How to Apply Wood Lacquer

Wood lacquer.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-50
What You'll Need
Fine glass paper
Wood lacquer
Tarp or newspaper to cover surfaces

The hardest part of applying wood lacquer is having the patience to ensure you use enough coats and that each coat dries before you apply the next one.


The desired result for a wood lacquer finish is a high-gloss shine. You achieve this result best by spending plenty of time on the preparation. The wood surface to be lacquered should feel perfectly smooth. Use a very fine glass paper. Complete the final pass with a scraperboard.

The Brush

Apply the wood lacquer with a small, fine brush, no more than 1 inch broad and preferably smaller. Check even a new brush to ensure no bristles are loose.

The Lacquer

It is false economy to choose a cheap lacquer. A good-quality Chinese lacquer is always the best.

Applying the Wood Lacquer

Cover any areas you want to keep free of lacquer. Dip the brush to halfway up the bristles and wipe off any excess lacquer. Apply the lacquer in smooth, easy strokes, and try not to go over areas twice.

The first coat of lacquer should dry to a smooth, shiny surface. Then you can apply more coats until the lacquer finish looks just how you want it.