How can I keep my touch up repairs from getting muddy when I use the Furniture Powder stains?

Try reducing the intensity of the Furniture Powder stain with 2 Minute repair Liquid. The Furniture Powder stain can then be applied in thin transparent layers.

When staining hard maple, why is it always blotchy looking?

There are very small pores in hard maple, and this type of wood will not accept much pigment without blotching. A: Use a dye stain. B: Pre-wet the wood with reducer to eliminate uneven penetration into the wood. C: Seal the wood before staining or apply a sizing coat.

Solar-Lux Stain does not dilute very easily in lacquers.

Dilute stain in small amount of lacquer reducer first before introducing it into the lacquer.

The Master Color has become very thick and is difficult to mix into lacquer.

Master Color will tend to thicken as it ages. If you wish to add it to lacquer, thin it with Qualalacq Reducer and mix until uniform. Master Color should be added slowly, stirring well while you add it.

When I add Master Color to lacquer to make an opaque colour, the finish seems soft.

Adding pigment to lacquer will reduce the resin solids ratio and produce a less durable film. We advise a clear wear coat be applied over the coloured lacquer coats. Recommend not exceeding 20% addition of Master Color to lacquer.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) colour is too strong.

Reduce colour intensity with Wood Stain Reducer.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) colour is not strong enough.

Add Master Color.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) is not drying properly.

Wet wood (high moisture content). Or: Incorrect reducer used in stain. Take corrective measures.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) colour is off shade from last batch.

A colour can never be exactly duplicated repeatedly. Allow for some lot-to-lot colour variances. Use colour guide as a reference. Remember factors such as type of substrate used, sanding procedure, and method of application all affect colour.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) colour needs to be adjusted.

Tint with Master Color or adjust colour with other 545 colours.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) dries too quickly.

Used on absorbent wood. Or: Applied during very hot weather. Add Wood Stain Reducer. Problem: Pigmented Wood Stain (545) has become thick. Resolution: Natural build in viscosity from aging. Or: Cover not properly seated allowing solvents to evaporate. Add Wood Stain Reducer.

Pigmented Wood Stain (545) has settled out in can.

Pigments are heavier than the solvents and sink to the bottom. Replace cover and shake container until all pigment is re-blended or use a power driven mixing device.

Solar-Lux Stain colour is too strong.

Reduce it with Solar-Lux Stain Reducer as needed.

Solar-Lux Stain is drying too quickly and leaving lap marks.

Solar-Lux is a dye penetrating stain. It responds to the variations in porosity of wood. Adding Solar-Lux Stain Retarder allows for more uniform wetting of the surface.

Solar-Lux Stain is not drying properly.

Wet wood. Or: Excess retarder added. Or: Poor air movement. Or: Cold temperature. Or: High humidity. Or: Surface contamination. Take corrective measures after cause is determined.

Solar-Lux Stain goes on blotchy.

Common problem if dye stains are used on soft woods. The erratic cellular structure allows uncontrollable absorbency of the dye. Sizing the wood with a wood sizing liquid prior to staining adds to uniformity but limits colour depth.

Solar-Lux not penetrating the grain on veneers.

Some types of adhesives used in veneering can wick through the thin veneer and repel stain penetration. Use a pigmented Wood Stain or tint lacquer and sealer with Solar-Lux Stain, tint to colour the veneer.

Solar-Lux Stain colour needs adjusting.

Use other Solar-Lux Stain colours to tint it.

Stain colour bleeds into the sealer.

The stain likely contains a lacquer soluble dye or a pigment that tends to bleed. A wash coat of shellac will often form a barrier and help eliminate additional bleed. Light coat of lacquer should be applied over the sealer before applying shellac to insure better adhesion.

Can Wood Stain (545) and Solar-Lux stain be intermixed?

They do not mix well together and separate almost immediately when agitation stops. Many pleasant effects can be created by first applying Solar-Lux as a base colour and Wood Stain (545) over it.

Are your Master Color colourants designed for use with nitrocellulose lacquer?

