Durable Topcoats for Pigmented Lacquer

Finishers discuss using a clear topcoat over a pigmented lacquer, and give other suggestions for durable pigmented cabinet finishes. July 24, 2006

Can I clear coat with pre-catalyzed lacquer for added protection using Sherwin Williams pigmented production lacquer? This is for kitchen cabinets.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
I would suggest using a MLC resistant and do it in one step. I paint kitchens with it and it couldn’t be easier. I used to do it the way you do, but not now. Resistant is a tougher product and you don't have to worry about yellowing.

From contributor W:
Shouldn't be any problem - should scuff sand if possible and spray away.

From contributor R:
When in doubt about compatibility, it’s best to contact the manufacturer of your coating; in your case, Sherwin Williams. If something does go wrong it will be easier for you to say that Joe Smith at store #44 approved my schedule instead of Joe Smith on WOODWEB said it would be ok. In case of trouble any type of recovery is rather limited so I would ask for advice from your supplier.

From contributor S:
Your S/W resource should have your answer. I wouldn't put anything over a White unless it is water clear non-yellowing.

From the original questioner:
I did go back and talk with Sherwin Williams, and they said the pre-cat would work well and enhance the durability of the production lacquer. The problem is they told me the production lacquer was a good product (up to NKBA standards). They never mentioned putting anything on top of it, they said it was a good pigmented lacquer to use for kitchen cabinets, in practice it is not a very durable product at all it is subject to marking/marring at the slightest touch. I think they pushed me to this product because of the color, I am not sure.

I have used it twice now - once on an island (dark red) and I am using it for a second time on a light green kitchen. I will go back and add a clear coat to the already installed island and clear coat the green doors that are in the shop now.

From contributor D:
S.W. at there Chemical Coatings Store will make up almost any color in any type of finish you want from Lacquer to C.V.

From contributor P:
You can put a pre-cat over the pigmented lacquer as long as you scuff sand before doing so. The M.L. Campbell resistant catalyzed lacquer over the clawlock catalyzed primer is the most durable pigmented system on the market. The only thing better would be a two part poly call euro-x or a marine epoxy. Clawlock and resistant meet the AWI TR#4 standards for testing. It’s very durable and no need for a clear topcoat.