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Touch up for clear lacquer

Chris Fox Member

Good morning. Iím spraying gloss lacquer on some maple plywood. Thereís a few burn through spots on the veneer. I seem to remember the finishers at the shop I used to work for would spray an initial sealer coat, then paint the spot with a matching color, let it dry, then spray another coat. It would work well. Iím having a hard time finding what type of paint wonít be dissolved by the next coat of lacquer. Anyone have any suggestions?

2/8/22       #3: Touch up for clear lacquer ...

I'm confused. Are you spraying tinted lacquer or clear? The burn through is just through the color or through the veneer? Everything burns together with lacquer, or it lifts it off, that's the way it works. Your comment about matching paint is not clear to me either. Toner is very common and added to the lacquer. Why don't you call those finishers and get a lesson on a Saturday afternoon. Beer and pizza will be required though.

2/9/22       #6: Touch up for clear lacquer ...
Chris Fox  Member

Shop shut down all employees spread to different ends of the earth. Itís clear lacquer. They would spray an initial seal coat, then touch up the part of the plywood that had been sanded too aggressively with a matching paint that wouldnít dissolve as the next coat of lacquer was sprayed. The purpose of the paint was to hide a sanding burn through of the veneer ply. Trying to find out what kind of paint they may have used.

2/9/22       #7: Touch up for clear lacquer ...

I had no idea this was a refinishing job. I assumed you had put the paint on.

2/9/22       #8: Touch up for clear lacquer ...

It's not a painting process to truly match wood. It's layers of color, (usually pigment in shellac or padding lacquer) then faux painting in grain lines. If there is no stain on your maple, it gets even harder. Matching raw wood is really tough! It takes lots of training, mainly artist kind of color control, to attempt your repair. There are several videos on youtube.

2/9/22       #9: Touch up for clear lacquer ...
Bob Niemeyer  Member


Wow! Watched the video link. That is some of the worst touch up I have ever seen. Waaaay off color.
The goal with any touch up is keep it small. We touch up lots of natural woods including maple.
Think of it this way, natural wood has lots of colors they are just different from stained wood. It is more of a mind block than anything else.

2/10/22       #10: Touch up for clear lacquer ...

I agree with your assessment, but I wanted to stress the process is more than painting the wood and spraying lacquer on top of the paint. Just grabbed the first youtube video that showed some processes.

2/11/22       #11: Touch up for clear lacquer ...
Chemmy  Member

Been touching up all woods for over a half a century.! There is no one method to matching wood colors. What your describing can be accomplished many ways, they could have used, what is called a bleach toner, which can be further tinted or shaded to give a close match to the unstained wood(s)... They could have mixed clear lacquer with dry touch up powders from Mohawk or other dry pigment sources, they could have used a multi color streaking brush process, or my favorite a dotting process that eliminates the dark/ light flip on natural tops such as on oaks, maples,
Pine, holly, or any color wood for that matter.!!
Evidentally, you paid little attention, shame.
Get some dry colors and mix them with clear and use artist brushes to apply until you find out what works best for you.!
This is an art form that is developed over time, once learned it becomes easy, but it is not an overnight set of techniques to be had by any begginer. Good luck and muck sucess.!

2/12/22       #12: Touch up for clear lacquer ...
Daniel Shafner  Member

Mohawk makes Blendal Sticks, approximately $140 for 36 colors. There's a youtube video which shows their basic application. I'll add to what they show:

For doing a color touch up on natural wood, first seal the wood. Over that finish, smear in the white Blendal Stick. Then, on top of the white, smear in the honey maple color, or cinnamon, or mocha, etc. Smudge with a clean finger. Seal this in and then do your clearcoat.

If you build up too much Blendal Stick, the accumulation of material will bleed through your sealer. The sticks have a beeswax base. They're quite similar to pastel sticks that artists use.

The big trick here is laying down that white base as a first step.

5/21/22       #13: Touch up for clear lacquer ...

I can only speak for myself as there are multiple ways and products to do a touch up. I'm kind of old school and use 824 UTCs, naphtha and artist brushes. Burn through in the veneer......seal it first so you can see what you are trying to match. Grab your brushes and colors and paint the background color first. Spritz with aerosol lacquer to lock in. Then work on painting grain lines, or add a knot, or whatever matches the characteristics of the wood you are working with. Lock that all in with an aerosol can, then topcoat like normal. It is always best to do the touch up at the angle the piece will be viewed at, as touch-up will show different from different angles. I've been doing it this way for 25 years. I won't claim this way is the best, it is just how I was trained and the method that works for me. Just this week......the corners of a huge Murphy bed panel keep blowing out every time they open it past 90 degrees. The installers have glued and clamped the corners so many is a mess of pooched areas and looks like trash. As a finisher, I approach fixes through a different scope. I booted everyone out then touched it up as follows.....
1. Back bevel behind the panel so it clears the mechanism.
2. Block sand with 100 grit and burn through everything to get panel flat.
3. Reform the corners with Bondo and block sand with 220 to reform panel.
4. UTC 824s, naphtha and artist brushes to faux paint everything back in.
5. Lock it all in with touch up aerosol lacquer and walk away.
The whole process took maybe 1.5 hours after installers playing with it for 2 days.

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