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  • #6071
    CVRS Member

    Does anyone have experience/tips on cabinet refinishing (especially when using lacquer) if you don’t have access to a spray booth? I just assumed the process was too risky and the results too likely to be unsatisfactory to try it. Yes/no?

    Jean Marcotte
    CVRS Member

    Experience ? Very little since I bought the spraygun last summer. Before (here I’m talking lacquer), I used cans with more or less success on table radios since you cannot thin the lacquer as you want to. One sure thing, you don’t use lacquer inside, not even in the garage (unless it’s empty and the door open). I have a spot outside that I use when conditions are right. And you still need an adequate mask to protect yourself. And you’re right it is risky working outdoor.


    Dan Walker
    CVRS Member

    I don’t have a spray booth , in fact I don’t have any spray equipment and I have done many radios with just with the spray cans.
    I do have a garage and that is where I spray them.. If I was to do it outside there is too much wind ,even if it is a small breeze
    It takes about three cans to do a console and I wear a mask When I am spraying. I leave the large door open and close the man door, so I do not get a cross draft. After I spray I open the man door and let the breeze come through
    I have not seen any radios that were refinished with spray equipment so I can not see the difference. I do suppose that the
    lacquer is a little thicker with spray equipment but I do not know.
    I have a car in the garage and of course I keep it covered when I am spraying.
    I just never thought about whether it works or not ,, I just went ahead and did it and it seems to work.. I have have very good compliments about the finish on my radios so I assume I am doing something right.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Dan Walker.
    Jean Marcotte
    CVRS Member

    Dan, my garage is designed for two cars but I would not be able to put one more bicycle in there and also there are no radios in there (yet). That’s why I do the spay jobs outside. I actually never did a console yet. I choose days when there is not too much wind, adequate temperature and humidity. As I said, I am still in a learning process. I definitely got better results with the spray gun. The idea beeing thinner rather than thicker lacquer but I still have a lot to experiment before I am satisfied with the results. The last cabinet I did last year is not too bad. I have a cabinet ready for lacquer finish and it will probably be the only one this year. The spray gun is a lot more trouble than cans and it will take me a few more cabinets to master its use.


    CVRS Member

    I’ve used the Mohawk lacquer in aerosol cans and also a spray gun and air compressor.

    When I use the compressor, I first spray a very light coating of alcohol based stain to get the colour.

    Both give a nice finish. I definitely find that the spray cans are quicker and easier. I finish up with a few coats of clear lacquer.

    One effect that I’ve found is that the finish applied with the aerosol cans is less durable, It seems to chip easier.

    I do try to do my spraying outside. The times I’ve been inside the garage I also keep one door open. One coat on a radio is quick enough that the fumes don’t become overpowering. I hesitate to do much spraying in the garage mainly because I don’t want over-spray on the tools and things.

    Forum Participant

    I have done a few in the garage wiht spray bombs until I seemed to be buying a lot of them, then I switched to a HPLV gun, it requires very little air pressure and flow so even a small compressor is enough,it holds about as much as a small cup of coffee. the spray pattern is way better than the bombs but they work pretty well too. I like to be able to add just a little of the Mohawk brown stain to the clear. extra dark walnut or American walnut. In my opinion they should never have really true clear, the old finishes never do because they have darkened , you see that if you strip a radio the stuff that comes off, it is never clear if it is original and old. so I aim for the lacquer to look like coffee. I find it hard to get really even coverage with the toners, btu the spray bombs work fine for most. I haven’t notice issues with the lacquer quality. However I spray I like to use the wool lube from Mohawk, and super fine steel wool and work over the finish after it has cured a week or so , it takes off the super high sine plastic look and smooths them out nicely.

    one thing I find is that I wan to fill the grain with lacquer which takes many coats, I think it would be better to use grain fillers for that, some don’t mind them so they feel the grain when you run your hands across. I think it is a matter of preference, but good to decide if you wan that piano finish or not , know the end result you wish for, before you start in other words.

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