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Walnut Lacquer Repair


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I have searched the web and Klipsch forum specifically but not finding a ton on Lacquer. I have some Walnut Lacquer K-horns with a bit of water staining and similar blemishes. It appears to be cosmetic/on the surface. A few questions;

 

Assuming I need to sand with super fine grit to get the surface back to unblemished? What is recommended?

 

Also assuming I would re-apply lacquer to restore the semi gloss finish? What specific product? I remember seeing something about a Valspar product. I do not have a sprayer so would need to apply by hand.

 

Any insights appreciated. 

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You are kind of lucky in that Lacquer is very forgiving and easy to repair when needed.RandyH is right about doing both tops. But also do both tops in their entirety. You do not need to go any finer grit than about 300-400. Aerosol can is perfectly fine. Get a couple different sheens so you have some options for the correct match. And if you remove all the old Lacquer to bare wood to get at your problem you may want to start with a Lacquer sealer first. Sample, sample, sample to get all your matches as close as possible.

 

 

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I appreciate all of the feedback. I know very little about woodworking and wood finishes. The comment about water staining makes me wonder. I won’t know how deep it is until I start sanding and that seems like it could open quite a can of worms. Definitely plan to do both tops plates in their entirety to avoid mismatching finishes. The other top plate has some blemishes as well.

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i had a pair of WL K-horns recently with some blemishes & damage to the lacquer coating & into the veneer a little in some spots on the faces of the bass bins as well as the lacquer failing & flaking on the tops.  ive done minor sanding & repairs on klipsch veneers before but for these i decided to leave it to a pro for fear of making them worse.  i called around to a few local furniture restoration companies & professional carpenters asking about repairing the veneer or even just sanding & applying new lacquer,  every one of them stressed that lacquer changes color with age & applying new lacquer in the needed places wont match the original areas of the speaker that were still OK.  i sold them a couple years ago to a member here & not sure what he did with them but the info i got deterred me from trying to do it myself or paying the prices they quoted for a fix that wouldnt match the rest of the speaker very well. 

 

im sure you can improve the tops by sanding & applying new clear but be aware they most likely wont match the rest of the speakers coating very well.  the veneer is thick enough to allow for some light sanding without breaking through but like you said, that could open a can of worms if you need to sand too deep to get the water stains or other issues out.  dont mean to scare you, just mentioning the reality of matching old lacquer that has probably changed color.     

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I'm not sure that lacquer is an improvement over the oiled finishes.  Sure, with them you have to oil the speakers every few years, but the surface doesn't get damaged so easily.  The lacquer finishes seem to be too delicate, to the point where even a stainless steel watch bracelet can scratch up the lacquer.  If you have a brand-new pair of speakers and something like that happens, you can be really disappointed that your expensive speakers are so easily damaged.  At least one owner of new Heritage Series speakers has made that comment.

 

This also applies when discussing the unexpected enemy of speakers, the vacuum cleaner.  Even if you warn the person who may be vacuuming that they do not need to vacuum right up to the speakers, and can leave the last inch of carpet alone, you may still hear a "Clonk!" when the bump happens.  And in this situation, the lacquer finish loses again, while the wood itself, as with an oiled finish, is actually tougher and less likely to get marked up.

 

Here's something I was surprised to learn:  since the lacquer never fully hardens, anything that sits on the speakers, like an audio component, will leave dents in the lacquer.  The only solution seems to be to get custom cut glass (or maybe Plexiglas) plates to protect the top panels of the speakers, as soon as you get them home.  A small number of owners have done that, and are glad they did.

 

Does anyone else agree?

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Yes I prefer oil over lacquer. Easier to refinish or touch up. That said veneer is sooooo thin these days if the damage is too deep its toast. And also some products are only available lacquered like my RF7's and RSW-15s in the family room.

And I will repeat for @Audio Bliss I have had success touching up MINOR imperfections in lacquer finishes using pure tung oil. YMMV.

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