Blush Remover/Cloudy Spots in a Lacquer Finish

Blush Remover

Blush Remover, also known as Lacquer Retarder is a very useful tool to have in your arsenal.

It helps moisture to escape and can also be used to reflow lacquer if it went on a bit dry.

Our lacquers are often dry to the touch within a couple of minutes, which in many aspects, makes them easy to use (avoiding runs, unwanted debris, etc). However, sometimes moisture needs a bit more time to escape.

Generally, if you’re spraying with a relative humidity of 60% or lower, you can pretty much count on a blush free finish. While spraying with a RH of <60% is a good rule of thumb, not everyone lives in dry environments and sometimes deadlines dictate the finishing schedule. You’ll get to know the environments you’re comfortable in spraying in, but with the right technique and Blush Remover, it’s not unheard of to spray when RH is as high as 70 or even 75%.

Another use for Blush Remover is to thin the viscosity of a recent coat. If you’re experiencing orange peel or a coarse texture on your finish, a misting of Blush Remover will allow your top coats more time to flow out as a smoother layer before it dries. This can be especially useful for your final top coats as it can reduce the amount of wetsanding/levelling that’s needed.


I sprayed my finish when the humidity was only 40% and I still experienced cloudiness:

  • Likely the finish was sprayed too thick.

I sprayed Blush Remover on my instrument and my finish is still tacky after 20 minutes:

  • You likely sprayed too much Blush Remover. A quick mist is often all you need to reflow the lacquer or slow down the initial drying process.
  • Another possible cause of a delayed drying time is air flow. Make sure you have some level of air circulation in your finishing/drying area. If you leave a freshly sprayed instrument in a small room with zero air flow, the air will become rich with solvents, and will delay the time it takes for the new coats to flash off.

I’ve misted Blush Remover onto a problematic area but am still experiencing a level of cloudiness in the finish:

  • Try another application of Blush Remover in a dryer environment if possible. Mist a coat on and wait 15-30 minutes before reassessing. If the cloudiness still persists after several attempts, the problem may need to be sanded out.