Conversion Varnish Compatibility Issues

Will conversion varnish play nicely with paints and glazes? Here are a few basic tips. March 12, 2006

I recently converted to conversion varnish from a CAB acrylic finish process. Are there any problems this finish will have with the use of siliconized caulk and/or vinyl spackling? If I want to produce a painted finish with a glaze overtoner (i.e., a red painted cabinet with black glaze), would I follow the same process as with the CAB acrylic and reach my desired paint coverage, wipe on the glaze, and clearcoat over the glaze? Should I lightly sand the finish CV coat before applying the glaze? Are CV and catalyzed lacquer similar finishes when it comes to hardness?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor S:
I would not use a paint on the cabinets at all. If you're using a CV, you might as well get a pigmented CV and have it tinted to the paint color you need. It will be much stronger and there will be no compatibility issues, and two coats is usually enough.

If I'm glazing, I use a pigmented vinyl sealer, then glaze over that, then put a coat of clear vinyl over it and then CV. I have glazed over the pigmented CV, but I don't like the look as much. I would put clear vinyl over the glaze before I topcoat. As far as hardness, there are some very good post cat laqs, but they will not get to the hardness or chemical resistance of CV, which also means when you put one coat on another, they do not melt into each other like lacquer - they stack. You also will not have the reparability with CV you are accustomed to with CAB. Also, CV will not blush like lacquer, but it can do things that make blushing look nice.

From contributor S:
The above is right on. I sometimes use a pigmented vinyl primer instead of the vinyl sealer and I don't apply a vinyl coat before the topcoat. The vinyl sealer/primer definitely glazes better than the CV.