Home Decorating Tips

See how lacquer paint makes wooden surfaces look better.
Home Decorating Tips

How Lacquer Paint Can Make Your Wooden Surfaces Look Luxe

Ever wanted to have wooden furniture that looks luxurious, but don’t have the budget for it? Or do you have wooden furniture at home that simply needs a little upgrade?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, now may be the time for you to consider giving your furniture a makeover with the help of the right products. 

As the new year approaches, why not give your wooden furniture a new look with a coat of lacquer? These come in a variety of colors and finishes that can suit many different needs or aesthetics.

Learn how painting with lacquer products on wooden furniture can be done right with the help of this read. Plus, check out some of the best clear lacquer products you can use for wooden furniture.

Is Lacquer a Good Choice for Wooden Furniture?

If improving the appearance and durability of your wooden furniture is one of your goals as a homeowner, then yes, lacquer is a good choice! When applied to a wooden surface, lacquer creates a durable AND hard yet flexible film that remains above the wood grain.

Lacquer products are most often used as finishing coats for wooden furniture, sealants for metal surfaces, and as protectants and colorants for automotives, to name a few. In the realm of furniture refurbishment and restoration, industry experts recommend using lacquer on wood for many positive reasons. Lacquer is known to:

  • Provide fast-drying abilities
  • Protect the surface against water and other liquids
  • Require little maintenance work
  • Maintain its transparency as time passes and does not yellow or become cloudy

There are five types of lacquer products that can be used for wooden furniture, namely: nitrocellulose lacquer, acrylic lacquer, catalyzed lacquer, waterborne lacquer, and urushiol based lacquer. Each of these products has its own pros and cons. 

If you’re unsure about the product that will be best suited for the surface you’ll be working with, talk to an industry expert who can guide you through the best option for your current project.

How to Apply Lacquer on Wooden Furniture

Lacquer can be applied via brush or spray. If you’re new to the lacquer application process, you may want to consider applying the product using a brush first. However, if you feel like you can tackle a spray application, go for it. 

According to industry experts, lacquer that is applied using a brush can dry quickly, but you have ample “wiggle room” to smoothen and ensure the finish is right. 

If you are ready to apply lacquer to your wooden furniture and make the surfaces look extra luxe, follow these steps:

  1. Use a clean tack cloth to wipe the wooden surface and remove dust particles.
  2. Create a 50:50 mixture of your lacquer of choice and lacquer thinner. Apply this “sealant coat” to the surface. Use a high-quality natural bristle brush to slowly and evenly apply the solution to the surface. Refrain from brushing multiple layers of this sealant coat, as it may produce many brush strokes. 
  3. Let the sealant coat dry.
  4. Take a piece of 320-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the wood.
  5. Use a clean tack cloth to wipe the dust and residue on the surface.
  6. Lightly “damp” a clean, wide natural paint brush with some of your chosen lacquer. Dip it into the container and allow the brush to soak up as much product as possible. Ensuring that the paint brush is “full” of lacquer lessens the possibility of needing to refill the brush while painting is ongoing. Remove excess lacquer by running the brush along the edges inside its container. 
  7. Use long and continuous paint brush strokes to apply one full coat of lacquer to the wooden surface. Do so by following the direction of the wood grain. Make sure to apply the lacquer in one direction and avoid going back-and-forth with the brush. 
  8. Let the lacquer dry for about two to four hours, or according to the package instructions. 
  9. While the lacquer is drying, dip the brush you painted the surface with into lacquer thinner. Wipe the residue with a clean towel. 
  10. Once the initial lacquer layer has dried, sand the surface with 320-grit sandpaper and thoroughly clean residue that is left with a tack cloth.
  11. Apply another layer of lacquer (or more) using the same mixture you used earlier. If you want the wooden surface to look darker, add more coats of lacquer. Just make sure to observe adequate drying time in between applications.
  12. Once you are satisfied with how the wood looks, rub a piece of steel wool or pumice stone over the surface. These materials will help remove any imperfections that the sandpaper may have missed and add a layer of sheen to the wood. 
  13. Feel free to apply a sanding sealer that can help the products you apply settle onto the wood.  

Use These Island Chemicals Lacquer Products for Your Furniture

If you are looking to give your wooden surfaces a touch of luxury and shine, choose any of these lacquer products from Island Chemicals:

  • Five Star Clear Gloss Lacquer:

    This clear amber liquid is best applied using a brush. Five Star Clear Gloss Lacquer is a special varnish that may provide high gloss, and promote ideal gloss adhesion and retention on surfaces made of wood and rattan.

  • Apollo Water White Clear Gloss Lacquer:

    If you are up for the challenge, consider this lacquer that is recommended to be applied with a spray. This glossy, nitrocellulose-based lacquer works for fast and easy applications on wooden furniture, panel boards, and cabinets. It can be applied as a “finishing coat” over sanding sealer. This product is best paired with Mayon Lacquer Thinner.

  • Apollo Dead Flat Lacquer:

    Not a big fan of glossy surfaces but want the wood to look better anyway? Consider this lacquer that can deliver a smooth and matte finish. Another nitrocellulose-based product, this lacquer may help protect the wood against deterioration and promote better longevity. 

Aside from these, don’t forget to have these thinners and sanding sealers on hand to thin out the lacquer and ensure the product applies smoothly to the wooden surface:

  • Uno Lacquer Thinner:

    This contains an economical blend of lacquer thinners that can be used to clean up and thin out lacquer-based paint. Applying this lacquer thinner may help deliver a smooth surface. 

  • Mayon Lacquer Thinner:

    This premium quality lacquer thinner and reducer contains a blend with different solvents like ethers, complex ketones, and aromatics. It’s also helpful in cleaning up and thinning out lacquer-based paint while providing a consistent finish, minus the possible paint defects.

  • Five Star Sanding Sealer:

    This sheen substance can be used as a sealer for surfaces made of wood and rattan.

  • Apollo Sanding Sealer:

    This sanding sealer is made of a special nitrocellulose-based coating that delivers good sealing abilities, especially for succeeding coats of clear lacquer.

On a final note, always make sure to read the Technical Data Sheets that come with these Island Chemicals products to learn more about how to properly apply, store, and dispose of them safely. 

Lastly, always wear the appropriate safety gear when handling any of these substances, namely goggles, face masks, and gloves. Make sure to use these products in a well-ventilated area as well. These lacquers and thinners are made with chemicals and substances that can cause harm to your health if you are exposed to them frequently. 

With these products from Island Chemicals, you can upgrade your furniture’s look and feel so you can achieve that luxe aesthetic you’re going for even if you’re working with a budget.

For other home improvement tips, especially those that involve using lacquer for painting furniture, head over to the Island Chemicals website today!







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