Working With Lacquer Spray: General Tips

Working With Lacquer Spray - General Tips

Lacquer spray is a popular option to get a durable finish on many projects. There are many things that need to be considered when you are working with a spray lacquer to get an even finish. Here are a few tips while using proper spray equipment.

Use Safety Equipment

Wear the proper respirator, or you will get dizzy and sick and may pass out even with good ventilation, lacquer is very volatile

Prevent Fires

Lacquer of any kind will create flammable fumes. Even a small, unseen spark from a wall fan or other electronic equipment can ignite an explosion. This shouldn’t deter you from using lacquer, just be smart about it. Only paint in a well ventilated area that is free from fire hazards and flammable materials.

TIP:Doityourself’s painting consultant Edward Kimble, author of Interior House Painting Blog, advises, “Lacquer is very flammable. DO NOT SMOKE, and have no open flame sources such as hot water heater, regular heater, space heater or any other type of flame. Wear the recommended respirator to protect your lungs and not get dizzy and sick.”

Clean the Nozzle

If you are working on a larger project the chances of getting gunk in the nozzle is greater. You will be spraying more and stopping in between with larger pieces. This can lead to the spray nozzle becoming clogged with the lacquer. You will want to keep an eye on this and clean the nozzle if you see it clogging. Once you start to spray, you should only stop to refill the spray gun. If there is any build up in the nozzle, you can clean it or blow it out with lacquer thinner. This will give you a much more even look to your finished project.

TIP:Edward suggests, “If the spray nozzle gets clogged, open the canister and pour out the lacquer material into a container covered with a screen to filter out any solid particles, then fill the canister about half way with lacquer thinner, and spray the whole amount of lacquer thinner out, even if the clog dissolves immediately. Then refill the canister with the strained lacquer.”


Learning to use a spray lacquer is something that is best done with practice. You will want to start by spraying a few scrap pieces of the material you are working with. This will give you a better idea of how thick or thin the coats should be, and how much you may need to thin the lacquer itself.

TIP:Edward says, “Start moving the spray gun to the left of the item to be painted, then depress the spray trigger and hold the trigger all the way across, spraying PAST the right side of the item, then start back to the left, and depress the trigger BEFORE you reach the right edge. Continue to spray with this on/off, on/off motion.”

Working with spray lacquer has many benefits. It’s much faster than the traditional paint brush method, and when done correctly can give you a beautiful, even finish to any item.

Edward Kimble, professional painter and author of Interior House Painting Blog, contributed to this article.