Refinishing can restore the original beauty of antique and damaged furniture. But it can also go one step further to protect furniture from future wear. A protective coat of colored lacquer ensures your wood furniture will remain beautiful for years after refinishing. When properly applied, a coat of lacquer will help furniture resist dirt as well as damage. Lacquer can be extremely tricky though; the process requires the experienced hands of a serious craftsmen, like the specialists at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing.
What Are Colored Lacquers?
Lacquer is a clear or colored wood treatment which acts as a strong adhesive as well as a protective coating. Fast drying and wear resistant, lacquer provides a durable seal that protects wood from weather and dirt. Areas sealed with lacquer can be made indestructible, and the glossy coat repels dirt and dust, making wood easier to clean.
Lacquer can have a distinct or muted sheen depending on the type. Different brands of lacquer create their own variations and names. In general, terms for the sheen include flat (or matte) at the dull end of the spectrum and eggshell or satin for moderate sheen. Semi-gloss, gloss, or high gloss varieties have the most obvious sheen.
Lacquer can also come in a variety of colors, and it can be used in place of a stain or paint. It won’t oxidize (or get brittle) like paint does though, making it a longer-lived finish. At Rahn’s, we use colored lacquers to enhance the natural color of wood furniture during refinishing. These can also be used to change the attitude of a piece so that it better suits a room or chosen décor.
A Long Standing Tradition
Lacquer can be made synthetically now, but it originally came from the sap of certain Chinese and Japanese trees. It has been used for more than 10,000 years to reinforce tools and for a variety of other items throughout their history. For instance, Buddhists used lacquer for statues, and artists used it when creating paintings and prints alike. It was also used on bento (food storage) boxes and other household items. Remarkably, the attractive sheen can remain for thousands of years, with very little change, especially if the pieces are shielded from ultraviolet light.
Colored lacquer was created by adding pigments to clear lacquer, and Japan used it as early as the Jōmon Period (before 300 BC). Some of the first colors used were red and vermilion – which produced a semi-translucent brownish color when refined. Over the years, different pigments have been used for lacquers, such as mercuric sulfide and ferric oxide, to achieve new colors that more closely mimic a variety of woods. Today we use it primarily to finish furniture and give it an attractive luster.
Rahn’s Colored Lacquers
Rahn’s restoration specialists have a designated spray area for applying lacquer away from other pieces. We use high quality, perfectly matched thinners and finishing products, and we find ways to minimize our environmental impact whenever possible. We have access to a variety of lacquers, including a whole host of colors, to suit the vision of our customers.
While natural pigments allow only five colors of lacquer, synthetic methods and blending techniques have opened up a variety of colors and shades. Lacquer can be found in light blonde shades of brown and yellow, or even off-whites. Darker colors include medium to deep browns and black. Shades of green, red, and gray fill out the spectrum and help refinishing specialists match furniture to customer preferences. Whether you’re remodeling and want a whole new color scheme, or want to recapture the original beauty of an antique piece, there’s a lacquer to suit just about any taste.
If all these options are overwhelming, Rahn’s refinishing experts can help. Our keen eye for woodworking and our informed opinions on furniture restoration are at your disposal, and we will happily discuss your options and preferences until you are satisfied with the plan in place. Once the details are settled, we get to work promptly on preparing and refinishing your furniture and use the best colored lacquer for the job.
Rahn’s prepares each piece of furniture as necessary before applying lacquer. We then assemble our spray gun and other tools, and carefully thin the lacquer to the correct consistency. After preparation, our craftsmen build a finish by applying layers of lacquer until it reaches the desired thickness. For the topcoat, we carefully choose a lacquer of the appropriate sheen and tint to enhance the look of the wood and suit our customer’s specifications. We may also use a retarder or flash-off control solvent if necessary to combat any imperfections caused by moisture or temperature variations. Finally, we move the piece into the preparation room where the topcoat is rubbed down, and the furniture is then prepared for return delivery.
Quality and Care
Rahn’s has more than 35 years of experience working with a wide array of furniture. From bed frames to tables to couches or chairs, we have restored and refinished it all. Rahn’s craftsmen specialize in repairing damage done by fire, water, and other accidents. We also restore antiques and repair damaged or worn furniture.
Cleanliness is a top priority throughout the shop, and so is our environmental impact. At Rahn’s, we are always looking for environmentally friendly alternatives, from the products we use to the techniques we employ in restoring and repairing furniture. We also utilize a large workshop with separate rooms and designated areas to keep messy jobs far away from final preparations.
Rahn’s Furniture Restoration specialists pride ourselves on workmanship. We go above and beyond to ensure furniture is restored and repaired to its original state or better. Previous customers have complimented us on our beautiful craftsmanship and customer service – describing us as “always prompt” as well as “efficient and courteous” in every aspect of the job.
Choose Rahn’s for Superior Service, Every Time
Our customer service extends to delivery and storage options. Delivery to and from the shop is free and always conducted with the utmost care. We are also especially considerate of customers who have suffered fire and flood damage in their homes. Not only will Rahn’s specialists restore damaged furniture, we will hold the finished pieces until your home is ready to receive them back again. We make your satisfaction and convenience a part of every job.