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Is precat lacquer not tough enough for a heavy use table?

Vertigoat Member

I do a lot of refinishing work on table tops and I've been looking for a topcoat I can use as my "go to" topcoat when I'm doing a heavy traffic table top, like a kitchen table, etc..

I currently use nitro and precat lacquers for most furniture, but occasionally, there will be a request for a super durable coating. I've used precat lacquer many times (and never had a call back) but I know it's not as tough as single or 2 component poly - I just can't deal with the drying time of poly.

What are you all getting by with on high-demand table tops?

4/5/15       #2: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
jimmy cream

conversion varnish or 2 part urethane .

I did my own kitchen table top about 3 to 4 years ago with a dye and CV ( only 2 coats) . its held up o.k. , and I dont treat it well at all . it does take on a whitish hue when something hot is placed on it , but the white disappears soon after removal .

I did my daughters table with CV ( again , only 2 coats) . it took a pounding from 4 kids for about 2 years .......and I mean a pounding . looked like hell , but the coating didnt fail . re-did it again with 2 part urethane about 6 months ago ; didnt notice anything last time I saw it .

if I was going to do a table top with CV , I would probably try to get as close to the max-mils as I could stand .

4/6/15       #3: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Vertigoat Member

Any preferred brands/products?

4/6/15       #4: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
JT  Member


I would definitely recommend a 2K polyurethane for a table that needs maximum durability. The 2K poly will offer the best durability available for this requirement in regards to Abrasion Chemical, moisture, scuff and heat resistance.

4/6/15       #6: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
rich c.

You are correct, precat is not tough enough for tables.

4/7/15       #7: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Jim Clark

When you say a 2K poly, are you talking
about a automotive urethane clear,
like I use for car painting.

4/7/15       #8: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Dennis Medeiros  Member



2K polyurethane is the way to go. Similar in formulation but a furniture grade.

4/7/15       #9: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
JT  Member



A two component polyurethane specificaly designed for wood. It is European Wood finishing technology, similiar to an automotive urethane. You can check out the website for more information. Best - JT

4/9/15       #10: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...

How much durability do you gain with 2k poly over CV?

4/9/15       #11: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
jimmy cream

quite a bit , in my opinion . I've told this story before , but here goes again...........

while spraying pre-cat one day , there was a color chip ( Verde ) laying on the spray table . through the course of the day , the chip became coated with somewhere in the vicinity of 30 to 40 mils of lacquer . as it dried and became gooey , I scraped the lacquer off with a chisel . I cleaned it up and was surprised to see the urethane coating showed no sign of all . thats pretty impressive .

4/10/15       #12: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Jim Clark

Looks to me the wood 2k urethane costs
just as much as the auto urethane I use
for cars, I've also used it on wood and
it works quite well. I think I'll stick with
the auto grade, it's really durable and
fills really good on open grain woods.

4/10/15       #13: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...

Jim Clark
What do you do if you want, say a flat sheen?

4/10/15       #14: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Jim Clark

I have some flattener made just for that.
It takes a little experimenting to get the
amount right, but it works pretty good.
I find 10 to 20% flattener is about a
semi gloss finish.

4/10/15       #15: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Jim Clark

Another thing about auto urethane,
I do miss not having a sealer for it.
I usually spray a couple coats and have to
wait till the next day to sand it before
a finish top coat.
It does a lot better to not try and spray it
all at one time when you want a high build.
4 or 5 coats is my max at one time.

4/10/15       #16: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...

I'm using the ILVA 2K acrylic urethane. the sealer is about 45% solids whereas the topcoat is about24%.
i use the acrylic as it is the clearest compared to the 2k polyurethane.
When i need to fill the grain i use a polyester undercoat.
used to use conversion varnish but much prefer the 2K

4/10/15       #17: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
jimmy cream

not sure if this is an issue or not , but coatings meant for autobody may not be formulated to shrink and expand we all know wood does plenty of .

4/11/15       #18: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...

Jimmy Cream. Steel sheet metal subjected to -30F to 150F expands & contracts significantly. Autos routinely are subject the "shock" of going from ice coated freezing to hot water car washes. Have you not seen dents without finish loss from severe hail? Ever hear of "Paintless Dent Removal"? Should I mention the finish on the flexible bumper covers? I have seen polyester piano finishes cracked & shattered from impacts that barely bruised the substrate. Does this remove your doubt about Jim Clark having success finishing wood with automotive clear?

4/11/15       #19: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
jimmy cream

like I said Thomas.....not sure whether it's an issue.......I threw it on the table in case it wasnt thought about .

If I was painting metal , I would use a product designed for metal . If I was painting wood , I would use a product intended for on and so forth .

thats just how I roll.

4/13/15       #20: Is precat lacquer not tough enough ...
Jim Clark

I have had concerns too, I was told by the
mfg of the clear I use it would be ok.
I haven't used it very much, I usually use
conversion varnish, it's much easier and
I can finish a project in the same day with
it. But I'm still looking for something I can
use for high build to even a finish out like
an open grained wood like oak. I've read
not to build the conversion varnish.
The 2K poly has my attention.
Thanks everyone for your input.

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