Professional Finishing

You are not logged in. [ Login ] Why log in
(NOTE: Login is not required to post)

Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer

Brian Dowdy Member

I have been looking but cannot find the answer. I am sure it is here somewhere.

What should I use to clean raw Poplar cabinets after sanding to 220. Using SW Hibild pre cat lacquer.

I have a headache trying to figure this out....

5/31/17       #2: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

if sanded thoroughly then they should be clean. nothing else needed.
what are you going to seal with?

6/1/17       #3: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

I would like to see a photo of POPLAR cabinets......

Clear coat of lacquer on Poplar????
Who asks for that???

6/1/17       #4: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

robert. i thought the same thing.. but just did a rediculously large project in all quartered poplar veneer. The veneer was suprisingly nice! very clean and consistent vertical grain. After some dye and coatings it came out remarkable. i will see if i can fish up some photos.

6/1/17       #5: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Dowdy Member

Thanks Guys!

My apologies, It is a white based tinted lacquer to be grey. So I am "painting" them to be grey.

As of know I do not have plans on using a sealer because of the lack of tannin in Poplar. This is at least what i am led to believe. I am using all purpose bondo to fill any cracks and joints.

This is my first time to shoot lacquer so i have built a negative air paint booth for safety in the garage.

I have been spending a ton of time fixing the builders screw ups. This picture is before i got a hold of them.

View higher quality, full size image (1200 X 900)

View higher quality, full size image (1200 X 900)

View higher quality, full size image (1200 X 900)

6/1/17       #6: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

a sealer not only seals the wood but is also used to create a smoother surface for topcoat. spray sealer then scuff sand with 320 grit.
this gets a smoother surface and lets you use fewer coats of topcoat.

6/1/17       #7: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Dowdy Member

Thanks Chris, I am still on the fence for the sealer. I initially planned on using sealer until i ran across this article.

hat sealer do you recommend? I am actually testing this on my personal home.

If i do not use a sealer do you still recommend using 320 to prep for first undercoat. I have a 5 gallons of the lacquer so conservation is necessarily and issue.

Thanks for the advice!

6/1/17       #8: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Paul Snyder  Member


Brian - since you are painting the cabinets, start with a good primer. Any one of the catalyzed primers that all the major coatings suppliers offer would be a good choice.

1-2 coats of primer, sanded after each coat, will give you a nice base for your color coats.

6/2/17       #9: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
rich c.

I don't like precat on kitchen cabinets. I had failures around the dishwasher and stove in my kitchen, used conversion varnish ever since. Precat is also very fussy about film thickness or you get cold checking. Glad it was my kitchen for the experiment!

6/2/17       #10: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

Poplar can cause staining problems. If you have the blond stuff no problem. The green & purple stuff we get in the NE, definitely needs primer. Soft maple likewise needs stain blocking primer. The clear stuff is fine, but the greyish heartwood stains.

The method for paint grade cabinets we settled on 15 years ago is 2 coats of primer 2 top coats.

Build it. Only fill things that are big enough that must be filled with body filler(countersunk screw). 95% of the time we fill nothing at this stage. Spray the 1st coat of primer, don't worry about coverage. Every defect you saw and then all the rest are now obvious. It also raises the grain. Fill the defects with a high quality spackle. Sand the primer & spackle with 220. Spray the 2nd primer coat. This covers the filler & bare spots. Then 1st and 2nd topcoat. No filler between these coats.

Typically if you use filler under the topcoats it will telegraph and be visible.

Try your best to never use body filler. It is so much harder than the wood. It also continues to shrink for a couple of days. This will all telegraph thru a high quality paint job.

Old school guys used to get away with using bondo type products because they buried it under thick coats of oil based paints.

#1 rule of painting. Paint does not fill defects.

6/2/17       #11: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

Also Poplar is more like a weed than a wood.

It soaks up primer like a sponge. Definitely two coats of primer or a tack coat followed a few minutes later with a heavy coat.

6/2/17       #12: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

I would seriously consider switching to a waterborne lacquer product. Save your lungs and the environment, what's left of our environment! You still need a respirator, but your brainwaves will be clearer.

6/2/17       #13: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

I agree on shooting these onsite you should go with a waterborne product. General finishes makes a darn good opaque .. endure poly .. find a distributer near you that can tint it to your specs and use their white undercoater!... Used it on my own personal kitchen and have had good success... Only issue was I had to respray the 2 doors under the sink 2 years later from water damage.. mainly due to having nicks in the edges and the mdf was wicking up moisture...

6/2/17       #14: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...


Do not paint your cabinets. They are sanded too smooth. You need to rough them up. 150 grit bare wood. 240 grit between coats.

