I am having difficulty refinishing a table I made 15 or 20 years ago. I had originally used Sherwin Williams vinyl sealer and cat lacquer. The customer has been using products like Lemon Pledge on it. I stripped the table to bare wood, sanded it and washed it with lacquer thinner before reapplying vinyl sealer and then intending to use CV. The sealer, however, pulled hard into a completely even pattern of mounds all over the surface. I sanded it out and reapplied the sealer two additional times, and each time it pulled a little less, but it still is not laying out as I would expect on new work. Before I make a real mess with the CV, I am thinking I still have contamination with silicates from the cleaning products that were used. Any advice?
From contributor W:
Your old finish may contain silica, wax or other contaminant chemical. You need to clean off your surface. Try using a solvent such as mineral spirits, alcohol and acetone to wipe off your wood.
1) Lay down two coats of dewaxed shellac. For a table, just pick up the spray cans at the lumberyard. Works 95% of the time. Some don't feel comfortable with shellac under CV. I only did that once with no problems (as I usually spray a pre-cat).
2) Spray three very thin mist coats of vinyl and after that a full coat of vinyl, then sand. Works most of the time. The three coats are so thin that there isn't enough material to act up, and by the time you've done three, you've effectively sealed it enough to put a full coat of vinyl on.
You can use most any finish to seal silicone in as long as the first 3 or 4 coats are very thin. Another solution not mentioned is to add a fisheye eliminator to your finish. Yes, it does contain silicone, but no, it will not contaminate your equipment. You'll have to select a product that is compatible with the finish you're using. It is still advisable to keep your first couple of coats thin. Fish eye eliminator reduces the surface tension of your finish to the point where the silicone contamination can't force it to pool away from the contamination sites.
P.S. Wax you can wash away with solvent. Silicone you can not.
Comment from contributor A:
I had this problem with a tabletop I was finishing several years ago .I am a former automotive painter and knew how to fix this problem but all my attempts failed. The problem ended up being my air compressor which was old and the oil from the compressor was contaminating the pressurized air. I changed to a oil-less compressor and the problem was solved first take. If you are applying the finish by hand your options are limited. Paint strippers contain a certain amount of wax which could be contributing to your problem.