Correcting Lacquer Blush with Thinner and Retarder

A thin misting of thinner and retarder can sometimes fix blushing and minor blemishes. December 1, 2005

Once I have sprayed lacquer, and it has blushed, what can I do to fix it? This is an aircraft quality lacquer and the directions recommend mixing 1:1 with thinner. I have been spraying a non-tautening dope, but the customer switched to tautening (because he did not want to wait for 3 weeks for the non- taut). I mixed 2000ml NC with 1600ml thinner, and 400ml retarder. I understand this to be 10% retarder, right? It did blush. Do I spray another coat with more retarder, hoping to release the trapped moisture? I am not concerned about being too glossy, but I do not want to have a soft finish.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor D:
You could spray another coat with more retarder, but be careful about achieving too thick of a final coat. Some NC lacquers have low mil tolerances. With NC lacquer I have never used retarder in the initial coats. If I run into blushing, I spray a very light coat of 60 - 75% thinner and 40 - 25% retarder, no lacquer. This usually does the trick without adding more material to the surface. I also do this to fix minor fisheye and orange peel problems and to get my high gloss topcoats to lay down as much as possible before I start the buffing and rubbing. After I spray it, I move it to a dust free corner and move on to the next piece.

From contributor B:
I do the same as the above. I also use this mix or a variation to get rid of dust or imperfections in the topcoat. I scuff the imperfection with 600 and then just mist over the area very lightly with multiple passes until the scuff marks blend back in, then an overall mist over the piece to adjust the sheen. Same concept with the blushing.

From the original questioner:
It worked great. This is a handy little trick for cleaning up those blemishes, too. Thanks!