How to lacquer furniture?

How to lacquer furniture?


Lacquering furniture is a popular technique used to add a glossy and durable finish to wood surfaces. Whether you want to restore an old piece of furniture or give a new one a sleek and polished look, learning how to lacquer furniture can be a rewarding skill. In this article, we will dive into the process of lacquering furniture, discussing the materials needed, the preparation steps, and the application techniques to achieve a professional-looking finish.

Materials Used

1. Lacquer: The primary material needed for lacquering furniture is the lacquer itself. There are various types of lacquers available, including nitrocellulose lacquer, water-based lacquer, and polyurethane lacquer. Each type has its own advantages and application techniques, so choose the one that suits your project best.

2. Sandpaper: Before applying the lacquer, it is essential to prepare the furniture surface by sanding it. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any existing finish or imperfections, and gradually move to finer grits for a smooth surface.

3. Primer: Depending on the condition of the furniture, you may need to apply a primer before lacquering. The primer helps to seal the wood and provides a smooth base for the lacquer to adhere to.

4. Brushes or Sprayer: You can apply lacquer using either a brush or a sprayer. Brushes are suitable for smaller projects or intricate details, while sprayers are ideal for larger surfaces. Choose high-quality brushes or sprayers to ensure an even application.

5. Masking Tape: To protect areas that you do not want to lacquer, such as hardware or glass surfaces, use masking tape to cover them.

Preparation Steps

1. Clean the furniture: Start by thoroughly cleaning the furniture to remove any dirt, dust, or grease. Use a mild detergent and water solution, and allow the furniture to dry completely.

2. Sand the surface: Use sandpaper to sand the entire surface of the furniture. Sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid scratches. Remove any dust generated from sanding.

3. Apply primer: If necessary, apply a primer to the furniture surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific primer you are using. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding.

Application Techniques

1. Brush application: Dip the brush into the lacquer and apply a thin, even coat on the furniture surface. Work in small sections, following the direction of the wood grain. Avoid overbrushing, as it can create brush marks. Allow the lacquer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and lightly sand between coats for a smoother finish.

2. Spraying: If using a sprayer, ensure that you have a well-ventilated area or work outside. Apply thin coats of lacquer, moving the sprayer in a smooth and even motion. Overlapping each pass slightly helps to achieve an even finish. Allow the lacquer to dry between coats, and lightly sand between coats for optimal results.

3. Multiple coats: Depending on the desired finish, you may need to apply multiple coats of lacquer. Each coat adds depth and durability to the finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended number of coats.


Lacquering furniture is a rewarding process that can transform the look of your wooden pieces. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a professional-looking lacquer finish. Remember to choose the appropriate materials, prepare the surface properly, and apply the lacquer using the recommended techniques. With practice and patience, you can create beautifully lacquered furniture that will stand the test of time.


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