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Buffing lacquer, is it the same as urethane?

That is a good thought Slofut. If you need to check Elwood, take just a little lacquer thinner on a rag and wipe a spot that is out of sight. Lacquer thinner will desolve the lacquer if that is what it is.

Side note, Lacquer used thinner. Enamels and 2k products use reducer. The difference is thinner does just that. It just thins the material for spraying and then evaporates out of it leaving the paint behind. Reducer contributes chemicaly to the product and a certain portion remains as part of the paint.

This is one reason why lacquer failed so often. Guys would load it on and when the thinner evaporated out of it, it would crack like the mud in a dry lake bed.

Come to think of it, duplicolor sells their new lacquer diy stuff they came out with several years back at auto parts stores. Have no clue how worth a crap it is whatsoever . supposed to be a more modern formulation.
I too question if it's really only 3 coats of lacquer or lacquer at all. People even use the term shellac on modern furniture same as Coke for soda or whatever.
Have you took the job or have the car in your possession yet??
BUT, whatever the heck it is 30 years old & if stored decently, if all intact, it could easily be a detailer's job, not a repainters, as long as not perfection is required. Plenty of old survivor classic cars with rebuffed original paint or super old paint.

Personally my first step would be to pick the most inconspicuous spot & slightly rub with a cotton rag with a little lacquer thinner or preferably lacquer retarder. Like I said, lacquer products will forever chemically eat back into themselves. If it quickly softens up, probably lacquer. If almost nothing happens, definitely proceed with buffing, but carefully. Either way I'd still coat a couple of times with glaze as I suggested first after a cleaning , possibly just with glass cleaner. Either rate, I'd try buffing first, just with extra ease, quicker to waste a little time being to gentle to start & possibly having to get more aggressive than burning through.

Edit, I'm a slow typer than John. He also brings to mid any cracking is most likely lacquer. Like I said with lacquer retarder & a little technique I have softened & moved around damaged lacquer, Kinda like ironing clothes. Home & commercial paint stores , SW commercial stores included, should have retarder. If you do spray new lacquer, retarder helps stop the moisture blushing issue & helps it flow out . Better than just thinner.
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It's lacquer, I helped the guy paint it. It's actually a candy apple red. Took him eight hours to spray it. He wanted a lacquer candy paint job because of the way they looked. It doesn't look that bad to be 30 years old. Just needs cleaned up some.
are you saying 3 coats of clear ? no way in hell is it 3 coats of candy and even then you cant buff candy . i just cant understand only 3 coats of lacquer clear .


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I will have to find all the notes and see exactly what was done. We wrote everything down to refer to later if need to. 30 years is a long time to remember something. It may be more since it is lacquer. I will check.
I've got a 30 year old lacquer finish that needs buffed out. Been in storage since it was painted in 1990. It's never been buffed out. It's got 3 coats of ppg lacquer. Would this be the same as a modern topcoat or would I need different compounds. Never buffed lacquer and always heard it was different. Any tips appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I'm confused Elwood. How can it take 8 hours to spray 3 coats of paint and how can you get enough color over a candy base with three coats? Hopefully you do have notes that will make this all a little clearer.



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I'm confused Elwood. How can it take 8 hours to spray 3 coats of paint and how can you get enough color over a candy base with three coats? Hopefully you do have notes that will make this all a little clearer.

Flash time plus tack between coats.
If remember right 3 coats of base, 3 coats tinted clear, then the final layers of clear. Vehicle was taken apart also. We started about 9 a.m. and finished up around 5 p.m.
I don't remember if we stopped for lunch or anything. It was the ppg radiance or radiance II, can't remember which one.
Since each successive coat of lacqer combines with the previous coat, if you buff through the clear, you will not know it until the color either shows on the buffing pad or the color on the car begins to change. (lighten)