how to lacquer a coffee table

How to Lacquer a Coffee Table

With a few simple materials and a bit of time, providing your coffee table with a beautiful, lacquered finish is possible. Whether you’re doing a small repair job or giving your entire coffee table a new look, the steps below will help you get the lacquer job you desire.

Step 1: Prepare the Table

Your coffee table must be clean and free of debris before you start. This can be easily done by wiping the surface with a damp cloth. Sand the surface with a low-grade sandpaper, such as 220-grit, to smooth it out. Once done, you may use a tack cloth or a damp cloth to remove any dust.

Step 2: Apply Primer to the Table

Apply a layer of lacquer primer with a clean paintbrush or a roller. Be sure to brush with the grain, not against it. Let the primer dry completely before you begin the next step.

Step 3: Apply the Lacquer

  • Start by diluting the lacquer with 25% thinner, or mineral spirits.
  • Shake the container of lacquer thoroughly before you start.
  • Brush the lacquer onto the coffee table with a clean, soft-bristled brush.
  • Be sure to brush with the grain, not against it.
  • Let the coat of lacquer fully dry before proceeding with the next.

Step 4: Sand & Dry

  • Use a 220-grit sandpaper to scuff the surface of the lacquer.
  • Be sure to sand in the same direction you brushed the lacquer.
  • Wipe off all dust with a tack cloth or damp cloth.
  • Let the coffee table dry for about two hours.

Step 5: Apply and Dry the Final Coats

  • Apply two to three coats of lacquer, sanding with the grain after each coat.
  • Allow each coat to dry before applying the next.
  • Let the entire surface dry for several hours before continuing.

Step 6: Wax and Buff Your Coffee Table

  • Apply a few coats of wax over the entire lacquered surface.
  • Let the wax dry and buff the surface with a clean cloth.
  • Voilà! You now have a beautiful, lacquered coffee table.

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