This post is a Lacquered Furniture DIY. I will share the Six Steps to achieve Beautiful Lacquered Furniture. I have recently completed two pieces and I’m over the moon excited with A) how Easy a DIY it was, and B) how beautifully they turned out.

Lacquered Furniture DIY
How to Lacquer Furniture
How to Lacquer Furniture
Chinoiserie Style Home

Spray painting is simple and easily applied to lots of DIY Home Decor

I encourage you to check out this recent post: Spray Paint a Ginger Jar. Spray paint was also used in this DIY: Marble Shelving Unit ~ Budget Friendly and Easy DIY Makeover.

Lacquered Furniture DIY

In this post, I’ll feature two pieces where I followed the Simple Steps to A Beautiful Lacquered Furniture Piece: A beautiful mid-century cocktail table, and vintage side chair.

Chinoiserie Chic Style
Mid-Century Swan Cocktail Table
Chinoiserie Style Furniture
Cheetah Print Lacquered Accent Chair

Simple Steps to a Beautiful Lacquered Furniture Piece:

  1. Thoroughly clean your piece. I used “holy cow” degreaser.
  2. Lightly sand the piece with a high grit sandpaper- I used 400 grit
  3. Wipe away all the dust particles with a slightly damp cloth
  4. IF NECESSARY – as with my cheetah chair – tape off the area you with to keep paint free. (I’ve covered that in detail later in this post.)
  5. Begin with a light coat of Spray Paint – keep the nozzel about 5-6 inches from the item and apply dusting type strokes. NOTE: 2-3 Light coats (with light sanding between) will give you the best outcome. IF you get a run, wait for the paint to dry and lightly sand it away. DON’T try to correct it while wet.
  6. AGAIN, if necessary, there are clear lacquer coat for a protection and high gloss. (I didn’t complete this step on either of my projects, but it is another step should you need it.

Here is a supply list for lacquering furniture:

  • soap and water – or degreaser if necessary
  • fine grit sandpaper (400)
  • tack cloth
  • lacquer spray paint
  • painter’s tape
  • plastic tarp/bag
  • spray tent – not necessary but oh so helpful
  • disposable respirator mask

The first lacquered furniture DIY, a Mid-Century Swan Cocktail Table. Here is is in it’s before state:

Mid-Century Swan Table
Mid-Century Swan Table

If you follow me on Instagram (link here), you know I found this bird at an Estate Sale. It was love at first sight. I debated keeping her creamy finish. I lived with the piece in the living room, fully styled, for a week before I went forward with the lacquer spray paint plan. (Time had yellowed the original finish.)

Chinoiserie Chic Decor
Mid-Century Swan Cocktail Table – Before Lacquering

Steps For Lacquering A Furniture Piece:

Step One: Wash the piece with degreaser. You would proceed to step two and step three a light sanding and dusting if needed. This piece did not need those steps. This piece had no need for taping off, step four, so we moved to on to the fun stuff (choosing a great piece can save steps and time).

Step Five: You’re ready for the fun. Read the directions on the lacquer spray paint you chose. All lacquer requires a well ventilated area. I also splurge for a spray mask, just to be on the safe side. There will be over-spray, so if you don’t own a spray tent, you can make one out of card board or old sheets. Or, in my case, I had a beautiful day, so I set the piece on saw horses above a tarp and didn’t need a tent. I always start painting my items from the top and work down, trying to keep a wet edge. Otherwise, you will have over spray, and will not get as smooth a finish. Most cans will recommend spraying from 5-6 inches away with a light coat.

How to use Lacquer Spray Paint with Ease
Lacquer Spray Paint works best spraying from the top down.

If you get a run in the paint, wait until it dries and lightly sand the run before respraying.

Lacquer Spray Paint
Lightly sand any runs after the paint dries.

This beauty took three light coats. I received the look I wanted without Step Six. You will determine if you have a high usage piece that will need more protection or if you want more gloss. I’m so glad I lacquered this piece!

