How to Clean Lacquered Wood Furniture

Written by christopher godwin
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How to Clean Lacquered Wood Furniture
Pianos are often finished with a lacquer coating. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Lacquered wood furniture is fairly common in homes, as its beauty is an instant draw for many people, and tables, pianos and even chairs are often finished with lacquer. However, many people don't know how to properly care for lacquer, which is fairly delicate and can easily be damaged by repeated improper cleaning. Proper cleaning, whether for general care and removal of fingerprints and dust, or damaged areas and rings, is fairly simple, and once learnt, can help to keep your lacquered wood furniture looking new for a long time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Commercial polish
  • Clean, lint-free cloths
  • Cotton gloves
  • Clean cloth
  • Cornstarch
  • Mayonnaise
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Purchase a commercial polish made for polished surfaces like lacquer. If your lacquered wood furniture has a dark or light colour, make sure you choose an appropriate colour or choose a clear polish that will not alter the colour of your furniture.

  2. 2

    Apply the commercial polish with a clean, lint-free cloth while wearing cotton gloves to prevent fingerprints on the surface of the furniture.

  3. 3

    Buff the furniture with a clean cloth, removing as much of the oil as possible.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch over the recently polished surface and allow the cornstarch to rest for 5 minutes.

  5. 5

    Gently wipe the cornstarch off the table with a second lint-free cloth. The cornstarch helps to remove excess oil left on the surface of furniture from the polish.

  1. 1

    Apply a light layer of mayonnaise to areas that have become white and damaged. Don't put on too much, just enough to lightly coat the area.

  2. 2

    Allow the mayonnaise to stay on the area for 1 hour without touching it.

  3. 3

    Wipe the mayonnaise off with disposable paper towels. Try to avoid spreading the mayonnaise over the surface of the furniture as you wipe it off.

  4. 4

    Follow the instructions for general cleaning in Section 1 after removing the mayonnaise mixture.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid putting liquids like water on lacquered wood furniture. These can damage the delicate finish.
  • Never apply polish made for dark furniture on light woods, even if you intend to colour the furniture. This will not work, and will only dull the finish of your furniture. If your furniture needs refinishing, seek professional assistance.

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