I mixed different brands of lacquer (yep...I did it) - need advice

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by telewhacked, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. telewhacked

    telewhacked TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    40
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Charleston, SC USA
    This might be one for the "Shouldn't have done that" file.
    Hoping some of you more experienced guys here can guide me with some input...

    I was finishing the final clear coating of a neck and body with Minwax gloss spray lacquer (in the red and black can) from Lowes.

    I normally use Minwax clear lacquer on everything because I know how it behaves and what to expect.
    On this particular body and neck, I ran out of Minwax with a couple of coats left to go.

    I had 2 unused aerosol cans of Watco clear gloss lacquer just laying around, so I decided to use them to finish. YES, before anyone gives me a lecture on the obvious, I already know all "the rules" about sticking with the same product and not mixing 2 different brands, but I was lazy (yep...).

    I first did an internet search and saw that there were folks on the usual forums that claim to have successfully done this and reported no compatibility issues. Most people report that Watco is good quality and dries relatively quickly. I've been wanting to try it anyway, so I gave it a shot.

    To be cautious, I started by only doing just the face of the headstock with a few misted coats. Everything was great and it seemed to dry quick and look totally fine, just like the Minwax I normally use...so I went ahead and did a lightly misted full coat (3 passes) on the entire neck and body.

    Everything looks fine, but now I'm noticing that it hasn't dried the same as the Minwax I normally use. The entire neck and body now have a slight amount of "tackyness" like they are not fully "dried to the touch." I wouldn't call it sticky, just lightly tacky enough to notice that it doesn't feel as dry as the Minwax normally does at this point.

    Its been 2 days and I have them under a couple fans that are gently circulating air around them to try to help with drying. I had planned to start wet sanding at this point, but I'm a little scared to do that now because of the slight tackyness going on. I suspect that there are solvents trapped under the last coats of Watco I applied that need to off-gas so it can dry, but I'm really not 100% sure.

    I was thinking of trying 2 possible things:

    Spraying a very light misted coat of blush retarder over the most recent coat to see if it helps release whatever is slow to off-gas and dry underneath.

    OR

    VERY lightly and carefully wetsanding just the top coat with somewhere around 800-1000 grit to see if that will help release whatever is trapped and help things dry.

    My questions for anyone who has had a similar issue:

    Am I crazy for even considering either of these options?
    Will I completely ruin the finish on both and have to start over if I try either?
    Should I just sit and wait however long it takes for for things to sufficiently dry? If they ever do dry?

    I will NEVER mix brands of clear lacquer ever again

    Any input is much appreciated...
     
    boxocrap likes this.
  2. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,389
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Earth
    Yep.... it's never a good idea to mix brands when it comes to this stuff. I don't think I'd touch em for now. It might take a couple of weeks or something before it begins to dry. I had this happen once. My advice is to be patient and let it sit a while. FWIW - I have a 335 that I built a couple weeks ago and the laquer on it is still curing... and it will probably be another couple weeks before it's really good to go.
     
    NoTeleBob and Archtops like this.
  3. telewhacked

    telewhacked TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    40
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Charleston, SC USA
    Can you even wetsand something that is still very slightly tacky or is this a recipe for guaranteed disaster?

    I assume it probably is.
     
    howardlo and Telekarster like this.
  4. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,016
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    You can wet sand an incompletely dry finish with coarser grits and a light touch, but I wouldn't recommend trying it for the first time in this case. Finer grits will tear and pill; coarser grits can leave scratches that dry into the finish, but it can really accelerate drying.

    If it's not too sticky to press and rub with a lint-free cloth or sheepskin pad, that can help. It usually works only when the finish has "skinned," and a sensitive touch is required here as well; you need pressure and friction-generated heat, and a "loose" skin will tear.
     
    Telekarster likes this.
  5. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,016
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The one product that I've used that seems to get along with other brands is Mohawk Tone Finish Clear. It makes anything you shoot it over dry faster.

    My understanding is that Deft and the Stew-Mac rattlecans dry more slowly than other products. A faster-drying product over a slower-drying one will often work, but there's a danger of crackling if the difference is too great. Slow over fast can create a gummy mess unless the "fast" coat is really thin. It follows the "fat over lean" rule of oil painting, but it's different stuff.
     