Master Color is ideal for mixing with Nitrocellose lacquers (e.g. Qualalacq). You can also intermix Master Colors to create custom colours. Normally you should add 5% to 8% Master Color to Nitrocellose lacquer up to a maximum of 10%. At 10% the lacquer can take a long time to dry. Master Color can also be added to the following Behlen products: Lacquer; Sealer; Lacquer Thinner; polyurethane finishes (including Wipe On Water Base Urethane); Heavy Body Glaze; 15 minute Wood Stain and Reducer; PreStain and Por-O-Pac. Master Color should NOT be mixed with water, alcohol (shellac) or Mineral Spirits (varnish) based products.

I wish to stain/colour untreated softwood (e.g. pine), what Behlen products would you recommend?

We recommend that Prestain B545-8006 be used before applying any stain to softwood. It will facilitate a more even penetration of colour with 15 Minute Wood Stain or Solar-Lux. If Prestain is not available, a washcoat of sealer should be applied before staining. In this case, the 15 Minute Wood Stain generally gives the best results. A washcoat of sealer can be made by mixing Qualalacq with thinner at a 1:3 ratio. Alternatively, an aerosol sealer can be used in place of the Qualalacq by applying a light but wet coat.

When rubbing a high gloss finish to remove over spray, orange peel, or as in repair to renew a gloss, I some times see scratch patterns through the shine. What causes this?

If you started the job with fine sand papers, and skip grades, you can leave sand paper scratch patterns behind that the compounds can't remove. If you start with 400 grade, go next to 600 grade, and then to 1200 grade before moving on to the compounds. If you're not familiar with "Micro Mesh" sand pads, check them out, as they are made for working up high gloss finishes in spot repair work. They are a must for polyester finish repair. It's also possible, when working through a series of compounds, that you start with an aggressive grade and skip lesser aggressive grades before going to a polishing grade for the high gloss. That would be apparent if you see swirl patterns through your gloss.

My stripper isn't working.

Not enough time is allowed for chemicals to work. Or: The stripper is not strong enough. Or: The stripper may not be the right one for the job. Allow more time for the stripper to work. Get a stronger stripper. Check to see if the stripper only removes certain finishes. Latex and waterbase finishes are not removed by all strippers, check the label/directions.

When I've been padding on colour with Wipe On Water Base Urethane, it sometimes drags or streaks. What do I do?

Don't pad with it. Wipe on the colour with as few strokes as possible, feather in the edges with your finger or a cloth, and dry. You can then reapply colour or clear coat very quickly, but do not use it as you would a padding lacquer.

Padding Finish leaves streaky finish.

Applying padding lacquer too wet. Pad should be wet but not saturated and slightly tacky when applied.

Padding Finish turns white after it dries.

Wax or oil contamination on the surface. Surface should be cleaned with De Waxer 741 prior to padding.

Why does the grain lines from your graining pen go chubby when you topcoat it?

Don't spray so much aerosol over the grain. The aerosol is causing the graining pen to float. Spray a couple of light mist coats over the area first to lock it down first.

Scratch Remover Marker ink tends to crawl when applied to some surfaces.

Hi Tech finishes don't allow solvents from pen material to bite in. These surfaces need to be scuffed first. Or: Surface may have a wax or polish contamination. Clean the surface with De Waxer 741.

Scratch Remover Marker colour in marker is off shade.

Marker was not thoroughly agitated before using. Shake pen and re-flow material to flush nib. Or: User is not allowing for batch-to-batch lot shade differences. (Commercially allowable difference from lot to lot is expected in the coatings industry.)

Scratch Remover marker ink will not pass through nib.

Cap was left off for prolonged period causing resin to harden in nib. Soak nib in lacquer Thinner or white spirit. Or: Ink has been used up. Replace marker.

When making service calls, how can a topcoat be applied to a surface that is larger than a typical touch-up area (such as the entire top of an end table) without creating an offensive odour in the home or office?

Use Wipe On Water Base Urethane. It is rag applied thus avoiding any over-spray, has very low odour, will adhere to most other finishes, and will not lift other finishes.

How can lacquer be made to flow to a smoother surface without significantly extending the dry time as with the use of retarder?

A: Use Flow Out Extender. Because it functions in the early stage of the drying cycle (extending the time when the lacquer is flowing), it facilitates a smoother finish and eliminates over-spray, However, once it has done its work, it evaporates out of the lacquer thus allowing a normal dry time. 
B: Reduce with 5 to 10% reducer for better flow-out.

