Oriental simulated Lacquering
Rating 3.5 -moderate
For use on furniture, and objects.
Red lacquer - Images of oriental cabinets,
chinoissiere chests and screens, hand rubbed
objects from far away places stir the
imagination. This simulated polished red lacquer
effect is perfect for creating a wonderful Asian
influence in any environment. Transform simple
furniture, or elaborately carved ornament into a
beautiful keep sake.
You can use this decorative
technique on any type of furniture or object.
We've chosen this oriental cabinet to create
our finish. You can use new, un-finished
furniture, an old antique, or even a painted
object. Following we describe how to refinish
furniture with an existing finish. For more
information on preparing painted, stained,
varnished and unfinished furniture visit the
Step 1: Remove
all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Place protective drop cloths
around object or furniture, and tape any areas
not meant to be painted or refinished. Refer to
the artSparx basic preparation resource for
tips and techniques.
Using a liquid sander,
with protective gloves, quickly removes
the existing finish.
stripper off the surface with a putty
knife and razor blades will bring the
original wood to a workable condition..
you have stripped, or sufficiently dulled the
existing surface, you will need to sand the
wood thoroughly. Use 180 grit or 220 grit
sandpaper, always sanding in the direction of
the wood grain.
sanding resource for more information on
sandpaper and sanding techniques.
Step 3: When you
have completed your sanding, remove all dust
with a tack cloth. Next you will need to
prime the surface
with a good quality primer. A fast drying
oil-based primer is recommended. Refer to
the artSparx basic preparation resource for
tips and techniques.
Because the 'lacquer' glaze, as
described below, is an oil-based product, it is
recommended that you use an oil-based primer,
followed by an oil-based base color. Water-based
paint will work, but will not be as durable and
the final luster may be slightly affected.
Priming the cabinet with a high quality,
Step 4: A rich red is used for the base
color on our simulated Chinese lacquer
|Notes on the base color
Choosing a paint supplier.
Though artSparx refers to Benjamin Moore paint colors,
you can take your color request to any paint supplier and they can color
match any color, by any manufacturer.
Other recommended paint manufacturers include
Pittsburgh Paint, Pratt and Lambert, Behr, Sherman Williams, TrueValue,
Best, and Ace brands.
Other colors, such as Ochre
and Sage green, are also used, though less
frequently. Following are two additional color
options. The following glazing technique will
be the same for any color you choose.
Golden Ochre implies a
golden inner glow.
Stem green creates a lovely
softness in your lacquer appearance. Ideal
for small and unusually shaped objects
After you have stripped and primed your
furniture or object, and allowed the primer to
completely dry, you are ready to apply your
An un-finished detail.
Priming the surface.
Paint the surface using a good quality
painter's brush. A 3 inch brush should work
well for most surfaces. For large, straight
areas, use a mini roller where ever possible.
This will insure a smoother, flatter painted
|Creating your 'Black lacquer
You will now proceed with the 'black
lacquer' treatment for your simulated
lacquer effect. The effect you will be
applying is essentially a soften
variation of the classic
treatment, only you will leave the edges
more opaque and the center panels softer
and more 'transparent'. In this manner you
will achieve the hand-rubbed, hand
polished effect of time worn lacquer,
buffed and polished over centuries of
care - and wear and tear.
Create your 'lacquer'
glaze in the following manner. First,
put on your disposable gloves. In a 2.5
quart bucket, mix 1 to 1 1/2 tubes of
Universal Tinter with 1/2 tube Raw
Universal Tinter into 1
quart of satin or semi-gloss oil based varnish.
