Shaken or Stirred?

Is it okay to mix lacquer by agitating it in a shaker? October 4, 2011

I get SW pre-cat hi-bild lacquer in five gallon buckets and was wondering if it's ok to have it shaken to mix it up or if I should continue to stir it. I've heard others say if you shake it and let it sit for 24 hours there are no problems but I'm not sure about this and don't want to have problems down the road. Any opinions out there?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
I don't know about the SW product line but I use the MLC line and have things shook up and then bring it back to the shop and use it within an hour and have no problems. This is with their precat line.

From contributor R:
Unless you have a paint shaker on hand, I see nothing wrong with having SW put your pail on their paint shaker for at least ten minutes. Itís important to have all flattening agents completely incorporated into the coating to assure an even sheen throughout the pails lifetime. With that said, I would also use a wooden paddle to give it a good stirring prior to putting it in your gun/pressure pot.

Gloss coatings donít benefit from a shaking as all it does is create tiny bubbles. A satin coating might not need to be shaken as much as a dead flat, but the flattening agent does need to be completely dissolved.

Keep in mind too, that itís important to get materials that are as fresh as possible since the longer the product sits in the warehouse, the more the flattening agents like to really compact themselves, thereby making it extra difficult to evenly disperse them into the coating. Iím not sure about letting it sit for 24 hours before using it as some of the flattening paste would end up sinking back to the bottom of the pail. The fact that your using five gallon pails of material at a time could indicate youíre rather busy in the finishing department.

From the original questioner:
The flattening agents and getting consistent sheen are why I was concerned about this. I'd love to have one of the five gallon agitators that Kremlin makes but can't bring myself to swallow the near $600 price tag that goes with it. I do try to use newer product but sometimes I'm stuck with what my local store has in stock. Thanks again for the responses, they're always a big help.

From contributor M:
The idea that shaking lacquer in a machine shaker will make a lot of little bubbles which will show up when the stuff is sprayed on is a myth. No spray gun I have ever seen has apertures so large that the bubbles aren't popped coming out of the gun. I think guys in paint stores just issue this warning because it will save them the trouble of shaking lacquer.