All Replies on Lacquer problem / White film on finish?

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Lacquer problem / White film on finish?

by rustynails
posted 12-04-2018 12:06 AM

6 replies so far

View CL810's profile


4079 posts in 3910 days

#1 posted 12-04-2018 04:36 AM

The white film is caused by applying another coat too soon or too thick of a coat.

Instructions say to allow 2 hours between coats.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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918 posts in 3451 days

#2 posted 12-04-2018 05:12 AM

I did do it fast between coats and thick…. Does the white go away once it drys good?

View Planeman40's profile


1526 posts in 3683 days

#3 posted 12-04-2018 04:50 PM

What you are most likely dealing with is what is called “blushing” which is common to lacquer. What happens is the fast evaporation of the thinner in the lacquer chills the wet surface causing water vapor in the air to condense on the surface turning the lacquer surface a milky white.

There is a cure. Lightly brush a DAMP brush dipped in lacquer thinner on the surface. Handled carefully, this slightly melts the surface of the lacquer. The trick is to do this so there is just barely enough thinner to melt the surface and then flash off so quickly that the surface can’t chill enough to allow condensation to form.

I learned this more than 60 years ago when, as a boy, I built tissue covered model airplanes using nitrate dope, a type of lacquer. I live in Atlanta, Ga. where the summer temperatures are high and the humidity is wringing wet!

Also, Try lowering the the temperature in the shop. The higher the temperature, the more moisture the air will hold. I suggest applying lacquer at around 70 degrees (F) or lower

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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918 posts in 3451 days

#4 posted 12-05-2018 02:14 AM

I did try using some straight lacquer thinner and it did take the white off . I am letting it dry for a a few days to make sure nothing comes back. At that point I am going to have to apply more finish due to some of the finish coming off.
Not sure what I am going to use on it more lacquer or maybe shellac or even a urethane

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1821 days

#5 posted 12-05-2018 02:22 AM

Try to respray the lacquer.
It should melt the previous coat and take away the film.

View Rich's profile


6179 posts in 1512 days

#6 posted 12-05-2018 06:45 AM

Try to respray the lacquer.
It should melt the previous coat and take away the film.

- jbay

+1. Another thing to keep around if you use lacquer a lot is an aerosol can of blush remover. It’s a solvent called Butyl Cellosolve that evaporates 64 times slower than acetone, allowing it to not only melt the lacquer, but to keep it from curing before it has time to trap the moisture that causes blush. It’s also useful for areas where you’ve gotten overspray that’s dusty. A quick shot and it smooths out the finish.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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