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Old 08-04-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default Lacquer over latex

Met with a GC today about an upcoming install. On the way back to the van, he asks if I know about applying Lacquer over latex. (I honestly didn't know laquer could be applied over latex)

I asked, what for.

He was asked by a client to apply lacquer over some latex paint for "depth" and "sheen" and his painter wanted to know "what kind of lacquer do they want". Also the GC said something about brushing the lacquer.

Now I don't NOTHING about lacquer (except the mess I made of a motorcycle helmet once).

I said I'd ask some very knowledgeable painters I know.

Who can give me some input about this subject?

Is there a lacquer one can brush on over latex paint?

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:03 PM   #2
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There is a product called polycrylic made by Minwax that is water based that might work.

I've used it over stain, and it came out real nice every time.

I would test that out.

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #3
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You can paint over lacquer, but I don't know if you can lacquer over paint. Never done it before.

Some products are not compatible with each other. The only way to know is to do test pieces.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
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Polycrylic is basically an acrylic finish with a little polyurethane resin added.
Why does it have to be lacquer?

You can use water based polyurethane like General Finish High Performance Polyurethane, Minwax Polyarcylic, General Finish EF PolyAcrylic, Varethane polyurethane.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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I've had plenty of painters do this, and get away with it. I can see the strong solvents in the lacquer making the latex lift or turn a different color. But again, I've had plenty of painters do this, and get away with it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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I never tried it, but my instincts tell me the lacquer over latex will lift and/or "crinkle" the latex finish making a mess. Like Steven said, just use a waterborne poly. It will accomplish the same thing. My thinking is that the GC is just using the wrong word-"lacquer".
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffK
I never tried it, but my instincts tell me the lacquer over latex will lift and/or "crinkle" the latex finish making a mess. Like Steven said, just use a waterborne poly. It will accomplish the same thing. My thinking is that the GC is just using the wrong word-"lacquer".
Hey! I said it first!
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
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You can lacguer over Acrylic paint as long as it's 100% acrylic.

Some paints claim to be 100% acrylic but arent.

You cannot paint latex straight over lacquer,have to prime with lacquer undercoat.

We have done quite a bit of lacquer over acrylic paints,use it for cabinets,with a decorative glaze in the detail then put lacquer over it.

Just 6 weeks ago I applied lacquer over SW Pro Classic,didnt wrinkle,but I didnt like doing it because the lacquer went on it weird,and it changed the color,but the HO liked it which is all I care about,make the customer happy get paid,move on.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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While it's not something i've ever tried before, a waterborn lacquer should work just fine and since the carrier is water it shouldn't damage or wrinkle the acrylic undercoat. But like I said I haven't actually done that before.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propainterJ View Post
You can lacguer over Acrylic paint as long as it's 100% acrylic.

Some paints claim to be 100% acrylic but arent.

You cannot paint latex straight over lacquer,have to prime with lacquer undercoat.

We have done quite a bit of lacquer over acrylic paints,use it for cabinets,with a decorative glaze in the detail then put lacquer over it.

Just 6 weeks ago I applied lacquer over SW Pro Classic,didnt wrinkle,but I didnt like doing it because the lacquer went on it weird,and it changed the color,but the HO liked it which is all I care about,make the customer happy get paid,move on.
THANKS

Since this seems to be an answer from experience and with the 100% acrylic caveat, the other question was about brushing. Can you BRUSH lacquer and have it look even ?

I always thought that for an even finish, lacquer needed to be sprayed.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daArch View Post

I always thought that for an even finish, lacquer needed to be sprayed.

There are brushing lacquers out there, but spray will give the best finish.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:36 PM   #12
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BTW, Alec, what are the waterborne lacquers?

Isn't that like an oxymoron?

Do you have brand names or anything?

(I'm looking to make BIG points with this GC, may payoff in the future if he thinks I know how to find answers)
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcon View Post
There are brushing lacquers out there, but spray will give the best finish.
On a similar note can you use a lacquer primer and then topcoat with an acrylic or alkyd paint ?..I've never done it but those primers are super quick drying.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daArch View Post
BTW, Alec, what are the waterborne lacquers?

Isn't that like an oxymoron?

Do you have brand names or anything?

(I'm looking to make BIG points with this GC, may payoff in the future if he thinks I know how to find answers)
I wasn't quite sure how to describe what a WB lacquer is, so I did a quick search on my favorite wood finishing forum and got this:

Quote:
The difference between a waterborne lacquer and a waterborne polyurethane is based on the resin structure used to create the film forming agent, the final physical performance characteristics and the intended use of said film. When properly formulated, each WB system should emulate their solvent-based counterpart as closely as technology will allow.
A qualifying waterborne lacquer will exhibit good to excellent clarity, good to excellent chemical resistance and a high degree of burn-in, or remulsifying capabilities when layered upon itself, or upon a coating that will allow the solvent structure of this film to chemically attach itself to the wb lacquer, much like a solvent-based lacquer. Generally, an acrylic system is used to create this film-forming agent due to their ability to remulsify into themselves when the appropriate co-solvents are used to promote platicization and coalescing.

