How to Lacquer Furniture High Gloss

Do you want to change the look of your furniture in an easy and cost-effective way? Lacquering is an awesome option, as it enhances the color and texture of almost any material. It also gives a glossy finish that’s much easier to keep clean than unfinished wood or other materials.

How to Lacquer Furniture High Gloss

Lacquer is becoming an increasingly popular choice for furniture finishing due to the beautiful high gloss finish it can offer and its ability to easily maintain itself. Whether you’re looking to refinish existing furniture or create a custom lacquered piece from scratch, with some practice and the right supplies, anyone can learn how to master lacquer furniture making.

Here we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to lacquer furniture high gloss, and then guide you through polishing and buffing until you attain that perfect glossy shine.

What Will You Need?

For the job, you will need:

  • Lacquer
  • Steel wool
  • A paintbrush
  • Sandpaper in various grits
  • Polishing compound or paste wax.

Once you have all the required supplies, it’s time to get started.

10 Easy Steps on How to Lacquer Furniture High Gloss

Step 1: Preparing the Furniture

Starting With a Clean Surface

To achieve a quality lacquer finish, starting with a clean surface is important. If you’re refinishing existing furniture, use steel wool to remove any dirt or debris from the wood. Be careful not to scratch the wood while you do this.

Step 2: Sanding Down the Surface

Sand down the entire surface of the furniture using sandpaper in various grits and get rid of any imperfections such as scratches or dents. Be sure to pay extra attention to corners and edges that may require finer sandpaper in order to give them a smooth look. Don’t forget to look for wood knots, as these will require extra sanding in order to achieve a smooth lacquer finish.

Step 3: Applying Lacquer

Take your time applying lacquer, ensuring each layer is evenly spread across the entire piece of furniture. Start with thin layers first, then add more coats until you achieve the desired thickness. Use a brush or spray gun for an extra smooth finish if you need to.

Step 4: Let the Lacquer Dry

Allow the lacquer to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Depending on your specific environment and humidity levels, this can take at least 24 hours or longer. Be sure to let each layer dry before applying a new one. Try not to rush this step, as it is the most important for achieving a quality glossy finish.

Step 5: Buffing the Surface

Once all of the layers are completely dry, you are ready to buff the surface with steel wool until it is smooth and shiny. Make sure that you work in small sections so that you don’t miss any spots. This will create a beautiful luster and prepare your furniture for polishing.

Step 6: Polishing the Surface

Now that you have achieved a glossy finish apply a soft cloth to the polishing compound. Make sure that you are moving in circular motions to evenly spread the compound and let it sit for a few minutes. You can also use paste wax for this step if you prefer.

Step 7: Buffing Again

After the compound has had time to absorb, you can use steel wool again to buff the surface one more time. This will ensure that your hard work pays off and that you are the best lacquered finish possible. Additionally, it will help to extend the life of your furniture.

Step 8: Wiping Off Excess Polishing Compound

Once again, use a soft cloth to wipe away any excess polishing compound that may have been left behind from buffing. Try not to put too much pressure on the wood, as this could damage the shiny finish. It will also help to prevent the compound from drying out and leaving streaks.

Step 9: Applying Paste Wax

Apply a Thin Layer of Paste Wax

For an extra layer of protection, apply a thin layer of paste wax to the surface. This will help prevent scratches and keep your furniture glossy for longer. You can get paste wax in various colors, which is a great way to add your personal touch.

Step 10: Enjoying Your Work

You should now have a beautiful glossy finish that you can be proud of. Make sure to take care of your furniture and enjoy the beautiful results of all your hard work! You now know how to lacquer furniture with high gloss and can use these same steps for any other project you have in mind.

