Dulling Down Gloss in a Lacquer Repair

Tips on matching the sheen of a coating repair to the surrounding area. December 2, 2009

I used the Mirka abralon pads to remove surface scratches from the top of a cherry conference table. The scratches were easily removed except for one deep scratch. I used MLC spray zit satin lacquer on the area and the repair was visible. Although I used a 1000 grit Mirlon pad as the final grit and "polished" the repaired area, the area I sprayed was glossier than the surrounding area. I tried a variety of fixes, such as using coarser grits to knock down the gloss, then buffing again with the 1000 grit pad. The newly applied lacquer didn't want to dull down. Any product recommendations or techniques to remedy this situation would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
You should not have sprayed lacquer unless you're ready to do the whole table top. If you can, remove the lacquer (just the new lacquer) you put on and buff the whole table top with a good buffer. If you can't, then you will have to coat the whole top to get it to match.

From the original questioner:
The deep scratch went down to the wood. Apparently, someone tried to sand out the scratch with some 600 grit sandpaper, making a bad situation worse. Replacing the finish was a requirement. I know repairs of this nature can be done and some of the finish repair products catalogs talk about spray can lacquers that don't halo, etc. The table looked great when I was finished but there was a small bright spot from the spray lacquer. The abralon pads worked great. I spoke to their technical support on using the pads and can recommend them and their products without hesitation.

From contributor P:
Not sure how big the repair area is, but I've had good luck knocking down the sheen on smaller areas with a pencil eraser.

From contributor B:
You're right, trying to sand out a scratch that goes all the way down is not a good idea. It must be filled. When I'm concerned about the sheen I'll use the planer burn in sticks (Mohawk). They work pretty good, no gloss issue.

From contributor S:
In trying to salvage what you have already done, there is more than one way to get there. The sanding route should be able to produce what you need, but there are tricks to it. First I would recommend you invest in some Micro Mesh, one of the finishing world's godsends. When sanding to match a patch you want to sand in circles, not straight with the grain. You want a million light scratches in all directions. If you choose your grits right you should still be able to buff up the top surface to blend and leave the light diffusing fine scratches just under.

Or you can try respraying with a light wet coat of flat lacquer. You may get it right straight out of the can (I'm assuming a rattle can). If it ends up too flat you probably sprayed too heavy but you can buff/polish it up to sheen. If needed you can custom mix your sheen with the flat and satin into a preval sprayer. After spraying, while still wet, spray a light mist coat of a solvent only, such as no blush, onto the repair and just barely into the surrounding area to eliminate the halo effect.

All this is said without knowing what the original coating is but assuming the brand you are using is working fine/compatible so far other than your sheen problem. Contributor P, never tried the eraser trick; gonna have to try that myself sometime.

From contributor D:
Start with a new aerosol can of Mohawk's Super No Blush. Run it under boiling hot water until the contents of the can feel like they are about 110 deg F. Mist on the Super No Blush over your area of gloss. Don't develop a wet coat of the Super No Blush. Lightly mist on some Mohawk aerosol Blender Flo-Out Flat. That ought to give you a sheen that blends in nicely. The key to my approach is not only the choices of aerosols, but heating them so that they come out of the can as a finely-atomized mist.