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7 ideas to paint your furniture with a lacquer finish

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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In the market, one comes across wooden furniture with a lacquered finish in a variety of colours and textures—matte, bright, etc. Lacquered paint, which is used to coat furniture can be acrylic enamel or Chinese lacquer, either satin or glossy. The technique of lacquering can be undertaken by anyone, provided they have suitable equipment and materials for repainting the furniture, without spending much money. You can lacquer your furniture, if you want to improve its appearance and make your house look more beautiful.  

In this article, we will teach you a few steps so that you can paint your own furniture with lacquered paint and transform them completely, giving them new colours, textures and life. Get inspired by these tips and images of lacquered furniture to renew the decor of your home, after all you deserve a beautiful house and furniture with a fresh and personalized look.

Lacquered finish can be used on any surface

See how original this bathroom sink looks with a colourful lacquered finish! Learn more about the subject below.

What is lacquer?

Lacquer is an automotive paint with polyurethane. It can seal the surfaces of several types of materials, provided they are very smooth. These lacquered paints come in diverse colours. They can be used to coat not only wood but also other materials such as metal and glass.

In this photo, the solid wood sideboard and MDF shelf have been industrially painted but display an elegant finish thanks to glossy or satin lacquered paint.

1. Sand the surface of the furniture

Your old bookcase can be completely refreshed with some colour. How about painting the closet doors in a bright shade? In this case, the cabinet was painted with lacquered blue, to add an interesting contrast to the red of the chairs as well as the yellow of the chandelier.

Before you start painting everything in sight, make sure that the surfaces of the wooden furniture or other pieces have been properly sanded, to correct imperfections and to ensure that they are clean. The grade of the sandpaper should be chosen according to the condition of the furniture. If the wood has many imperfections, choose a thicker sandpaper (number 60). If the imperfections are minor, choose medium or finer sandpaper (number 100 or 150).

2. Choose the type of paint and your preferred colour

There are two types of lacquered paint, one water-based and the other polyurethane-based. The most commonly found lacquer type is nitrocellulose lacquer. This product is easy to handle, and any adult can use it to paint various surfaces. Remember that colours play an important role in the decoration and quality of the environment. Ensure the colour of your lacquered paint complements the rest of the decor.

You can consult a professional to get help in choosing the best alternative for your furniture and home.

3. Preparing the paint – dilution

Water-based lacquer is easy to handle and remove, in case it leaves stains. On the other hand, synthetic lacquer, the polyurethane based one, is more difficult to handle. If you choose enamelled polyurethane lacquer, you will need to dilute the paint using a thinner. 

Polyurethane lacquer creates a refined finish, with shiny surfaces that are free from imperfections, as is the case of this coffee table, which is painted with black lacquer.

4. Apply a sealing base

Once you have sanded and cleaned the surfaces and prepared paint, it's time to move to the next step of the process. This is to apply a sealing base, which fills the imperfections, preventing surfaces from absorbing more paint than is necessary. The sealing base is an essential component to achieve an impeccable finish with lacquered paint. 

The picture above shows a dining table, which in addition to its bold shape, stands out because of the glossy finish of its surfaces coated with turquoise lacquer paint.

5. Sand again

The process of lacquering furniture is simple, but it requires patience and dedication. After application of the sealing base, the surfaces of the furniture or object must be sanded again in a gentle manner to remove any residue or imperfections. After this, wipe the surface with a dry cloth.

6. Take a brush and roller in hand, and get started with painting!

With a small brush and a roller suitable for lacquered paint, start applying the first coat. To start with, spread the paint with the brush, and then, always roll in the same direction to cover the entire surface evenly. It is advisable to apply at least two layers of paint. Therefore, you should wait for the surfaces to dry (use a dryer if you want to speed up the process), and then apply the second coat. If you are looking for a more refined and shiny finish, then apply a third layer.

7. Finishing it

When the surfaces are totally dry, apply a colourless wax, using a brush. And, after applying the wax, wipe the surface of the furniture with a clean dry cloth to polish it. This will give it a brighter glow. 

In the market, there are several types of paint that can be used to repaint furniture. Synthetic enamel is recommended for metal surfaces, but it can also be applied to wood. Its fast-drying, and its brightness is intense. Chinese lacquer is another option, but it dries slower as each layer needs 24 hours to dry completely. However, its intense brightness and diversity of colours are its greatest advantages. As you have probably realized after reading this ideabook, you will find a variety of lacquer products to give a fresh look to your furniture and make your house more beautiful.

If you enjoy giving your home a new look, see 9 easy D-I-Y apartment improvements for some inspiration.

Are you going to try this? Let us know why or why not.
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