How to Prepare Metal for Lacquer Paint

Written by philippa jones
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How to Prepare Metal for Lacquer Paint
Thoroughly clean metal surfaces before applying lacquer (wash table image by araraadt from

Insect byproducts have long been the prime ingredients in making lacquer, but chemicals and resin have replaced them in recent years. The product still fills its traditional function to varnish a surface. Before you varnish, you need to prepare the metal surface so the lacquer will bond securely to give a high-quality and durable result. You can either spray on or paint lacquer, which can be coloured or clear. The benefit of using lacquer over other varnishes is that it is hard and long-lasting.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Liquid soap
  • Sponge
  • Bucket of water
  • Toothbrush
  • Degreaser
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Place the metal object outside in a clear, open space for preparation.

  2. 2

    Clean the surface thoroughly that you are going to paint or spray with lacquer. Remove as much dirt, debris and grease as possible from the metal surface. Work with a sponge, bucket of water and liquid soap.

  3. 3

    Place the sponge to one side and grab the toothbrush. Scrub between fretwork, inside corners, along edges or on rough marks on the metal, using the toothbrush. Choose a soft-headed brush to avoid scratching the metal surface.

  4. 4

    Rinse the surface using the sponge, then apply the degreaser. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that the degreaser is suitable for metal. Don't damage any previous paintwork.

  5. 5

    Remove the degreaser and rinse the metal surface with clean water.

  6. 6

    Dry the surface of the metal. Leave it to dry after washing or speed up the process by using paper towels to remove excess moisture. Check to be sure that the surface is completely dry before you apply the lacquer.

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