Mid-Century Swan Table
Chinoiserie Style Home
Chinoiserie Style Living Room
Lacquered Mid-Century Swan Table

Simple Steps to a Beautiful Lacquered Furniture Piece — Number Two

The second lacquered furniture piece DIY featured in this post is an accent chair. Here’s is the chair as purchased.

French Country Side Chair
The Cheetah Print Chair in the French Office

The only regret I have where this chair is concerned is not purchasing the second of the pair! At the time I wanted it for my office and only needed one. But, it’s far to sassy to be sequestered in the upstairs office seen only by me. So I relocated it to the Living Room.

Vintage Style Decor
The cheetah print chair relocated to the living room before the lacquer makeover.

Steps One, Two, and Three for the chair were the same as the cocktail table. Then, because removing the fabric from the base was more complicated than I wanted to attempt, I proceed to Step 4. I did a two step taping process. First, painstakingly tape off all area where the fabric meets the wood.

Spray Lacquer Makeover
Step one of the Taping Process

Then, tape a plastic tarp/bag over the top of the first tape you applied. This worked perfectly for me, and kept paint off the fabulous cheetah fabric. The taping off step is the most tedious and time consuming, but completely necessary step in the process.

Taping Steps before Spray Painting Furniture
Taping steps before Lacquer Spray Painting a Side Chair

I realize PINK lacquer and cheetah print could be a little much for some of you. It’s okay, to use white lacquer and gray velvet. The process will work. Here’s my analogy for my color and fabric choice for this application: Think of the lady who walks into an event greeted by debutantes dressed in elegant, classy black dresses while wearing a bright pink chiffon dress with a feather boa around the hem and cheetah print high heels. A few may adore her style, while other’s will border on finding her choice offensive. My chair is similar to her: bold, specific, unafraid, and unfettered by appropriateness.

How to Lacquer Furniture
Pink Begonia Lacquered Side Chair
How to Lacquer Furniture
Pink Begonia Lacquer Chair
Easy Steps to Lacquer Furniture
Colorful lacquered accent chair

Live Life Colorfully

I walk down the stairs almost every single day to see this light filled living room with bright colors, and I’m instantly happy! Tom the Great loves when I’m happy! (He doesn’t want me near his office with my lacquer spray paint, mind you. But, he is 100% behind my flirtacious dance with décor in the living room.) 

Chinoiserie Chic Decor
Happy Colorful Home

Of course, it’s all the better when THE CHAMP is there to greet me!

Eclectic Home
The Champ

If you’ve not used lacquer spray paint, I suggest a practice run on an item that would not cause grief and pain should you be somewhat of a perfectionist, as there is a definite learning curve. Now, fellow DIYers, it’s your turn to dance!

Enjoy Today!

Love y’all,

Lori Nell

Comments (17)

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you, Lou Ann. So good to connect with you on all the social media platforms! Hope you’re doing well in that beautiful sunshine state!!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      She’s a sass! If you can’t be one, I guess you can own one?!?

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you, darling Tara! My goal is to inspire others to do just that: have your home reflect who you are (and a dose of the hubs).

  1. Chloe Crabtree


    I have a red lacquered desk that has MANY nicks in the front of it from the arms of the chair I use. I am so happy to learn this and think I could use it on my desk. Of course I will have to sand the entire thing, there is no way I could just match the paint. Your room is so bright and colorful! The hot pink on your leopard print chair was the perfect color! Great job!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you, Chloe! It really isn’t that hard. I would practice first. The trick is choosing a great paint!

  2. Rschelle


    Really impressed with how the furniture turned out. Amazing finish!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you, Rscelle! I’m really enjoying both pieces, and it wasn’t hard at all!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Go for it, Loren! Just get a highly recommended lacquer (ask your hardware store), and follow the directions. Good luck to you!!

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