With these ten easy steps, anyone can learn lacquer furniture high gloss and create beautiful pieces that will last for years to come. Just remember to take your time when applying each step, and be sure to use quality supplies.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use a sanding machine to smooth the surface of your furniture before applying the lacquer. This will create a more even finish and make it easier to obtain a high gloss look.
  2. Start with the most coarse grit sandpaper and work your way down to finer grits for a smooth, flawless finish.
  3. Ensure that you have adequately applied several coats of primer before applying any lacquer, as this will help ensure an even coverage and prevent the lacquer from pooling or dripping.
  4. Choose an oil-based lacquer if you want a glossy finish on your furniture – water-based varieties can be more matte in comparison.
  5. Finally, make sure to use either a brush or spray paint for the best application results of the lacquer – it can be difficult to achieve an even coverage when using cloth or paper towels as applicators.
Spray Paint for the Best

With these tips and tricks in mind, you can be sure to achieve a high gloss finish on your furniture when lacquering.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Don’t apply too much lacquer in one go. A thin layer of lacquer is best, as it can easily be wiped off if needed before drying and will provide a better finish.
  2. Avoid using a brush that’s too big for the surface you’re working on. The larger the brush, the more difficult it is to control, and this could result in an uneven finish.
  3. Don’t start sanding until all of the previous coats have been applied and dried properly – otherwise, you may end up with visible brush strokes or uneven surfaces.
  4. Never leave your lacquer open to the air; always store it tightly sealed after every use so that it remains fresh and ready for application when needed.
  5. Don’t rush the drying process. Make sure that you give each coat enough time to dry and cure properly. This will result in a smoother, shinier finish on your furniture.

Following these simple tips can help ensure that your lacquer furniture project turns out with a high gloss finish to be proud of. With patience and practice, you’ll become an expert in no time!

Does Lacquer Make Paint Glossy?

Yes, lacquer can be used to make paint glossy. Applying a thin layer of high gloss lacquer over a painted surface will give it a vivid, shiny finish that stands out among other furniture.

Furniture Looking Its Best

However, it’s important to note that this finish is not permanent and will need regular upkeep if you want to keep your furniture looking its best. So remember to take care of your beautiful furniture by regularly dusting and polishing it with appropriate materials for the best results!

Overall, with the right tools and techniques, you can easily learn lacquer furniture high gloss for a beautiful finish that will stand out from the rest.

Is Lacquer Stronger Than Varnish?

Yes, lacquer is generally stronger than varnish when it comes to furniture protection. Lacquer forms a hard, durable coating that can withstand wear-and-tear much better than varnish.

Additionally, lacquer creates a glossy finish that is more aesthetically pleasing than varnish, making it ideal for furniture pieces you wish to have an eye-catching shine on.

However, if your aim is just to protect the wood surface without adding too much sheen, then using a quality varnish may be sufficient.

What Are the Disadvantages of Lacquer?

While lacquer does provide a great glossy finish and protection to the furniture, it also has some potential drawbacks.

One of these is that it can be difficult to remove if you ever want to change the color or look of your furniture piece – which means that once you have applied lacquer, it is best to stick with it. Additionally, the lacquer will not adhere as well on surfaces that are particularly oily or greasy and may require additional preparation before use.

Finally, over-spraying or using too much lacquer in one area can result in pooling or dripping, which can ruin the finish of your furniture item. So make sure you use caution when applying this material!


High gloss lacquer furniture can offer many benefits in a home, such as increased durability, a sense of timelessness, and an overall enhancement of the atmosphere.

Whether you opt for standard lacquer for a subtle look or ultra-high gloss for a more illustrious effect, be sure to choose quality products and use the correct application techniques to get the most out of your attempt. 

With a little patience and effort, you can create professional looking results right in the comfort of your own home. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors, finishes, and styles; it’s all part of the fun!

Additionally, don’t forget to enjoy the process—you might even surprise yourself with how much satisfaction working with such detailed material can actually bring. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll even be able to pass this knowledge along to someone else!

Hopefully, the article on how to lacquer furniture high gloss has been helpful. Good luck on your lacquer furniture project!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

Leave a Comment