Why does lacquer stay tacky in the grain pattern of open grain woods (i.e. Oak, Walnut, Mahogany) on refinished pieces?

Residue from the stripper is probably caught in the pores of the wood. This residue can keep the lacquer from drying properly. Great care must be taken to clean the stripper out of pores, not merely off the surface. Use a brass wire remover brush to scrub the surface with Lacquer Thinner.

I used Wipe On Water Base Urethane to apply colour on a touch-up, and then sprayed aerosol lacquer over it. The repair area developed a fine crackle. What happened?

The solvents in the lacquer can cause the Wipe On Water Base Urethane film to crack in some cases. Allowing the Wipe On Water Base Urethane to dry more thoroughly and applying very thin, light coats of the aerosol may avoid this problem. Since the Wipe On Water Base Urethane itself is a good topcoat, generally it does not require any other finish be applied over it.

When I wiped Wipe On Water Base Urethane onto a piece of cheap furniture with a "paper" finish (photo finish, foil, etc.) it seemed to "crawl" or fisheye at the edge of the wet Finish up. Why did this happen? What can I do to avoid it?

Because this is a water-based product, it has a surface tension similar to water. This finish may have some residue from a "release coating" used in the manufacturing process, which causes the water to try to "bead", in the same way that water beads on a well waxed car. Use De Waxer 741 or Wood Stain Reducer to remove the coating, or lightly scuff with 4/0 steel wool (if you can do so without taking off colour) or you can sometimes simply rub hard with the cloth dampened with Wipe On Water Base Urethane, dry the area, then wipe on a wet coat of Wipe On Water Base Urethane.

After spraying finish coat of lacquer, small air bubbles appear.

This problem, referred to as "blistering", "gassing" or "bridging" can be eliminated a combination of: A: Applying lighter, multiple coats of finish. B: Reducing finish with a slow drying reducer or introduce more retarder into finish. C: Adjusting spray pressure.

I can't tell if a piece to be touched up has a catalysed finish or not, thus not knowing what type of material to use.

Take a rag with a small amount of lacquer thinner and rub in an inconspicuous spot. If the finish softens or comes off, then it is not a high performance finish and conventional touch up lacquers can be used.

Applied a coat of Por-O-Pac Paste Wood Filler as directed but the grain is not completely smooth.

Although Por-O-Pac paste fillers are very high in solids, they are not 100% solids. Therefore some shrinking is to be expected. A second coat of filler may be required. Also, minor grain depressions can often be levelled by the sealer, followed by sanding. NOTE: do not use more than 2 coats of sealer or try to substitute sealer for filler!

Applying 545 Wood Stain over Por-O-Pac Paste Wood Filler. It seems to be softening and removing some of the filler.

Solvents in the stain are compatible with the filler. If stain is applied wet, it could soften filler. Apply a wash coat of sanding sealer over the filler, sand lightly, and apply stain.

Applied Heavy Body Glazing Stain over sealer. The next day when the finish was applied it wrinkled.

Resins in the glaze begin to polymerise and have a recoat window. Lock in glaze with a light coat of lacquer or sealer within 1 to 6 hours from time glaze was applied.

Used Heavy Body Glazing Stain on a piece to add detail and create an antique look. Places where glaze was applied heavily seem to chip easily.

Glaze left on in heavy layers form a layer of material between sealer and lacquer coats. This results in a more chip sensitive finish. Best to use glaze in thin application where durability is required.

Sealer is not drying - gums sandpaper.

Sealer was applied over wet wood. Or: Applied over contaminated wood. Or: Applied when humidity and temperatures were very high. Or: Left to dry in area where cold temperatures were predominant. Or: Applied over insufficiently dry stain. Or: Incorrect reducer was used. Or: Excessive amounts of retarder were used. Determine the source of the problem and take corrective measures.

Sealer turns white when it dries.

Blush (moisture entrapment) in film leaves a hazy white appearance. Blush Eraser or Retarder added to the sealer helps eliminate blushing. Or: Sealer applied over an insufficiently dry stain or filler containing mineral spirits can cause a white haze. Be sure stains, etc. of this type are dry before sealing. Or: Applied over wax or oil-contaminated surface.

