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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Why Is My Lacquer Cracking

Posted By: Ken Walsh <rdowalsh@aol.com> (cache-rtc-ab01.proxy.aol.com)
Date: 10/14/5 21:45

Hi, I was hoping you could help me. I have a problem with refinishing a old radio cabinet. I took off the old finish with a common stripper. Then cleaned the wood with a 50/50 mix of lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol. Let it dry and did the same again to make sure it was clean. Let it dry for two days. Put on a 50/50 mix of Bulls Eye Shellac and denatured alcohol to seal the wood. I did this because the filler came off with the stripping and I don't use filler and this helps to smooth the wood. After letting it dry for a day I put on an oil stain, Minwax Special Walnut. Wiped it off and let it dry for two days and put a 50/50 spit coat on and applied another coat of stain. I put a spit coat between stains so the solvents in the stain would not lift the first coat. Let it dry for two days, put another spit coat on and let it dry for a day to seal it. At this point I was ready to put a clear finish of lacquer on, but the edge was not the color I wanted so I used a spray can of lacquer toner made by Mohawk, and it took two coats of toner to get the color right. The next day I was going to finish the radio with a spray can of clear gloss lacquer from Mohawk and the part with the toner was cracked. I've had the same problem with the finish cracking like this before and don't know what I'm doing wrong. It's not like in the corner or a seam where I didn't get it clean, it's on the top and bottom edge that is flat and about an inch wide. I tried to put a coat of clear gloss lacquer on another part of the radio as a trial to see if it would crack there also, and it did. It only had a spit coat on that area. I know it's an adhesion problem but everything I have read about lacquer says it will go over shellac. I was following other radio sites on line, that say this is the way to recreate a 30's finish. But it just does not work for me. Can you help me with this because this is not the first time I have had this happen? Thanks, Ken

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