How to Get a Matte Finish With Lacquer Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Painted metal surface or wood surface

  • Liquid deglosser

  • Wood stain

  • Natural-bristle paintbrushes

  • Steel wool in 0000 ultrafine grade

  • Sandpaper in P240, P320 and P400 grades

  • Power sander, if necessary, for floor

  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery brush attachment

  • Cloths

A matte finish protects a wood surface.
Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

A matte finish on lacquered wood or other material is a surface that appears dull because it absorbs light. When applied correctly, a matte finish creates a lack of glare on a surface, which is easy on your eyes. Smudges and fingerprints are less visible, and the whole surface has a fashionable and professional look. There are no shortcuts in the production of a good matte finish. It is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.


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Step 1

Clean the surface thoroughly. Remove wax, glue and dirt. Ensure that the surface is smooth by sanding with P240 grade sandpaper or P320 grade sandpaper. Use liquid deglosser to remove old paint from a metal surface.

Step 2

Stain a wood surface, if required. Ensure that the initial wood stain coat is slightly lighter than the final color you desire. Allow the surface to dry for one hour, then apply a second treatment of stain, and a third as necessary, until you achieve the color you desire.


Step 3

Sand down a wood surface with P320 sanding paper, working along the wood grain. Rub a metal surface with 0000 grade steel wool, working slowly in broad circles. Clean residual dust with a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner that has an upholstery brush attachment. Apply one coat of lacquer and allow it to dry for one hour.


Step 4

Use P400 sandpaper to sand the wood surface and 0000 grade steel wool for a metal surface, using the same technique as before. Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth or use a vacuum cleaner to clear the dust. Apply a second lacquer coat. Allow the surface to dry overnight.

Step 5

Use P400 sandpaper for a final sanding on the wood to achieve the matte finish. Rub the metal surface with 0000 steel wool for the desired matte finish.


Use a power sander on wooden floors between lacquer coats, but hand-sand for the final finish. A little water on an unsealed floor helps keep down dust.


Avoid sanding a metal surface for the initial cleaning. Mistakes in hand sanding or machine sanding may cut into a metal surface and encourage rusting. Take time to achieve the correct finish. A poor matte finish will make the most beautiful piece of furniture or metal object look shabby.


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