How to Lacquer a Table


Lacquer finishes that you apply on a table is for the purpose of enhancing the table’s toughness, durability and is also water resistant. It also makes your table look more elegant and classy when you display the table in any modern room. Lacquer originated from the resin of a specific tree known as the varnish tree where the resin is harvested from the tree’s sap, refined and later mixed with lacquer thinner in order to create a woodworking finish. This article will help you learn how to lacquer a table on your own.

To lacquer a table, you need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drop cloths
  • Paint or varnish stripper
  • Plastic scraper
  • 60 grit heavy grain sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Dish detergent
  • Water
  • Rags
  • Grain filler paste
  • 150 grit fine grain sandpaper
  • Lacquer with sealer mixed in
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Airless paint sprayer or natural soft paint brush
  • 220 grit very fine grain sandpaper
  • Liquid wax
  • Soft cloths

Lacquer a Table

How to Lacquer a Table

  • First thing, you need to do is to unscrew the legs of your table if it is detachable.
    • You need to this task outdoors or in a well ventilated area, for example inside a workshop or garage
    • Make sure your work area floor is protected using drop cloths.
  • It is recommended that you strip the existing coats of paint or varnish from the table using suitable chemical stripping and also adhere to its manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Once finished, if there is still traces of paint or varnish
    • You should rub them away with a course of sandpaper or steel wool. After that, you have to wipe the dust using a tack rag.
    • Then, you can add a tablespoon of mild dish detergent along with a gallon of warm water so that you can wash the table thoroughly using damp cloth.
    • Make sure to leave the table to dry thoroughly.
  • Filling wood grain with the same color like your table only need to be done if it is necessary
    • Use this filler by following the manufacturer’s instructions and once done you need to remove any excess of the wood grain using a plastic scraper.
  • Then, you have to sand the table carefully with light sanding style and then wipe off all the dust before you clean them using a damp cloth. A lacquer base primer needs to be applied to the table using a paint sprayer or brush. Make sure to leave the table to dry thoroughly.

If this is the first time for you to work with lacquer, you should try first on unused furniture or scrap wood, which is similar to your table. You need to practice using the lacquer on the material before you start to work on your table. Once you are satisfied with your style of coating the lacquer, you can proceed with the real table.

  • If you are using spray application, you have to mix lacquer using a lacquer thinner according to the amount recommended by its manufacturer.
    • You need to place the lacquer in an airless spray painter or you can purchase lacquer in can.
    • Always shake the can well before you start using the spray.

It is recommended that you hold the sprayer or can at least 8-inches away from the table. Always spray it lightly and evenly in order to create a smooth coating.

  • Make sure you start to spray at inner corners before proceeding to flat surfaces by applying a broad spray strokes.
    • Make sure to allow the coat dry thoroughly.
  • If you are using brush application, you have to mix lacquer using a lacquer thinner according to the amount recommended by its manufacturer.
    • Brushing with thin coat and apply lacquer with the grain by using a bristle brush. You need to work a little bit fast because lacquer dries very quickly and you should always avoid leaving brush strokes.
    • Make sure to allow the coat dry thoroughly.
  • For the finishing, you need to sand the table very lightly using fine grain sandpaper. Then, wipe off the surface until it is clean using a tack rag before you clean it with a damp cloth.
    • Make sure to allow the table to dry thoroughly.
  • Repeat the same process mentioned above from the start of lacquering the table in order to create two or four more coats.
  • Finally, you need to apply a small amount of liquid wax
    • Then, you need to polish the table before you start to buff it using a soft cloth.

    Always remember that when you want to use lacquer product

    • You must make sure that the table or furniture is not made of plastic, metal or other non-porous material. This material should be using lacquer faux finish paint.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC