Stripping Catalysed Lacquer
I was commissioned to reduce a pedestal table that sits eight to one that sits four. I set up a jig with a router and cut the table down to about 48″. The table is veneer with a composite core. I patched a few imperfections with a burn in knife and shellac sticks, lightly sanded and applied sealcoat shellac to give me a barrier to apply a polyurethane topcoat. When it dried some wrinkling appeared. I tried a second coat of 2:1 shellac hoping it would settle the finish and lay the wrinkles down but uh uh. So I tried to sand down the imperfections and all I was doing was picking up finish in the sand paper. So I decided to go back to bare wood and start over. I am using lacquer thinner and stripping pads to take off the finish but it sure seems like a slow ugly road home. The pads fill up quickly and progress is really slow. Is there a better way. And once I get this finish off can I use a random orbital sander to smooth it all out before going to a 1/4 sheet sander that will follow the grain?
Rather than thinner - try paint remover and a steel putty knife to remove the finish before going to thinners and steel wool or the stripping pads you mention.
I agree with using stripper as being faster than lacquer thinner. I am confused however, since your subject line speaks of stripping catalyzed lacquer and the body of your posts talks of applying a polyurethane topcoat. Neither should wrinkle over dewaxed shellac--though I can see a lacquer being excessively agressive to the shellac, especially if it was applied as a heavy coat.
As far as sanding, remember you are working with veneer. Unless you have laid particularly thick veneer, there isn't much room for sanding, let alone sanding with power sanders.
I agree with using stripper
delete double post.
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