Stir thoroughly. You can always add more tinter if the glaze is not opaque
enough. Add approx. 1/4 cup mineral spirits
(white spirits) to the glaze solution
and mix completely.
you begin to apply the black 'lacquer'
glaze, the colored varnish will settle
in your bucket, being heavier than the
mineral spirits. It will be necessary to
continually stir the solution to
maintain it's fluidity. It may also be
necessary to add small amounts of
mineral spirits to your glaze as you work through your
project. This will compensate for any
evaporation and settling of the glaze
|Applying your lacquer glaze
8: Begin glazing from the inside
surface outward. Therefore, any back
panels will be first, then side panels,
etc. Working in one area at a time, you
start by taking a rag moistened with mineral spirits and
wet the panel you are working on. This helps move the glaze
fluidly over the surface. Now apply your glaze from the
outside of the working area towards the
center, but leave the center panel
Use a clean rag and
carefully 'pull' glaze color from the
outer edges into the center panel. The
technique is to create a 'halo' effect,
with a soft, lightly glazed center
panel, gradating outward to near black
on the outer edges.
While still wet, use a
clean, dry brush and lightly
brush over the surface, called
'feathering', to soften the glaze and
create an even, blended appearance. You
can brush in all directions at first.
When you are pleased with your results, finish off
with light, even brush motions from one
edge - completely stroking through - to
the other edge. Continue this even brush
movement over the entire surface you are
The completed, soften
glaze effect glows with an apparent
'halo' of blackness surrounding a
sumptuous, deep red tone.
|Glazing a door with inset
9: Always start with the inner most area
first, then move outward. In this case we will
start with the center panel of the doors.
Following is a diagram for the method of
approach for glazing doors.
Begin with center panel.
B: Continue to center panel moldings, always dragging in a horizontal or
C: Drag top and bottom panel in a horizontal manner.
D: Use a damp rag and wipe clean a straight line between panel 3 and 4.
This mimics the grain pattern of how the door is put together.
E: Glaze left and right panel 4, carefully dragging against clean line
created in step D with your dry brush.
start by taking a rag moistened with mineral spirits and wet the
panel we are working on. This helps move the glaze
fluidly over the surface.
To create the antique effect we start by apply our glaze
in a 'halo' manner, keeping the center of the panel free
Apply glaze to edges
Soften lightly and
begin to bring glaze into the center,
pulling glaze inward.
Now soften evenly
Begin outer panel
11: Once you have created a halo with your
glaze use a dry brush and begin to pull color
into the center panel. You want to keep the
edges a stronger tone then the center. Drag
glaze in straight, even motions from top to
bottom until the center has a slight 'veil'
Once you have completed this
move to the outer panels.
Apply your glaze and with
your dry brush, drag the
glaze in an even manner
soften the panels as
12: Repeat this process on the side
panels and frame of the cabinet.
If your lacquered object or furniture
has any interesting details - high
points, relief moldings, rounded edges -
you can accentuate them and build
character into your Chinese lacquer
piece. First glaze the section
completely with the black lacquer glaze,
softening with a brush as mentioned
above. Next, use a clean rag and
gently wipe the high points, and edges,
removing some of the glaze and revealing
the base color underneath. Soften
lightly with your brush to even the
'buffed' surfaces out. You will
immediately see amazing results! Do this
where ever you feel there might be a need
for a 'glowing' accent or edge.
Allow your object or
furniture to completely dry, approx. 24
|Optional 2nd glazing
If you would like your newly lacquer
piece to be darker, particularly in the
edges, you can apply a second glaze
treatment, exactly as before. You will
not need to be as conscientious,
however, as the initial treatment will
have covered the base color completely.
Applying a second coat of glaze,
though not necessary, will create a
richer, deeper appearance, and will make
the lacquered object even more magical
and authentic looking.
|Applying a protective varnish coat
add additional protection to your object
or furniture, an oil-based
varnish, preferably the same brand as
you used for your 'lacquer' glaze, may
be applied after the painted surfaces have dried completely (24 hrs). A low
luster or satin finish will work well.
Applying a wax
protective coat instead of varnish
Instead of applying a
oil-based varnish, you may chose to coat
the surface with a tinted wax. This will
create a hand-rubbed finish and will
provide sufficient protection to your
object. A tinted wax, such as Bree
Wax, will work perfectly. For more
information about antiquing with waxes
artSparx antiquing center.
Dispose of rags properly. For oil based rag rolling clean up with mineral spirits.
Visit the artSparx waste disposal resource.
Step 17: Clean
up with mineral spirits.