Choosing a White Lacquer

      Cabinet finishers talk about their preferences and experiences with opaque white spray finishes. January 18, 2011

Can anyone provide tips on solid white finishing? I have used ML Campbell Magnalac primer and white pigmented lacquer. I like the primer but I hate the lacquer. So I switched to Magnamax white pigmented lacquer, which is okay, but I'm still looking for a better white finish. I've been told white conversion varnish is a lot better, but I've never used conversion varnish. Any advice?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
I use Becker Acroma's Matador quite a bit, and I really like it. The Unisurfacer primer is good as well.

From contributor S:
I often use two coats of MLC Clawlock primer, a coat of MLC Resistant, and a final coat of clear MLC conversion varnish on painted jobs.

Remember, these conversion varnishes must be catalyzed in your shop when you mix a batch, and you need to sand between all coats, as CV needs a mechanical bond for adhesion.

From contributor L:
I hated Resistant. Couldn't make it work. Then MLC came out with Stealth. Night and day. This stuff comes close to acting like a clear. Just make sure you thin it about 15% and put it on as a wet coat. I love this stuff.

From contributor S:
What problem did you have with Resistant, and how is Stealth better? Is Stealth a conversion varnish?

From contributor L:
Always had problems with bubbles and not a glass smooth surface when I lucked out and it worked. This is when I was using HVLP guns. After all the problems I had with it, I never tried it in my Kremlin.

Stealth is a redesigned Resistant. It uses a new solvent package. It was designed to combat the shearing problem that some AAA machines had, including the Kremlin. It is a conversion varnish. The only thing I don't like about it is that it separates fast and needs to be stirred a lot more than most of MLC's other finishes. But it flows out like a clear and I rarely have any issues with it. A small bubble every once in a while. Has great vertical hang.

From contributor D:
The last white kitchen I did was with MLC Clawlock, two coats (as a primer), and two coats of Crystal. It was the first time I used a post cat and it went well. It seems to be more resistant to scuff marks than Magnamax.

From contributor L:
MagnaMax is pretty scuff resistant, but you have to wait until it is fully cured to reach that scuff resistant state. The CV Krystal is about 85% cured within 24 hours, so it is as ready in 24 hours as MagnaMax is in about 18 days. It is more scuff resistant than MagnaMax is overall. It is a tougher finish. But it is also more brittle and can be more prone to chipping than MagnaMax in the long run.

From contributor P:
I am always careful when choosing a white system because it's pretty easy to go over the manufacturer's recommended film thickness. Some manufacturers only recommend 4 dry mils. By the time you put a couple of primers and a topcoat on there, you're getting pretty close to the film limit. I always choose companies like Lorchem or Becker Acroma that build extra flexibility into their coatings to allow for recoat due to dirt in the finish, etc. Both Becker and Lorchem have a maximum dry film thickness of 6 dry mils. I have been happy with the results from either company.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article