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High gloss black finish.

The high gloss black finish could be the most difficult finishing jobs in the wood finishing. The high gloss finish is usually suitable for the furniture products with simple forms with clean and neat looked. This finish doesn’t tolerate any imperfectness. The existence of the imperfectness on the product and the finish will be obvious seemingly. Some small dent, dirt, hole, gaps, that could be acceptable for the other color finish, will become big problem for this finish. If we got job to do the black high gloss finish, then we should provide the extra time, energy, materials, and energy to get the perfect result.

The problems according to the high gloss finish.

The black finish should be the simple process, but actually there are many things need to be considered to get good result. The finishing process itself is quite simple, we only need to apply 1 type of stain, the black pigmented stain; it could be the black base coat, black primer or black enamel. But there are some problems are often arisen in the finishing work. The problems could be resulted by the imperfect job at the finishing process such as the orange peel, uneven gloss, dust spray, dirt, etc. The problems could be from the unfinished wood such as: gap, uneven surface, gap, hole, dent, crack at the wood, etc. Actually they are the common problems in the wood finishing, but usually they won’t be visible obviously as the black finish. To make the high gloss finish then we need to work extra carefully to overcome the problems.  In the simple word, the high gloss black finish needs the highly perfection and precision work.
Another problem that often arises is the scratch problem at the finished layer. The high gloss finish tends to be scratchy, because of his black looked. A simple wiping with cloth to clean the dust on the surface could leave scratches marks which are clearly visible at this finish. Especially when the “soft” coating material as: N.C., shellac or furniture varnish. To avoid this problem we need the “hard” coating that usually is more difficult in handling and application to make the high gloss finish. The proper coating for black high gloss usually is the thermosetting coating such as : PU, AC, UV coating or Polyester coating. They can build the strong and hard film that will avoid the strength problem of this finish, but as chemical reaction coating they are more difficult in application

 black high gloss finish

Here are the things to be considered in the high gloss black finish
1. The raw wood preparation.
The high gloss finish will clearly show the texture and condition of the wood surface. All issues and problems about the imperfectness work at the raw wood such as: dents, gaps, scratch, cutter marks, pinholes, uneven surface, etc. will be obviously visible at the final finishing looked. Therefore we need a good preparation started from the raw wood. The good filler application is needed to fill in the wood grain and pores.  Any problems in the in the unfinished wood should be fixed and corrected. Fill all the dents, holes and gaps with putty. Make good sanding to clean any marks and get the even and smooth wood surface. To get the even surface then we need the good sanding machine (wide belt sander or stroke sander) to do the unfinished preparation. The manual sanding by hand or small hand sander  risk to result the uneven wood surface that will clearly seem at the final finish.
The problems caused by the wood dimensional changes also should be well anticipated.  Make sure that the timber is already dry and stable. For the panels then the engineering wood products such as: m.d.f. or particle board is a better choice than solid wood or veneered wood. The good m.d.f. or particle board has already flat surface that be good base for the black solid color finish. For the complex form, that need the solid wood, then we need to make the safe construction. Make sure the design and construction accommodate to the problems due to dimensional changes in wood.
2. The finishing material choice.
This black finishing tends to get problems about scratches or small dents due to the friction, during use, storage or handling. The small scratches of dents scratches will be obviously visible on this finish. To minimize this problem then we need to use the “hard” coating material as the top coat. The shellac, nitro cellulose coating, lacquer or other 1 components coating is not suitable for this finish. The P.U., A.C. or Polyester coatings are recommended to make the high gloss black finish. They will provide strong finish layer to the final finish and minimize the scratch problem at the final finish. As catalyzed coating, they also give advantage to give a thick film built that will help to make the black finish.
UV coatings also can be used; it is strong, build high thickness of film and fast dry. But the roller application can be used for the final coating since it will leave the roll mark which is not allowed for the high gloss finish. The curtain coater or laser roller might be able to avoid the roll mark. But it will only work for the flat surfaces.
3. The equipment and finishing room.
To be successful in a black finish we also need good equipment. The air spray gun is the best choice to do the coating. It will give the perfect atomization that is needed to make the perfect finish layering. Make sure the spray gun is in the good condition. Any problem in the equipment will result to imperfectness at the finish layer that won’t be tolerated at this finish.
The clean and dust free finishing room clean is needed to avoid the dirt and dust problem. Especially when we consider that we have to apply the PU, AC or Polyester coating that need a clean finishing room.
4. Rubbing and polishing.
For the flat surface, then we may consider to make the high gloss finish with rubbing and polishing. The rubbing and polishing will help to solve to the minor problem that always be arisen at the coating application such as: dust spray, some dirt, thin orange peel, etc. The rubbing and polishing can avoid the recoating process that requires big energy. The rubbing and polishing can be used to eliminate the roller marks at the U.V. coating finish to make high gloss finish at the flat panels.

3 comments for "High gloss black finish."

  1. Have you ever used black lacquer as an undercoat? If so, what would you recommend as a topcoat to protect it?
    I am currently using black lacquer on a base plate for a trophy (there is a piece of figured walnut on top of it). It won't see as much handling as a piece of furniture but still requires scratch protection.

  2. You can use the lacquer (NC top coat) as final lacquer.
    It is the compatible top coat with your undercoat.

    Although it may not as strong as PU or AC, but it works okay for most any finish product.

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