How to Paint Over Lacquer Furniture? (Chalk Paint & Enamel)

how to paint over lacquer furniture

Lacquer will give your furniture a shiny and perfect finish, especially wood furniture. But after a few years, the lacquer will become dull and tear even though you have a glossy or matte finish. So it is necessary to paint over lacquer furniture every few years. This article will give you a complete guide on how to paint over lacquer furniture.

The task of painting over the lacquer furniture will be quite challenging. If it is not painted precisely, it will not give you the outlook you expect. So make sure you do it correctly when painting lacquer furniture, but first, you need to complete reading this article!

Can Lacquered Furniture be Painted?

Yes, lacquer furniture can be painted, but you will have to do it carefully to get the best results. First, you will have to determine the sheen of the lacquered furniture. After you have checked the condition, you must sand the furniture’s surface. 

Then, you have to wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove the sandpaper dust. Then you must apply interior primer to the furniture. After the primer is dry, check for places where it is not appropriately applied and go for a second coat. After the wood furniture is sanded and primed, you can apply the paint. Go with a second coat if you see any patches on the furniture.

Can I Paint Lacquer Furniture Without Sanding?

Sanding can be tricky as it gets messy and tiring. Yes, you can definitely paint lacquer furniture without sanding, but you must do the prep work to do so. Even though you can paint over lacquer without sanding, we recommend sanding as the results won’t be the same. But yes, you can paint lacquer furniture without sanding. 

The first step is to clean the lacquer surface using a heavy-duty TSP cleaner properly. It will bring down all the dirt and grease that have been there for years.

The second step is to degloss the lacquer surface. The deglosser is considered the best alternative for sanding. It will give the effect of sanding to the surface by peeling down the lacquer surface. After the peel down, it is ready for priming and painting. Then you can apply the primer and the paint as you desire.

What Kind of Paint will Stick to Lacquer?

There are a few paints on the market that you can use to paint over lacquer furniture. Here we will discuss three main types of paints you can use. Chalk, mineral, and enamel paint are the main types of paint that will stick to the lacquered surface.

Enamel paint can be used to paint over lacquered furniture. It is effortless to apply and will give the furniture a glossy finish. It is highly durable and water resistant. The main problem with using enamel is that it is hard to clean and maintain as it is oil-based.

Chalk paint is the next type of paint you can use on lacquer furniture and apply without much fuss. It is also user-friendly. It dries so fast and is easy to maintain. The problem with chalk paint is that it is non-durable; if it is applied in highly used areas, it tends to tear off the paint rather quickly.

Mineral paint also can be applied over lacquer surfaces. Even though it is a bit pricey compared to the other paints, it is easy to apply. It gives a smooth and fine finish to your furniture.

How to Paint Over Lacquer Furniture?

Now that you know a bit about painting over lacquer surfaces, let’s see the process of painting over lacquer furniture. Painting over lacquer furniture can be a little complicated; therefore, follow these steps to have a better finish.

You will need paint, primer, damp cloth, sandpaper, paintbrush, and safety gear for the process.

Before starting sanding or anything, you must check the sheen’s condition. You can do this by touching the lacquer surface and identifying the texture of the surface. You must identify whether it has a flat finish, semi-gloss or hi-gloss.

The next step is to sand the surface. If you identify the texture of the surface as hi-gloss or semi-gloss, then it is better to use 150-grit sandpaper to sand the surface. If the surface is flat, then go with 300-grit sandpaper.

After you finish sanding the surface of your furniture, then you have to clean the dust with a damp cloth. Too much water will saturate the wood surface; therefore, ensure to avoid excess moisture.

Now, it is time for the primer. You should only apply a thin layer of primer on the surface. Applying a layer of primer is essential when you paint over lacquer. So make sure you complete this step and let the primer dry. Then if you notice any spots on the surface, apply a second layer of primer. 

Now you can go ahead and apply paint on top of the primer. This process is relatively easy, and make sure you apply the paint in the same direction. If you notice any patches after the first layer, sand the surface again slightly and apply the second layer of paint. Let the second layer dry entirely; now, you can apply the clear coat on top of the paint. The coat will seal the paint, making the surface shiny.


Even though painting over lacquer is a bit complicated, you can accomplish the task without any issues if you follow our steps correctly. Make sure you do the sanding, as it plays a significant role in giving you a smooth and shiny finish. If you don’t sand the surface properly, the paint tends not to stick and peel off eventually. 

In addition, it is imperative to choose high-quality paint to get the best results, and as we mentioned, there are a few paint options you have to match your requirements. If you need more info regarding the topic we discussed, please comment below. Have a great day!

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