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.