Several coats of sealer were applied but the grain is not filled.

Sealers are designed to fill pores and provide a foundation coat for lacquer, not to fill grain in open grain woods. Use Por-O-Pac Paste Wood Filler to fill grain.

Lacquer is drying slow or not drying at all.

Weather conditions such as high humidity, rainy cool weather, and cold drying area retard drying. Finishes dry best when relative humidity is between 25% and 50%, air temperature is 18 degrees C to 27 degrees C. If an environmentally controlled drying area cannot be provided it might be best to wait for favourable weather. Or: Incorrect reducer or excessive retarder was added to the lacquer. Or: Lacquer was applied over an incompatible product or one that was not dry enough Or: Surface was contaminated.

Lacquer turns white as it dries.

Usually the result of moisture entrapment (blushing) occurring during hot and humid or damp weather. Add retarder to your lacquer or spray over the finish with Blush Eraser. Or: A delayed whitening effect may be due to surface contamination (wax, oil) or to spraying over a stain containing mineral spirits which was not yet dry. Be sure surface to be sprayed is cleaned free of contaminates and always let stain dry sufficiently.

Lacquer leaves orange peel texture in the finish.

Cold lacquer or cold spraying conditions. Lacquer, substrate and ambient temperature should be at least 18 degrees C. Or: Lacquer is being sprayed at too high a viscosity (too thick). Add the recommended amount of reducer and adjust for equipment. Or: Lacquer is being sprayed during very hot temperatures. Solvents flash off too quickly and don't allow film to level. Add a recommended retarder.

Lacquer leaves craters (fisheyes) in the finish.

Silicone contamination resulting from use of consumer polishes. This is common when refinishing. Surface to be refinished should be washed with Wood Stain Reducer. An application of Shellac can be effective in more serious cases. Fisheye Flow Out can be added to sealer and lacquer to help combat fisheyes. If fisheye Flow Out is added be sure to use it in every additional coat until finishing is completed. NOTE: that these suggestions are aids in combating silicone contamination. Serious contamination may be difficult to overcome even if all three products are used. Or: Contamination from silicone used as a lubricant in a nearby area will result in fisheye problems. Avoid using these products where finishing is done. Or: Wax contamination on surface. Clean thoroughly with De Waxer 741.

Other forms of contamination such as dust, soot, sawdust, etc.

Maintain a clean spray area by practicing proper housekeeping And using common sense. Many minor contaminates can be removed from a finish by fine sanding and/or rubbing.

The Lacquer finish has developed cracks.

There are many things that can lead to cracking of a finish (often it can be a combination of factors). The most common reason is building too many coats too quickly. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for coating thickness and the number of coats to apply. Other factors leading to cracking are using improper reducers, wet substrate (high moisture content), and spraying lacquer over an incompatible material. Most factors that lead to cracking are controllable by the user.

Can I spray Behlen's clear lacquer over an old finish?

A: Qualalacqs Lacquer (clear or coloured)? Yes for both. It will add a durable wear coat.
B: polyurethane Finish? No. Poor Adhesion. 
C: An Oil Finish? Not over fresh oil finish. Possibly over an old oil finish providing it is not a non drying oil and it is cleaned and sanded. (Testing by user is advised) 
D: Another manufacturers sealer, lacquer, or stain, etc. The best advice is to use one manufacturers products for the entire system. Mixing systems can often lead to problems for the user. 
E: Over shellac? Yes, with qualifiers. Lacquer applied over thin coats of shellac is considered acceptable. Thick coats of shellac tend to become brittle as the film ages. 
F: Over a catalysed lacquer finish? Yes as long as it is not applied within the window stated by the manufacturer. If the finish is cured, the surface should be cleaned and scuffed. Only mechanical bonding is achieved.

How can I stop old dye in stripped wood from bleeding into the new finish?

A: For coloured topcoats, apply a thin coat of Shellac. B: For clear coats, the best advice is to bleach the wood.

Why did the finish wrinkle when I sprayed clear lacquer over coloured automotive enamel?

