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laquer blushing

Tom Stevens Member

I'm a painter with a good finishing background as well, however, using only standard poly finishes. Brushing laquers is my only experience, I've looked at a job where the laquer has blushed and need to fix it. Seven year old kitchen island, ebony color and a white cloud on only one side, the door side of course. Also white drip cloud marks on drawers. I've read the posts about rubbing down with thinner, using a Mohawk product and so on.
Assuming I can get the cloud off, what type of laquer should I finish it with. No spray booth here. Brushing laquer, canned spray or what.

11/15/17       #2: laquer blushing ...
Leo G

What is the finish that needs to be repaired? Clouding doesn't usually happen after the fact.

I'd be surprised if they used Nitrocellulose lacquer on a kitchen. But if they did you need to spray it with a slow evaporating thinner. Don't brush.

If it is something more durable than nitro, then it's probably some kind of chemical damage from cleaning agents. If this is the problem then it's likely it can't be repaired this way.

11/15/17       #3: laquer blushing ...
rich c.

Blushing only happens during the initial spraying. I'd suggest this is a chemical cleaner stain.

11/17/17       #4: laquer blushing ...

Do some reading on Acid Bloom. common mistake for people not paying close attention to their mixing of conversion varnish... You get a guy that doesn't care about his work or attention to detail back in the paint shop he is liable to just eyeball catalyst like he's mixing his jack n coke.....Most kitchens are going to be conversion varnish these days and its very possible it's having some overcatalyzation's a possibility anyways... or the cabinet guy could have cheaped out and used nito lacquer or a precat which could easily blush when exposed to high heat or steam / humidity from a hot pot too.

11/20/17       #5: laquer blushing ...
Sammy Member

Actually blushing can happen years after the finish has been applied.
The “cloud” is actually a small amount of moisture that has developed under the clearcoat. This happens a lot when you put a cup of hot coffee on a table and it leaves a white ring. If any moisture is aloud to stay on the surface for too long this can happen. Mostly it occurs on softer/open finishes such as nitrocellulose but I see it on pre-cat lacquer as well.
My guess is the door is located near a water source, drips on the drawers are drips that never got wiped off. We see this a lot above the range where hot steam hits the cabinet. I use a retarder, dampen a rag and pad (do not rub) the area. Allow 10 minutes or so and this will open the clearcoat up and the moisture will evaporate. If this does not work you’ll need to scuff the surface and re-clearcoat. Remember not to put post-cat laq on top of nitro! Hopefully you know what they used originally. If your using brush lacquer you should be fine.
Lastly, remind the homeowner to keep all moisture off the surface of the cabinets. Lol

3/17/18       #6: laquer blushing ...
DanShaf Member

How do you know what the finish is? Did you apply the original finish? Did you see the original containers that the finish was in?

Is is solvent-based lacquer? And if so, what type of lacquer is it said to be? Nitrocellulose? A pre-cat? A post-cat?

Maybe some called it lacquer because "lacquer" is a generic word for "film-forming finish".

Maybe it was called "lacquer" even though it's a waterbase finish. Many waterbase finishes have names that tend to mislead more than they clarify, calling themselves lacquers, conversion varnishes, precats, and so on. These waterbase finishesw are all coalescing finishes that use water as part of the liquid vehicle they are mixed in.

Is the finish actually bluching? Maybe it's celephaning and it looks like blushing.

Nitrocellulose lacquer is an evaporative finish that can be re-solvated, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, it's touch and go. Precats and post-cats cannot re-solvate. Coalescing finishes, i.e., waterbase finishes cannot be re-solvated.

You need to know what finish you are dealing with before you can know what your options are for planning a fix.

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