How to tint lacquer

Updated February 21, 2017

Tinted lacquer is used on woodworking specialities such as pianos, guitars and other musical instruments. It's also used on Asian-themed jewellery boxes, chests and fine furniture such as desks and chairs. Tinted lacquer is brilliant. Bright reds, blues, greens and yellows contrast with combinations of black and white. To achieve these colourful effects, simply add lacquer toner or liquid pigment to your lacquer.

Measure out 1 pt. of lacquer using the measuring cup. Pour it into the spray gun canister.

Pour approximately 28.4gr. of lacquer toner into the canister.

Put the gun back on the top of the canister and shake it hard. Let the mixture settle for 10 minutes.

Spray a short burst of lacquer onto a test board. Let the lacquer dry for 15 minutes. If it the lacquer colour is too light, add a small amount of toner. If the lacquer is too dark, add more lacquer. Spray another test on the board. Evaluate and add more toner or lacquer sparingly until you achieve the colour you desire.


Lacquer tinting agents are highly concentrated. When you get close to the colour that you want, use caution; it doesn't take much to alter the colour.


Always wear breathing protection when working with lacquer or paint products.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • 1 quart lacquer
  • 1 quart pressure pot spray gun
  • 1 bottle lacquer toner, 113gr.
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About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.