How to finish wood with clear lacquer

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Lacquer is a useful wood finish due to its quick drying time, durability and crystal-clear coverage. However, the difficulty of applying lacquer properly causes some people to shy away from using it on DIY projects. Spraying on clear lacquer is the easiest application method but, in many cases, this requires a professional-grade spraying machine. With proper knowledge and preparation, you can use spray can lacquer and save the expense of hiring a professional or buying or renting a sprayer.

Prepare the wood surface. Remove any rust or paint with a wire brush or sandpaper. Wipe the surface with a cloth to remove debris.

Shake the spray can of lacquer. Once the mixing ball begins to rattle, shake at least one minute more.

Position the spray can between 20 and 30 cm from the wood surface and press the button. Spray a light coat evenly from side to side to cover the entire surface. Overlap each stroke to reduce a streaking effect.

Allow the lacquer to dry on the wood surface for two to three minutes, then apply another coat in the same manner. Most manufacturers recommend three coats for best results. The surface should be completely dry within 24 hours of the final coat's application.

Once you're finished lacquering the wood surface, hold the can upside down, away from the wood surface, and press the button. Hold it until only air escapes from the nozzle. This prevents the nozzle from clogging before future applications.

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