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Varnish over lacquer? (for kitchen cabinets)

Posted by Ron on January 9th, 1999 11:12 PM

13 of 21 people found this post helpful

Our kitchen cabinets have a lacquer finish which, after
5 years, is starting to look a little worse for the wear
in a few areas (especially around the sink where water
gets splashed on the wood).

I have tried touching up w/ spray-on lacquer, but that
only lasted for a while. So what I'd like to do is apply
a coat of varnish to give a more durable finish. However,
I do not want to have to strip all of the cabinets first
(there are a lot of them!).

My question is - What type of varnish (or something else?)
will work over lacquer? Most of the varnish cans say
"Don't do it". But they also say don't put varnish over
shellac, and George Grotz (The Furniture Doctor) not only
says it's OK, but strongly recommends varnish over shellac.
Since I've had good luck with his other info, I tend to
discount the warnings on the varnish cans. Unfortunately,
I couldn't find any mention one way or the other about
putting varnish over lacquer.

I tried a test area about 2 months ago (after sanding
lightly, of course), and it still looks fine, but 2 months
isn't exactly a long time in terms of finishes.

Any ideas how this will work, or what I should do to get
a good, long term finish without having to strip the lacquer?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions!

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