How to Apply a Black Lacquer Finish

Light reflecting off tile coated in black lacquer.
  • 4-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-250
What You'll Need
Warm water
High-quality bristle brush
400-grit sandpaper
High-quality black lacquer

Applying black lacquer finish to surfaces is decidedly more complicated than applying most other types of finish, primarily due to the fact that it requires an extremely high level of precision. While the difficulty involved with this task may scare off the typical household handyman and tempt them to outsource the job to a high-priced professional, don't fret. This helpful guide will walk you through the process of black lacquer finish application in a step-by-step fashion and make the job as simple and stress-free as possible.

Step 1 - Give the Surface a Vigorous Cleaning

A cleaning cloth sitting on a table surface

Before you can begin applying your black lacquer finish, you must give the surface where you will apply it a thorough cleaning. Using a damp cloth, vigorously wipe down the surface, taking care to remove any caked-on dirt or debris. The cleaner your surface, the less likely you are to run into problems during the application process, so when performing this step, it is important that you be as meticulous as possible. Once you've completed this step, use a clean cloth to fully dry the area.

Step 2 - Apply Your Initial Coat of Black Lacquer Finish

Now that your surface has been fully dried, you're ready to apply your first coat of black lacquer. Load your bristle brush with black lacquer and, using broad strokes, begin applying. Take care to avoid spreading the lacquer in a back-and-forth fashion, despite that being the way other types of finish are typically used. Once you've successfully gone over the entire surface, consult the lacquer's packaging in order to learn how much drying time is required before the second coat may be applied.

Step 3 - Thoroughly Sand Your Surface

Roll of sand paper

Use your sandpaper to give the freshly lacquered surface a vigorous smoothing after it's had ample time to dry. When performing this step, remember that the smoother the surface, the easier it will be to apply subsequent coats of black lacquer.

Step 4 - Repeat the Process

Depending on the size of the surface you are covering and the quality of your lacquer, you will need to carefully repeat steps one through three between two and four times. Although this task is liable to eat up a great deal of time, it is important that you not give in to the temptation to rush your way through it, as you will ultimately wind up with a shoddy looking surface. However, it is extremely important that you take breaks whenever the physical exhaustion—or even the lacquer fumes—begin to weigh on you.