How to Lacquer Furniture


Lacquer provides a glossy, durable finish that is commonly considered difficult to apply and is used primarily on furniture. A lacquered finish not only gives a piece of furniture an expensive, custom look, but can extend the useful life of the piece. Lacquer can be applied with a paint brush, but spray application is more typical.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand paper
  • Tack cloth
  • siphon-feed spray gun with an external mix nozzle.
  • Lacquer
  • Large soft brush
  • Lacquer thinner
  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • 0000 steel wool
  • Mineral oil
  • Fill and seal the piece before lacquering. Sand the wood with a 320-grit sandpaper and use a clean tack cloth to clean the dust.

  • Hang or prop up the piece so you can get to all sides without moving it. Lacquer is fast drying, so it is usually sprayed on furniture. If the piece that you want to finish is small, use an aerosol can. If the piece is large, use the spray gun.

  • Move the sprayer in a horizontal path, spraying from right to left. The sprayer should be kept parallel to the surface being sprayed and each pass should overlap the previous one by about one-third.

  • Allow the piece to dry for three to four hours. Sand with 320-grit sandpaper. Wipe clean with a tack cloth.

  • Apply two to three coats, allowing drying time and sanding between coats.

  • Apply mineral oil or paste wax to fine, 0000 steel wool and rub the final coat to get the lacquer's traditional glossy sheen.

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