I love the look of lacquered furniture. Can I do it myself?
Before you get DIY on the brain, keep in mind that you can't just brush on lacquer paint -- it’s formulated to be sprayed on, which means you need to own or rent a paint sprayer. But that’s not the only trouble. Lacquering requires a lot of sanding, and for a high-gloss look, you need up to six coats between sandings. It's also surprisingly pricey. Say you want to lacquer a standard coffee table measuring two feet by five feet. You’d pay $1,200 to $1,500 for a high-polish lacquer. So before you save up and shell out, ask yourself this: Do you really want a lacquered item? Like your manicured, lacquered nails, they can chip very easily and don't stand up well to daily wear and tear. Still gotta have it? Check out West Elm's side tables and lacquered dining set.
Nestperts Terry Gallaher of E&T Finishing; Kim Gieske, an interior design consultant in New York City
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