Saunders | December 8, 2017

  64. thanks for the data I would guess that it is your browser as that isn’t anything that I have seen on any of the computers or devices that I have been able to pull the site up with.

    Comment by Greg Saunders | February 7, 2018

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