What is the Best Way to Apply Lacquer What is the Best Way to Apply Lacquer

What You'll Need
Paint brush
Unfinished wood
Lacquer (there are some spray on lacquers, but for these purposes well be using paint on lacquer)
Sandpaper
Tack cloth
Drop cloth
Newspaper
Steel wool (a pumice stone may also be used)
Mineral oil
Lacquer thinner

Lacquer can be very difficult for the novice furniture finisher to apply. It is a material that creates a great finish and can be very versatile when working with wood. Lacquer can be used to create anything from a deep matter finish to a very high gloss shine. It is also very durable and is used to protect wood from the elements. Once applied, it also hold polish very well and can be polished to an even better finish. Applying lacquer does not have to be as daunting of a task as some make it out to be, however. With a little patience and some practice you can apply a nice finish to any unfinished wood in no time.

Step 1: Prepare The Wood

Use the sandpaper to prepare the wood by getting rid of any rough edges and any previous traces of lacquer or finish. The wood needs to be sealed of any major pores or imperfections before applying the lacquer. You can also use the tack cloth to wipe down the wood to remove any sandpaper residue before applying the lacquer.

Step 2: Apply The First Coat

Be sure to use even strokes to make sure a firm coat goes on as a base coat. Do not use a back and forth motion, instead use quick, long strokes to insure an even coat. Each stroke needs to go with the wet edge of the previous stroke.

Step 3: Allow To Dry

Each coat of lacquer needs several hours to dry, so be patient with this. As each coat dries, use the sandpaper to remove any imperfections. This will make subsequent coats easier to dry.

Step 4: Clean And Repeat

In addition to using the sandpaper to get rid of any imperfections between coats, use the tack cloth to remove any residue. Once done, apply another coat and allow it to dry. Repeat as necessary until you have as dark of a finish as you are looking for. This may take several coats depending on how dark you want the wood to be.

Step 5: Finishing

The steel wool and pumice stone will help immensely with the finishing process. They will help to create a sheen as well as remove any larger imperfections that the sandpaper cannot remove. Once done, wipe down the lacquered piece with paint thinner in order to eliminate any left over oils. The lacquer thinner can be used to clean the brushes left over, as well as help remove any excess oils.

Once the lacquer is applied, be sure to maintain it with most over the counter furniture polishes. Lacquer can be brought to a high luster with very simple products such as Pledge.

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