A waterborne polyurethane is either a composition of acrylic and urethane resins blended together to create a specific film-forming agent that is designed to meet a wide range of physical specifications, or depending on the overall requirements of the film properties and the intended use, can be a pure wb urethane based on polyester or polycarbonate resins. These systems are often used for wood floor applications or other architectural applications that demand extreme hardness. WB polyurethanes qualify in the marketing arena as "polyurethanes" due to their progressive film-forming nature and overall toughness. Due to the high costs of pure polyester/carbonate WB resins, acrylics are added to lower the cost so as to meet certain marketing requirements. First and second generation "polycylics" required an external cross-linker to toughen up the final film formation. Now, self cross-linking resins are being used that allow for the carboxyl ring to close on its own without the use of external agents.

I would like to ask each of you to set up a 1.5 million dollar manufacturing facility and begin to produce and market a complete line of coatings that are properly labeled as: Self Cross-Linking Copolymer Acrylic Remulsifying Hybrid Emulsion Film Forming Agents. See if any of your potential customers ask you "So what the hell is this stuff?" Your response will be "It's a waterborne lacquer, and it will blow the doors off of any nitrocellulose system that you have ever caught a buzz off of."

Pundits openly carp that "If it's not cellulose based, it's not a lacquer". From an extremely conservative point of view they might be right. But if you take into consideration the generational development and engineering aspects of any technology, the sophistication of a system will grow and develop, whereas the terminology will often lag behind.
As far as brand names - sorry but can't help you there. I've never used a brushable lacquer, only the spray kinds. The only brushable clear i've tried was Varathane (which actually worked OK - not the toughest product though).
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoseyWales View Post
On a similar note can you use a lacquer primer and then topcoat with an acrylic or alkyd paint ?..I've never done it but those primers are super quick drying.
I've done this with Insl-X cabinet coat many times and it works beautifully.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:45 PM   #16
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Minwax or BM stays clear would work for a brushing clear.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcon View Post
I've done this with Insl-X cabinet coat many times and it works beautifully.

How are you spraying the Cabinet Coat,airless or HVLP?..I've always used my HVLP for CC one side a day lying flat.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:46 PM   #18
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Brushing lacquer on first coat is easy, but when you brush second coat. You will ask your self why is there a drag? Because lacquer melt into each other. The best to apply it to spray it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcon View Post
I wasn't quite sure how to describe what a WB lacquer is, so I did a quick search on my favorite wood finishing forum and got this:



As far as brand names - sorry but can't help you there. I've never used a brushable lacquer, only the spray kinds. The only brushable clear i've tried was Varathane (which actually worked OK - not the toughest product though).
Thanks Alec,

My head just exploded reading that. It IS interesting though.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:51 PM   #20
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Water-borne finishes are coalescing finishes

As the water evaporates (water evaporates faster than glycol ether) the softened, pre-cured droplets of acrylic resin come together—they coalesce. As more of the water evaporates the droplets of acrylic touch and stick to one another. After the water has evaporated the glycol ether evaporates and the pre-cured acrylic droplets again harden to complete the process of forming the finish film.
By understanding this process, we can see why water-borne finishes are referred to as "coalescing finishes". It is also apparent that they are chemically and functionally much different than "reactive finishes" (varnish) which cure in the presence of oxygen. We can also see why the manufacturers warn us not to thin their water-borne acrylic finish with water. Adding water will disperse the glycol ether softened acrylic droplets too much and they will not properly coalesce as the water evaporates thus forming a spotty, weak finish film.
Some water-borne acrylic finishes have a small amount of urethane resin added thereby improving the abrasion resistance of the finish. The urethane resin usually comprises less than 10% of the finish, by volume. Water-borne acrylics with urethane resin added are usually marketed under a name that includes the word “poly”. For example, General Finish PolyAcrylic®. Regrettably, some manufacturers marketed these finishes as “water-based polyurethane”, a term that is both inaccurate and misleading.

Water-borne finishes are neither “varnish” nor "lacquer"

Can labels and marketing aside, it is not appropriate to refer to water-borne acrylic finishes as either “varnish”, “polyurethane”, or “lacquer”. These terms totally misrepresent the nature of water-borne finishes. Varnish (polyurethane is varnish made with urethane resin) is a reactive finish. It cures by chemical reaction when the varnish is exposed to oxygen. Once cured, varnish can no longer be softened by mineral spirits. By comparison, water-borne finishes are easily softened by their solvent, glycol ether. When one applies a new coat of water-borne finish to a previously dried (coalesced) coat, the glycol ether solvent in the new coat will soften the previous coat and the two will “burn-in” or melt together at the point of contact. Given this characteristic, some manufacturers market their water-borne acrylic finish as “lacquer”, making the rather tenuous leap in logic that if a finish exhibits “burn-in”, it must be lacquer. Never mind that lacquer is an evaporative finish and that its chemistry is vastly different than that of a water-borne acrylic. Never mind also that since “burn-in” is a universal property of all water-borne finishes, including those sold as “water-based poly”, in order to be consistent this also means that all water-borne finishes must be lacquer, including those sold as “varnish” or “poly”.
The problem is that “burn-in” in a coalescing finish is not exactly the same as “burn-in” in an evaporative finish (lacquer and shellac). This logic is somewhat analogous with saying that since both pork and beef are meat, then a slab of bacon is the same as top sirloin.

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