pre-catalysed lacquer

laika

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I have some pre-catalysed lacquer which is apparently suitable for my westerly interior woodwork. I have no experience with lacquer and very little with varnish. The spec sheet gives manufacturer's product code for thinners (NT2511 dual thinners) and cleaning (NT2015). I can't seem to find out what they are exactly and not sure where I could get those particular products from at short notice: I suspect the lack of info on those products might indicate that they're really something generic.

I have at my disposal: International #3 (antifoul) and #7 (epoxy) thinners, white spirit and acetone.

Q1: Anyone have suggestions for what to use for thinning (if necessary, see Q2) and, if different, brush cleaning? Bear in mind my ignorance so if recommending terafluropsychadipldicastrasaurus5oxy9Rtolluine thinner please qualify with "also known as Bob's Patent Thinner available from B&Q"

Q2: Recommendations for pre-cat lacquer application? grit for sanding? #of coats? Should the first coat be thinned like varnish?

My first task is, on the face of it, simple: coating teak plugs which were inserted after woodwork was disassembled and replaced. I'd rather not completely strip *everything* and am wondering if I can get away with feather edges around the plugs...
 

laika

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To return to this for the benefit of other westerly owners...The lacquer is by symphony coatings and is Becker Acroma NM2002-0040 Satin pre-catalysed lacquer, available from Trafalgar. I still don't know the "correct" way to apply it but research/asking around suggested it wasn't like varnish with no need to thin the first coat. So I applied it neat and used 240 grit to rub down between each of 3 coats (wasn't sure if that was even necessary). Feathering the edges round plugs has gone pretty well and the finish seems to be very close to the original so I see myself using this stuff a lot in the coming months. White spirit was useless for brush cleaning. Acetone was much better.

I'm still confused by thinners though (much research recently). The manufacturer's stuff is mainly xylene. Trafalgar have told me that "cellulose thinners" would work, but WTF *are* "cellulose thinners"? The safety sheets for various brands seem to give all kinds of primary ingredients: toluene, ethanol, xylene...Asking a neighbour "in the trade" he looked at me blankly and said "It's just thinners...". Am I over thinking this again?
 

doug748

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You might be over intellectualizing the thing, as you say. I think most stuff you buy badged as acetone or Cellulose thinners or even nail varnish remover will do the job of cleaning brushes.
I would not thin new cellulose lacquer but, as you get down a gallon can, it is sometimes useful to refresh it a bit.
I used to use a good deal of it. It's advantages were that it did not clog the grain of the work like traditional varnish nor did it darken it to the same extent; particularly effective were a more modern (as opposed to high gloss, darker smooth grained appearance) matt finish is required. I would not put on too many coats.
Try a test piece and give it a run under the tap to see if you are happy with it's durability on a boat.
 
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