6/4/17       #15: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

Adam is correct in his description of Poplar as a 'Weed' instead of a species of hardwood. I completed a trim job (on site with 6" base & 5" casing) and was using a lacquer undercoater as primer, then Valspar Zenith top coat. I too hate Poplar. It's soft and dings easily. I know it is too late to re-do the cabinets, but be prepared to do alot of sanding. Next time, request Maple!

6/5/17       #16: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Dowdy Member

Thanks for all the info!

I agree with everyone that poplar is a horrible. I touch it and it dings. I did end up with the green and purple/black poplar.

I purchased the precat primer surfacer that SW pds sheet says to use with the its lacquer.

I was wondering if i sanded to smooth for the primer so i will hit it again to rough it up.

When i first did the research this seemed like a good option but i am definitely going to look into some waterborne finishes next time around.

Here is the plan. Please correct me if it looks wrong and thanks again for all the info.

1. Rough to 150-180
2. Shoot first coat of white precat primer the sand to 220-320 (320 per pds sheet)
3. Second coat of primer finish sand 220-320.
4. First coat of tinted lacquer (grey).
5. Second coat tinted lacquer.
6. Optional clear

6/11/17       #17: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Member

I think I know the answer to this but I just want to be sure.

First off, no joke about it being a weed. I went through three and half gallons of primer on the boxes alone. It looks like I will go through another three for shelves and doors.

My question. I will use alot less of the tinted lacquer correct? My worry is that I only have 5 gallons of lacquer and I don't think he will be able to match it very well.


Ps. This stuff is no joke! The whole block smells like it. Lol

6/12/17       #18: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

I'm suprised that Rich C. has not chimed in about this being a professional finishing site.
get more lacquer mixed up and then mix everything together.

6/12/17       #19: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Dowdy Member

I agree and I do not want to start trouble.

I wanted to pay a professional to do it but have found that term to be used loosely in my market.

I am an accountant and owner in a real estate investment group. I have personally remodeled dozens of houses. Since this is my personal residence I wanted attention to detail I can't ever seem to get from the subs.

I strive to do everything from a professional stand point and appreciate all information y'all have shared.

I see your solution and it is simple. However, I have to order it so i was hoping for a miracle. Just postpones everything.

Thank You!

6/13/17       #20: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

this is definitely a learning experience for you.
In future I would never use poplar for cabinets. They are way too soft and you will continually be patching them.
take a look at conestoga wood specialties. They offer many choices in pre finished cabinets and doors.
looking at the pictures i see huge gaps in the crown moldings.
Time to find a new contractor.
good luck. i hope it turns out well.

6/13/17       #21: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Member

Agreed. This guy was a piece of work.

This was before I got a hold of them. I actually ripped all the crown off and did it my self. Bitter sweet. I'll post pictures when it is done.

I moved here six months ago and have had serious issues with 75% of the subs I used. Just a weeding out process.

Thanks again!

6/13/17       #22: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Member

I will never use poplar again. Not sure why this guy even does. All I told him was paint grade and he chose to use poplar.

I would think he would want to work with a better wood.

6/26/17       #23: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Member

It is coming together!

This pic is a two surfacer coats and lacquer tack coat and one full coat in. I have since added two light coats. I did end up with very very minor orange peel on final coat. I used 5% thinner and 5% retarder(max) but still happened. I am believe it was from to light of a coat.

I started with 211 tip then switched to 209 and i think that did it. Going to sand and hit outside with 213 tip thinned 10% and retarder @ 5%. I am just under max mil thickness so i believe I will be at max after last coat.

Always appreciate y'alls input!

View higher quality, full size image (3024 X 2268)

View higher quality, full size image (2268 X 3024)

6/26/17       #24: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Member

I might add that through trial and error a few coats were sanded a little heavy handed which is the reason for the number of coats.

I really don't want to shoot another coat and thought about going for the power buffer but i am afraid of burning through.

6/26/17       #25: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...

dont use a buffer until finish has cured.
for a pre cat i would wait at least a couple of weeks.

6/26/17       #26: Cleaning Poplar for tinted lacquer ...
Brian Member

Thanks Chris!

I have buffed a few boats but have always heard nightmares with clears and lacquers.

  • Post a Response to this thread
  • notify me of responses to this topic
  • To receive email notification of additions to this forum thread,
    enter your name and email address, and then click the
    "Keep Me Posted" button below.

    Please Note: If you have posted a message or response,
    do not submit this request ... you are already signed up
    to receive notification!

    Your Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Enter the correct numbers into the field below:

    Date of your Birth:

    Return to top of page

    Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Site Map

    FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

  • Forum Posting Help
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Today's Sponsors