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The side table in our living room after we transformed it with lacquer

How to Transform Tables with Lacquer

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February 25, 2020

We have lived in our house for quite some time, but decorating it has been quite an evolution. My husband bought the house before I met him, and he re-did it and decorated it. I couldn’t really come in and do a total take over right away, especially because I LOVE color, and Tommy was more into reds and beige (about my least favorite colors).  So slowly I have made my mark, and I even got away with pink panels in the dining room. One of my latest projects was refinishing some side tables that a friend gave him when he moved in. They were great, but looking a bit tired.  I really wanted something navy that would stand out, so I decided to roll up my sleeves and refinish them. Do you have a small piece that needs a little love? Let me show you how you can easily transform tables with lacquer. 

*This post contains some affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I might earn a small commission, but it will not cost you anything. All opinions are my own and I only share products and services that I love and think that you will love too! 


The side tables before they were transformed them with lacquer

These are the side tables that I started with. They were great, but as you can see they were looking a bit tired. As I have said before and will say again, the prep work is so important. I took advantage of having a master carpenter in the house to repair the tables, but it is something that can be done by a beginner. Here are the steps to prep your furniture for lacquer paint.

Using wood filler to prep tables for transformation with lacquer


  1. Clean the piece with Simple Green or Amy Howard Clean Slate

  1. Fill any chips and dents with Bondo (follow instructions on package)

  1. Sand with 120 sandpaper

  1. Repeat steps 2 & 3 if needed until the surface is even

  1. PRIME – I used Amy Howard Furniture Lacquer primer

  1. Very lightly sand with 220 then vacuum and wipe away any particles away 

Now for the fun part – adding the color!

 While I definitely a little more comfortable with spray paint than some, I find that Amy Howard’s Lacquer is pretty easy to use. A few tips though for best results.

  • Prep your area, make a spray booth so you don’t spray everything around you

  • Wear a mask 

  • Paint in a well-ventilated area (I did it in the open garage)

  • Shake the can well 

  • Follow the instructions, but you want to start spraying before you hit the table and finish after you have left the table. Here is a great video that Amy Howard and her team have made if this is your first spray project.

  • Take your time and start and stop on each pass over.  Don’t just do a continuous spray.

  • Catch a small bit of what you have already painted as you hit your next section

  • Be methodical and steady, that will make for a more even finish

  • Spray a final coat with the Bright Idea Lacquer Clear

  • Let dry a few days before putting the piece back into everyday life

Here is the table after I was done spraying it, and there it is back in the living room all gussied up. I love how the navy stands out against the Palladian Blue walls. I was able to find the triple gourd lamps on Craig’s List for a steal to finish the look. It was definitely the pop of color I was looking for. Now you know how you can easily transform tables with lacquer.

At the time that this was written Amy Howard Paints is out of Belgium Blue (the color I used) but it will be back in 4-6 weeks. Sadly they lost a lot of inventory in a tornado. Don’t worry though there are still lots of great colors. 

Do you have a piece of furniture that you are dying to refinish?

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