Reply by ArtMann

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Posted on How to remove tinted lacquer from figured panels

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1483 posts in 1693 days

#1 posted 08-23-2017 09:49 PM

Just buy a gallon of lacquer thinner, get yourself some rubber gloves and a roll of paper towels and start wiping. Lacquer comes of readily, if that is really what it is, even if it is many years old. You can also use paint and varnish remover but it isn’t necessary for just lacquer. I will warn you that some kind of contaminant on the wood – like silicone furniture polish or car wax – might be the reason the lacquer is falling off. The contaminant will have to be removed also.

I use rattle can lacquer often when the project is too small to warrant getting out the HVLP sprayer. I have never had any problems spraying from a can like that. It just takes a little skill and practice. I would say the handyman isn’t very handy when it comes to wood finishes.

The wood in that picture looks like natural cherry which has been allowed to darken in the sunlight. All heart cherry eventually has this color. I would never stain cherry unless I was trying to make it look like some other wood.

My closest experience with what you are doing is with red oak cabinets that had been sprayed with lacquer. The finish had gotten gummy from decades of use. I first cleaned the surfaces with Formby’s Furniture Cleaner, which won’t do anything to the lacquer but will cut away grease and grunge. Then, I used lacquer thinner and a new paint brush to reflow the existing lacquer. In a few places, I applied fresh lacquer over what was already there. The whole thing turned out good but not excellent.

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