FAQs

See here the most frequently asked questions we get regarding CrystaLac products.

1. Who is The CrystaLac Company?

The CrystaLac Company is a family owned business based in the United States.  Originated by Derek Becker, a chemist and formulator for several companies prior to CrytaLac being born.  It's history dates back over 40 years as he created paints and even mixing equipment and machinery to make his paints and coatings.  The company is now owned / operated by Dorinda Shepard along with her familiy.  She has been working with her father for over 18 years prior to taking over the family brand.

2. What are CrystaLac products?

CrystaLac Waterborne Finishing Products are premium grade acrylic and polyurethane resins using the latest waterborne technology. These finishes can be used in place of nitrocellulose lacquer, polyurethane, or varnishes and can be applied to wood, metal, or ceramic products. All CrystaLac products are environmentall safe and eco-friendly.  

3. How can I apply CrystaLac?

CrystaLac finishes are designed to be used right from the can and are perfect for use with high volume low pressure (HVLP) equipment or can also be easily brushed. In some applications you can even apply with a cloth or bare hand.

4. Are CrystaLac products food safe?

According to the company - The FDA does not regulate coatings and paints. CrystaLac products do meet and exceed all EPA and paint care regulations. All of our products are 1% or less grams per liter of product. For example, California regulations are nothing over 100 grams Volatile Organic Compounds "VOCs" per liter of product. 

5. Are CrystaLac products safe for use on children's furniture and toys?

Yes, all products are safe to use in these applications.  Obviously, the liquid product should be kept out of reach of children and not ingested by them or adults.

6. Are CrystaLac products safe to use indoors?

All products manufactured by the company are non-toxic, non-hazardous and completely safe for use indoors.

7. Is the use of PPE required?

(PPE) Personal Protection Equipment is not required to work with CrystaLac products when applying by hand or brush.  Use an OSHA approved mask when spraying or when sanding to prevent inhaling any of the atomized spray or particles from sanding.

8. Has anyone had an allergic reaction to one of the products?

No allergic reactions have been reported in over 40 years of consumer use.

9. How long does it take CrystaLac top coats to dry?

Typically, a top coat will be dry to the touch in 30 minutes to an hour.  Allow 2 - 4 hours of drying time between coats, possibly longer if in extremely humid environments.  Definitely let each coat dry at least 4 hours on tumblers and crafts.

10.  What is the full cure time of CrystaLac top coats?

Full cure time is 30 days. You can gently use the project prior to that, but they will continue to harden over a 30-day period.

11. Are top coats heat resistant?

All CrystaLac top coats, glues and other products are tested by applying 4 coats to a ceramic tile and allowing to fully cure. When cured the product samples are placed in a 350-degree oven for an hour with no damage.

12. How do I clean up after application?

Wet CrystaLac products clean up with soap and water.

13. Should I dry or wet sand?

Dry sanding is recommended.  Wet sanding of water based top coats before they are fully cured may cause the top coats to get soft.

14. Can I use CrystaLac top coats over an oil based stain?

 Yes but be sure the oil stain has had plenty of time to dry and gas off.  As a rule, if you can still smell it, it's not dry.  If in doubt, air it out.

15. Can I use water to thin the top coats?

Most of the CrystaLac top coats can be brushed on and are ready to spray without thinning directly from the container.  If it is necessary, water can be used but it will take a lot of it and as a result will weaken the chemisty of the product. The CrystaLac Viscosity Reducer & Retarder is the recommended way to thin and it will do so very quickly.

16. Which CrystaLac product is recommended to use over chalk paint?

The short answer is that it depends on the environment and application.  The longer answer is Super Premium All Purpose Top Coat will work perfect for most projects. It is a Poly/Acrylic waterbased top coat that dries hard and gives great water resistance. If your project will get a lot of wear such as a tabletop, or is exposed to indoor sunlight, Extreme Protection Polyurethane is the answer. It is a non -yellowing polyurethane that is super tough and has added UV stabilizers to protect from those fading sun rays. For exterior project, CrabCoat Marine Finish is ideal and is the ONLY product recommended for exterior application.

17. Can I use CrystaLac over epoxy?

This is basically the same answer as for oil stain.  Epoxy must be fully cured, at least 30 days prior to using the water based top coats over it.  Check the SDS for the epoxy brand you used for full cure time. Sand it and then you can apply Brite Tone or other top coats.  It is just chemistry of oil and water not playing well together.

18. Can I use alcohol inks with CrystaLac?

Yes!  Traditional alcohol inks can be used to decorate but they are solvent based and cannot be added directly to Brite Tone or other CrystaLac products.  You will need to apply to a dry surface, allow 24 hours of drying time then seal the inks with a solvent based sealer.  Allow all solvent based products to fully "gas off' prior to applying any water based products.

As an alternative, make your own inks with Craftnique Color Boutique and Brite Tone.  Simply do a half and half mixture of Brite Tone and water.  Add a few drops of pigment to get the desired strength color.  These are vivid colors that will not fade or bleed.

19. How many coats of CrystaLac Top Coats should I apply?

Three to five coats is typical for most applications.  The more coats the longer lasting the protection. 

20. Can I use Brite Tone over Modpodge in a tumbler application?

The analogy is that using Brite Tone over Modpodge is like installing a hardwood floor over quicksand.  If you use Modpodge, seal it first before adding any CrystaLac product.  Both are waterbased and CrystaLac products will reactivate the Modpodge.