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Thread: identifing finish type?

  1. #1
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    identifing finish type?

    how do you go about identifing and existing finish, for instance lacquer vrs poly? i have a table to refinish and need to do just the top of it. but if i get some on the edges or side of the table and its the wrong stuff! i got problems. and if i can identify what was there first i could just lightly sand and squirt a fresh coat or two.. this is only a 20 yr old finish thats on it now. is there some test that can be done to ck what is there.? thanks for the help.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  2. #2
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    If it's a commercial table, it could be catalyzed lacquer. But to check if it's regular lacquer, take some lacquer thinner and rub it on a spot that will not show. If it's regular lacquer, the thinner will remove it. It will not remove catalyzed lacquer or poly.

    Another thing you can do is just lightly sand the finish. You probably can get away not doing this, but you can next spray on a coat of dewaxed shellac then follow with whatever you want to put on the table. The shellac will adhere to the original finish and your final finish will adhere to the shellac.

    But if the orignial finish is 20 years old you can probably just sand and spray without any problems.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
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    Water on wax will leave a white mark.

    Achol(sp?) will desovle shellac

    Lacquer thinner will soften lacquer.

    Big sander and/or strong chemicals for poly.

    Test these on a spot and it should tell you wahts on there.

  4. #4
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    its definatly not!

    catalyized lacquer, cuz this forgetful ole guy was the one that did it 20 yrs ago.. i asked the ole gray elephant in my family,, you know the one that forgets nothing and reminds us of all our mishaps any way she said that it was deft lacquer brushed on.. but i thought it was poly? its worn down in some spots from to much elbow traffic and so i need to redo it.. so i quess i will just sand and recoat ,,, would you folks use lacquer again or go with a poly..????
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    catalyized lacquer, cuz this forgetful ole guy was the one that did it 20 yrs ago.. i asked the ole gray elephant in my family,, you know the one that forgets nothing and reminds us of all our mishaps any way she said that it was deft lacquer brushed on.. but i thought it was poly? its worn down in some spots from to much elbow traffic and so i need to redo it.. so i quess i will just sand and recoat ,,, would you folks use lacquer again or go with a poly..????
    If the original lacquer lasted 20 years, I'd use it again.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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