how to paint over black lacquer furniture
Kristina Davis

If you’re looking for a guide that’ll teach you how to paint over black lacquer furniture, then look no further because we’ll give you direct instructions on how you can do it!

Our tutorial will cover the importance of learning the correct process of painting black lacquer furniture, as well as the complete process of how to do so.

To paint over black lacquer furniture, sand the surface using sandpaper. Then, remove sandpaper dust on the wood surface using a wet rag.

After that, apply latex or oil-based primer to the wood’s surface along the grain. Paint it with latex paint or oil-based paint when the primer dries out.

Can You Paint Over Black Lacquer Furniture?

One of the most common misconceptions that people have with black lacquer-covered furniture is that it cannot be painted and that the lacquer would be the final external form and layer of the furniture.

Due to its smooth texture, a lot of people think that it’s impossible to paint black lacquer furniture.

Paint Over Black Lacquer Furniture

Little did they know, it’s actually possible – and in fact, the process is easy!  

Before we get to that, though, let us first go over the list of things and materials you would need to successfully paint black lacquer furniture.

What Do You Need to Paint Over Black Lacquer Furniture?

The things you’ll need to be able to paint over black lacquer-finished furniture are those that will be used from the preparation up to the process of painting.

These include, but are not limited to:

how to paint over black lacquer furniture
  • Sandpaper
  • Oil-Based Primer (latex)
  • Lint-Free Rag or Cloth
  • Latex or Oil Paint
  • Paintbrush or roller
NOTE: When dealing with these types of materials, it’s imperative that you put on gloves and safety goggles so you can protect yourself.

How to Paint Over Black Lacquer Furniture?

Black lacquer is a type of liquid dissolved in alcohol and dries out to form an external covering for wood, metal, and plastic.

Painting and putting color over black lacquer is known to be difficult because of its smooth texture.

But, here’s the process of how you can paint over black lacquer-finished furniture.

Step #1: Prepare the Space and All Your Materials

how to paint over black lacquer furniture

The first thing you want to do is to prepare everything. And what we mean by everything includes the working space and the materials needed to do the job.

Make sure that you’ll do it in a spacious area for better ventilation and to avoid discoloring other stuff.

NOTE: We recommend doing the project outside for the best ventilation possible. If you’ll do it indoors, make sure that the windows and doors are ajar.

Put on the gears and equipment you’ll need for the job. Safety goggles and gloves are among the best that you can use to protect yourself from any possible danger.

Step #2: Sand the Black Lacquer Furniture

how to paint over black lacquer furniture

Then, what you want to do next is to perform sanding on the black lacquer furniture. Sand the parts of the furniture that you’ll be painting.

When to Use a 150-Grit Sandpaper

It’s better to use 150-grit sandpaper when the surface is glossy lacquered. What this does is help stimulate the adhesion on the surface of the lacquered furniture.

When to Use a 300-Grit Sandpaper

If the surface has an eggshell sheen or is flat, use 300-grit sandpaper. This will help with the overall preparation of the surface for painting.

EXPERT TIP: Make sure that you sand along the direction of the wood grain, not against it. Doing the opposite will defeat the purpose of sanding in the first place.

Your goal when sanding is to scrape the surface to allow a new layer of coating to grip onto the surface of the product.

Step #3: Remove Sandpaper Dust From the Surface

how to paint over black lacquer furniture

After sanding, make sure that you remove all by-products of sanding using a lint-free cloth. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Wet your lint-free cloth using warm or cold water.
  2. Make sure that you remove every drop of water by squeezing and wringing it.
  3. Wipe the surface dry and take out all the dust.

If doing this results in your wooden surface becoming wet, make sure to dry it out under the sun or via air drying it.

Can You Use an Electric Sander?

By nature, it’s not generally recommended to use an electric sander for this procedure. But if the sander’s processing is mild without endangering the surface.

Step #4: Apply Oil-Based Primer (Two Layers)

When the surface is all dried out, the next thing you want to do is apply the primer onto the wooden surface.

Use a latex primer or an oil-based primer for this particular project.

Applying the First Primer Layer

how to paint over black lacquer furniture

Apply the primer using a paintbrush that is about three (3) to five (5) inches in size, and make sure that you paint along the wood grain’s direction.

Let the first layer of primer dry out for three (3) to five (5) hours.

Applying the Second Primer Layer

how to paint over black lacquer furniture

After drying, apply the second layer of primer onto the surface again. This improves and enhances the quality of the primer, making it more susceptible to being painted.

Once done, let the primer dry out for a further two (2) to three (3) more hours in order for the product to sink onto the surface.

Step #5: Apply the Paint to the Black Lacquer Furniture

When these are all done, the next thing you want to do now is to apply the latex or oil-based paint onto the surface.

Thanks to 2-layered primers, you wouldn’t have any trouble or problem making the paint stick to the surface of the black lacquered furniture.

Then finally, let it dry out for one (1) whole day. If it’s still sunny, you can bathe it out under the sun so that it dries out faster and quicker.

how to paint over black lacquer furniture

After you finish this 5-step process, you should now know the full-on method of how you can apply paint on your furniture covered with black lacquer.

If you’re not sure how you can paint over furniture finished with black lacquer, you just need to sand the surface, remove the dust, apply the primer, and then apply the paint to cover or put the paint over the lacquer.

Final Words

Do you now know how to paint over black lacquer furniture? With this guide, going through this will be as easy as a-b-c and 1-2-3!

The next time you encounter this question and situation, you know where to go.

Learning this simple trick can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on repairing or refurbishing furniture.