Modern furniture is becoming easier to maintain, but lacquered furniture, usually older, needs maintenance and reconditioning. In order not to give up elegant and quality furniture, follow the steps described below and you will be able to recondition your furniture bodies successfully.
Lacquered furniture is not easy to care for and, in many cases, it ends up being scratched and hit, and its appearance suffers a lot. The good news is that the varnish layer protects the quality of the wood, so a reconditioning project is viable. Following the instructions below you can bring the furniture, again, in good condition.
Choose the furniture
It is not economical to recondition any lacquered furniture. It is advisable to choose the one that has worn out the most. The one that is superficially scratched and has light bumps or wear can benefit from a careful cleaning and a refreshing of the finish, a layer of carefully applied wax being sufficient for such cases.
However, scratches and deep cuts cannot be remedied so easily. A table with knife marks, peeling varnish or traces of discoloration needs a thorough reconditioning. If the products and technique used are suitable, the furniture will look like new.
Prepare the right tools
Before starting the project, make sure you have all the necessary tools at hand. You will need chemical-resistant protective equipment, because you will apply cleaning products and new coats of varnish, primer, varnish or paint, and they can be aggressive with some types of synthetic material. Choose gloves that are resistant to solvents and varnishes. Also prepare goggles and a mask to protect yourself from harmful dust.
You will need a ticling, cotton cloths, a grinder, pickling solution (if necessary) and thinner, new brush and varnish, or paint, depending on the solution you want to adopt. You have a wide range to choose from: there are water-based varnishes, resin protection and silicone additives or paint, both for interior and exterior.
Remove damaged lake
The first step can be performed in two ways: by mechanical removal of the lacquer layer or by chemical means, by uniform application, on the entire surface, of the pickling solution. If you decide to use a stripper, then the solution, spread with a brush, is left to act for a while on the old lake, after which a ticling tool is used to remove it.
A faster method is to use a belt sander, which quickly removes the damaged varnish layer. With the help of the grinder you can make less effort and avoid the use of chemicals, especially if you are sensitive to odors. In order to remove the varnish, without changing the thickness of the wood, you need a paper with a grain size of 150-180.
Once you have cleaned the old layer of varnish, use a cotton cloth soaked in thinner to remove dust and debris left over from abrasion, thus preparing the surface for the next step.
After you have wiped all the faces of the furniture, wait for the wood to dry so that you can move on to the next step.
Sand the surfaces
Many times, after removing the layer of varnish, the unevenness, the traces of discoloration or the joints will stand out, that’s why the wood must be prepared as if it were for the first time when you varnish it. Try to get the best belt sander and you will have very good results.
Use as fine a grain as possible and finish all the faces well. For some pieces of furniture, such as chairs or tables, you will have to use sanding paper, without enjoying the help of the sander. Especially when it comes to legs, grooves and decorative elements you will have to manually clean the elements, which will take you a long time. It is quite a difficult job, but the coverage of the lake must be uniform, so try to check all surfaces.
Clean up debris
After sanding, you will have to clean the furniture again, as thoroughly as possible, because any trace of dust can form a film that prevents the optimal adhesion of the primer to the wood material. Over time, these small defects can facilitate the appearance of swelling and scorching.
This is the time when you can see if there are hidden imperfections, which can not be removed only by a careful finish and can not be masked with varnish. If it is about visible cracks, it is preferable not to leave them like that, but to apply a putty that corrects the appearance. Only after the putty has dried can you move on to the next stage.
Apply a new coat of varnish
In the case of reconditioned furniture, some owners prefer to change its appearance, using paint. But, whether it is paint or varnish, it is advisable to apply several coats. Before applying the varnish, it is recommended to use primer, because it has a higher covering power and has the precise role of facilitating the adhesion of the varnish. By repeated application, the consistency of the lacquer layer is ensured, and the furniture becomes more resistant and more beautiful.
As a basic rule, after each layer of substance you apply, you have to wait a while, and then make a new finish and clean the dust, to give another layer of varnish. For a good coverage, 2-3 successive layers are needed. It is important that the application is made in a thin layer, whether it is primer or varnish, because the thick layers can give the appearance of orange peel and can lead to a cracked film. Avoid giving too many coats of varnish, otherwise it will crack.
Both between the stages of varnishing and at the end, let the furniture dry very well. Try not to touch it until you are sure that the lake on it has dried up completely, otherwise you can leave traces in it and destroy a good hour of work.