A Bug in the Top Coat

If you can't get rid of it, why not feature it? January 8, 2007

I have a big problem, a large lyptus desktop done in solid black dye with a brown stain edge. This top has been a challenge. Being such a large continuous area and having the grainy fissures resulted in some bubbles in previous coats, even with retarder. After four coats of CV, it was almost perfect except for two small areas.

I sanded it once more and sprayed a final fifth coat. Finally no more bubbles, but wouldn't you know it, a bug landed in the wet coat. He's encapsulated and just slightly over 1/8 inch. My question is how to repair and not have to respray this thing. You can't get this CV too thick or it can crack, and I don't dare spray it any thicker.

The top is textured by the fissures, similar to oak, so it's not like a glass smooth top with a bug there. If I could remove the bug and raised up finish and maybe surgically dab in some CV... Anyone done this type of repair with good results? This top is 3 feet by 8 feet and is stretching my spraying ability, so I would appreciate any help.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
Why don't you just scrape or chisel off that bad bug and give the whole top a good sanding and another coating? Remember how you got that last coat to lay down and just repeat it. Does the bug really show up that bad on the dark brown color? Any finish will crack if you exceed the mill thickness, not just the one you're using. I'd say go for it and sand it down real good and put one more topcoat on it and call it a day.

From contributor Y:
What is the desired sheen? I would imagine whether gloss, satin, or flat, you can rub it to a uniform finish (after the remnants are extracted and filled) and that will disguise whatever sanding you need to do to eliminate the bug's mark and repair attempt. Did you not see the bug at the time it landed? I keep a set of sharp tweezers close at hand and try and get them out ASAP before they dry in there or begin flailing around. I would be careful of your overall mil thickness (as you correctly identify) and might leave this in the hands of a good touchup guy (perhaps it can be burned in) or sand it back down a bit and do another final coat, and this time close the front door.

By the way, you are not officially a finisher until an insect or abnormally long arm hair ruins an otherwise perfect finish.

From contributor G:
Try scraping the area with a razorblade and then use a can of Mowhawk pre-cat lacquer and mist the area of repair till it is blended in.

From contributor D:
Not just Mohawk pre-cat lacquer, but aerosol Mohawk pre-cat. It has the best flow out of any aerosol coating on the market today. And, this type of spot spraying is what it is best designed for.

From the original questioner:
I don't think I can spray pre-cat over CV, but that's good to know for a job with pre-cat as the main finish. I think I have this on the way to repair - we will see. I have surgically cut the raised spot and scraped the bug out down to the dye. I cut off a toothpick and got some CV puddled on a scrap and, using magnifying glasses, put a few tiny drops in the crater. It's dry now and not built up to the level of the finish yet, so I can't tell if I need to carve away the rim any more or if it is just the inside, not up to the level yet. This thing is over jet black dye!