Spraying a solvent based lacquer over an enamel will produce wrinkling. Use auto paints on cars and furniture lacquers on wood.

I don't have your recommended reducer for your lacquer, what can I use for a substitute?

Varying from the manufacturer's recommended reducer is a users decision. Manufacturers refrain from the responsibility of guessing in matters this important.

What will happen if I put Polyurethane over sanding sealer?

You will have questionable inter-coat adhesion. It is preferable to use polyurethane as a sealer and then use polyurethane as a top coat.

What can I use as a finish for over an old oil finish without stripping the piece?

A: More oil finish. B: An oil modified varnish.

How can I tell if some liquid shellac I have had for a while is still good?

If liquid shellac is not fairly fresh, it is recommended you test some on a scrap piece to be sure it dries. Old shellac will stay soft and gummy. Liquid shellac stored at room temperature is usually good for up to one year. If stored at warm temperatures, shelf life decreases dramatically. Storing in a refrigerated area prolongs liquid shellacs useful life and is highly recommended. Dry shellac flakes stored under refrigeration have an indefinite shelf life.

What is the difference between Raw Linseed Oil and Boiled Linseed Oil?

Raw Linseed Oil will never dry completely. When applied as a film, Raw Oil has molecular groups (sometimes called "tails") that remain tacky forever. Boiled Linseed Oil originally was produced by using heat to eliminate these "tails". Today Boiled Linseed Oil incorporates chemical dryers, which are added to promote drying (begin the polymerisation process) in place of the heating process.

What is the equivalent Behlen product to "Bulls Eye French Polish"?

Either Qualasole or French Lac can be used for the same procedures as the Bulls Eye French Polish. If you are padding colour, Lac French is the better choice. If you are applying a French finish, Qualasole is the better choice. However, both can be used for either application.

When levelling a Burn-In stick with a hot knife, marks are left in the finish, what is the cause and remedy?

A: The finish is being damaged by the hot knife melting it. Always keep the hot knife moving as close to the same plane as the repair. B: Apply plenty of Burn-In Balm around the repair area to prevent damage.

After levelling a Burn-In stick small holes appear, what is the cause?

A: You are seeing air pockets that were trapped in the burn in stick. To eliminate this add the stick slower and if possible with less heat. B: Bubbles may be from air being trapped in the repair/fill. "Dab" knife into repair to aid in air removal, refill slowly and re-level after.

Why, when sanding down a Burn-In stick to level, the finish around the repair is removed, leaving a halo?

Could be caused by not using a block with clean "wet and dry" paper, or in some cases the finish is so thin that before any sanding is done a couple of clear finish coats should be applied to give something to sand on.

How do I get rid of the shiny spot after I've done a Burn-In?

A: Padding the area with a padding agent prior to spraying with an aerosol will act as protector and not allow the solvents from the aerosol to be absorbed into the Burn-In. 
B: Use Burn-In Sealer over repair area being careful not to spray too heavy because this will show through on final topcoat.

When spot spraying repairs with clear aerosols, it leaves a "haloing" effect.

You can start by making sure the aerosol is the correct compatible product for your use. Our Pre-Cat Lacquer aerosol does an outstanding job of blending in on most nitro and synthetic finishes. However, if need be, take Wool Lube with 4/0 steel wool; rub gently with the grain, end to end. This should correct the "halo" by evening the sheen.

What can I use to mix the Furniture Powders with?

There are several different types of vehicles for the Furniture Powders; Most commonly it can be applied by a cloth or a wetted brush with Qualasole or Wipe On Water Base Urethane. It can also be padded on with French Lac or brushed on with 2 Minute Repair Liquid.

When doing Burn-Ins, I always have "little marks" left in the finish. What causes this?

This is generally caused by the burn in knife coming in contact with the surface too hard. Instead of "dropping and dragging" your knife, try to let the knife come in contact with the surface while dragging. This is something that needs to be practiced, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen right away. Try to use an action like an aircraft performing a ‘touch and go’.

How do you properly mix the Epoxy Putty Stick?

You knead it like bread. It should be 1 colour when mixed correctly and should not have any marble like streaks.

How hard does the Epoxy Putty Stick get?

