Reply by bd1886

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Posted on Lacquer is milky white - HALP!

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34 posts in 442 days

#1 posted 07-11-2018 02:15 AM

Entrapment causes milking (mostly) and it can come from moisture (the #1 cause), environmental oils and residual dissimilar solvents. It tends to be easily reversible by just cleaning off what’s on top and re-activating the original finish providing it is the type of finish that dissolves from the top down. (Lacquers, penatrating oil, “true” varnish (nothing urethane, catylized, polyurethane etc.).
I love the properties of all Howard’s products for some things but there are inherent issues to be aware of when using it because many are mineral oil based. (It doesn’t really dry, it just penetrates and replenishes existing finishes or itself, and once used? Best to stay on top of upkeep with either itself or a compatable wax.)

Looking at your piece I would expect active lacquer solvent, residual moisture, or active natural resins (in that order) to be the culprit here…. with natural resins least likely by quite a margin.
Solution? Clean Howards off with a good scrubbing using paint thinner and let dry. Second light wipe with paint thinner to minimize any residual mineral oil/wax residue, then a couple light circular/pouncing wipes of lacquer thinner to get back to square one and let it cure.

Can’t tell for sure but betting the finish was not cured before using the Howard’s? (How long had it sat before applying the Howard’s?)

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