  6. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,247
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Raincaster, Oregon
    If you try wet sanding I'd put on some rubber gloves and use mineral spirits instead of water.
     
    TwoBear likes this.
  7. telewhacked

    telewhacked TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    40
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Charleston, SC USA
    Thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind.

    Would my "lightly misting with blush remover" idea be an ill-advised endeavour? or help accelarate drying at all?
     
  8. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,016
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    If you're careful with the blush remover/retarder, it might work. Paradoxically, a really wet coat of Deft might promote intermixing of the layers, but it's risky. I've never used it, so I can't say.
     
  9. telewhacked

    telewhacked TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    40
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Charleston, SC USA
    Deft? Did you mean Watco instead?
     
  10. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,016
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, I did (brain fart!), but I don't know if what I said applies to Watco. I know nothing about it. Sorry!
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    7,710
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    One of our regular contributors says that some lacquer manufacturers add naphtha to their solvent mix which causes the lacquer to dry much more slowly. Normally lacquers tend to melt in to previous layers at the three coats per day schedule but if you have chosen one of the slower drying products you may not be getting as much of that.

    I try to make a point of not only using the same brand all the way thru my finish but even to use the same brand thinner to reduce it. I use generic lacquer thinner for clean up.

    The person I'm referring to says that he can sand almost immediately after applying NON naphtha solvents but it might be necessary to wait fairly long times with the products containing it. I make a point to wait at least 10 days, often longer before doing any wet sanding or buffing. I will also add that the one time I had serious blushing (a humidity issue, my fault) I tried the blush eraser - it didn't work for me and I end up stripping to bare wood and starting over. Probably what I would do in your case.
     
  12. Billy3

    Billy3 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    748
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Location:
    Charleston,Sc
    It's tempting but sometimes you just got to let it be. As others above have mentioned, you might have to wait longer than you want. It is what it is.
     
    Archtops likes this.
  13. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    12,819
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    this thread has been a great example of the misinformation and disinformation that is available - free of charge! - on the internet.

    Just go back and read it through, post by post. Nobody has a f---ing clue. There are guys recommending things that they have never tried... and they get the name of the product wrong anyway.

    PLEASE - if you have questions about finishing techniques - DO NOT go to the TDPRI for advice!
     
  14. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    6,294
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    I would add tincture of time. It is cheap and safe. Is it cool or damp where you are trying to dry it? My guess is it will be fine given time. If it is no different in a couple weeks, I think you know the remedy. I wouldn't add anything to a tacky finish.
     
    Archtops likes this.
  15. Archtops

    Archtops Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    576
    Joined:
    May 12, 2021
    Location:
    SoCal
    Let it dry and don’t introduce more layers of an unknown outcome.
     
    NoTeleBob likes this.
  16. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,107
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    I didn't read all of the responses, so don't know if someone already said this, but the Watco spray can lacquer is famous for not drying hard. I'd wait a couple of weeks and then wet sand the Watco off, get some Minwax and finish up with that.
     
  17. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,351
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2020
    Location:
    Southwestern, USA
    Let it sit until it's hard. If you get to six months, consider alternatives.
     
  18. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,016
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    jhundt, I'm the only one who got the name of a product wrong, and I did the opposite of recommending things I haven't tried: I implicitly recommended one product I use constantly, referred obliquely to my experiences with blush remover, and specifically didn't recommend things that I have done repeatedly because they're too risky for an inexperienced person to try on anything but scrap.

    No one here has provided misinformation or disinformation outside of my slip of the tongue. Several contributors have frequently shared very valuable knowledge and are deservedly respected here. Freeman Keller in particular has been very generous and supportive.

    Your insulting and dismissive tone is uncalled for. You've posted here a great many times and should know better.
     
    photondev and Boreas like this.
  19. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,381
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    I've had a similar problem with Watco spray lacquer. The Watco in the quart can seems to work very well for me though.
     
  20. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,440
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    Watch does seem to dries slower but would it be possible the coats of both were heavily applied? If so, that is the bigger issue.

    I haven't use box store stuff in a lot of years but have never had a problem with mixing more commercial brands, Sherwin, Belhms/mohawk, Finish Works...
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.