Fixing Lacquer Drips

Drips and runs in a lacquer finish can be shaved or sanded down. June 30, 2007

Iím finishing a large quantity of hand rails, and in a rush to get them done, I caused several runs in the corners. Is there a way to correct these runs/drips without stripping down to raw wood? Material is pre-cat lacquer.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
You can sand and buff those runs out just like it's done on a car. That's one of lacquer's plusses. If you can, sand them first with a fine paper, then polish it out. I like to wet sand with 600 to1200 grit, depending on the thickness of the run. Use a hard block to level it. A little soapy water makes cutting easier. And make sure the run has cured long enough to be hard before leveling. If not, just partially sand (level) it and give it more time to harden. Thinning the run will allow it to harden quicker.

From contributor K:
I like to use a razor blade to level drips. It works much better for me than sanding.

From contributor B:
I'm with contributor K on this one. Prefer a razor blade or even a sharp chisel if it is in a corner. Cutting or scraping always yields better results than sanding on a run.

From contributor M:
Depending on where it is, I like to use a well tuned thin, flexible wood scraper. When you flex the blade, you can really control the cut/shave right on the drip/run/sag. Needs to be well cured, though, so sometimes partial shavings to thin it down in thickness are necessary. If you're in a hurry, you can speed the cure on that spot/area by carefully using a hair dryer. A sharp chisel would work better in a corner if you can't get at it with a scarper. Just have a real light touch, as it's easy to go a little to deep with the corner/edge of the chisel - better to knock off or round over those corners first.