It gets hard enough to saw, shape, sand or carve. It is very similar to the hardness of a hardwood.

On open grain woods repair doesn't look natural.

Repair is "solid." A: Cut pores or grain into repair. B: Use graining pen or pencil to create grain and/or pores.

Fill Stick is hard/brittle.

Stick is very old or stick is very cold. A cure may be simply warming the stick, or replacing it.

Fill Stick colour specks in the repair areas.

Some of the pigment colours are not finely dispersed. Usually only found in sticks at the end of a batch. No cure for it except to notify Behlen.

Burn-In Stick supplied is broken.

This is normal. Broken sticks perform the same. If excessively broken notify Behlen.

Burn-In Stick repair pops out of damaged area from any type of impact.

Damaged area could be too smooth where stick is melted in or the damaged area may be contaminated with wax. Clean the damaged area but leave it somewhat rough to give repair material tooth.

Burn-In Stick repair area "glosses up" when finish is applied.

Burn-In material is glossy and needs a barrier over it to control sheen. Apply Burn-In Sealer over the repair. Use 2-3 light coats (mist coats).

EPOXY PUTTY remains tacky after curing.

This tackiness on the outside of Epoxy repairs is part of the chemical nature of the product. It is easily eliminated by lightly sanding it.

EPOXY PUTTY will not harden.

The 2 parts were not measured accurately. Or: The 2 parts were not mixed sufficiently. Or: 2 like parts were mixed (both parts are hardener or both are resin). Be sure to measure reasonably accurately and mix thoroughly (at least one minute of blending before using.)

Need to tint the EPOXY PUTTY.

Epoxy Putty can be tinted with small amounts of Furniture Powders by thoroughly mixing it into the resin part. Adding large amounts of Furniture Powder weakens the epoxy repair.

Qualarenu Amalgamator does not soften the finish at all.

Qualarenu Amalgamator works on conventional lacquer and shellac finishes. Catalysed lacquer, polyurethane , conversion varnishes and other Hi Tech finishes cannot be amalgamated.

If you have a question about our products please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us. We will reply to all questions and add the most useful questions and answers to the FAQ section.

Aerosol won't spray.

1. For heavily pigmented products. Cause: Depressed spray tip before ingredients were properly agitated. Pigmented materials settle to the bottom and, if not thoroughly mixed, can plug the spray valve stem and tip preventing proper functioning. Thorough agitation before using is essential. 
2. For general aerosol products. Cause: Propellant has leaked from can or valve stem has disconnected from valve when can was pressurized. Test for disconnect by inverting can - it will spray in this position if stem has disconnected.

Aerosol can sprays but spits.

Cause: Can was not thoroughly agitated before using. Hold can inverted and clear valve. Shake thoroughly and proceed. Or: Can is cold. A cold temperature reduces pressure inside can and prevents proper atomisation. Warm can to 18 degrees C minimum e.g. by partially placing can in warm water. Do not use direct heat! Or: Spraying can continuously for prolonged period cools ingredients inside causing a reduction of pressure. As you feel can surface becoming cold, stop and allow it to warm up.

Aerosol finish turns milky white.

Cause: Blushing (moisture entrapment in the film) occurs during warm rainy weather and hot and humid periods. If whiteness appears, spray over the finish with Blush Eraser to open the film and allow moisture to escape. Or: Oil, wax or other incompatible contaminant on the surface can lead to a cloudy appearance in the finish. This can appear quickly or may be a delayed reaction. Always thoroughly clean the surface to be sprayed with De-Waxer 741.

Aerosol fisheye's (craters) in the finish caused by silicone contamination.

If you suspect a finish may have contamination, thoroughly wash the area to be coated with Wood Stain Reducer. If problem persists, apply a light coat of Shellac.

What is the difference between Jet Spray and Topcoat Lacquer aerosols?

Jet Spray and Topcoat Lacquer aerosols function very similarly. The difference is in the solids percentage and the drying time. The Jet Spray is lower in solids and slightly slower drying for use as a touch-up lacquer. The lower solids and greater open time enables better flow-out on spot repairs. However, if you spray an extra coat, you'll have essentially the same finish, but the drying time will be a bit longer.