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How to Paint Oriental Furniture

Furniture that is painted to mimic Oriental style is usually painted with lacquer paint. Lacquer paint is a durable and very glossy paint that gives the effect that the furniture has been dipped in enamel. You can create a piece of furniture that looks like it is from the Orient by using lacquer paint.


Step 1

Clean the furniture thoroughly using mild soap and water.  Be sure to get the furniture really clean.

Once applied, lacquer paints will show any particles that are trapped underneath the surface. 


Step 2

Lightly sand the furniture to remove the glossy top layer.  Sanding will create some texture, allowing the paint to adhere to the furniture.

Wipe away all sanding dust with damp rags. 


Step 3

Paint on the base coat of lacquer paint.  Use a good quality trim brush for crevices and other places that the foam roller can't reach.

Follow with a foam roller for the flatter, larger areas.  Coat the furniture completely with a dark base color, typically black or dark blue.

You may need multiple coats of paint to completely cover the original finish.  Allow each coat to dry before applying another.


Step 4

Thin the accent color with a small amount of water.  Add 2 tbsp.

at a time until you get a consistency that you like.  Rub on the accent color with a brush or sponge, wiping off the excess with clean rags as you go.

Keep adding and removing the accent color until you get a look that you like.  Allow the accent color to dry completely.


Step 5

Paint gold trim onto the edges of the furniture and on the edges of key spots such as doors and other trim work.  Gold trim will help make the piece look authentic.

Use an artist's brush with a fine tip for this detail work. 

Things You Will Need

  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Sandpaper
  • Two colors of lacquer paint (1 dark base coat and 1 accent color)
  • Smooth foam roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Rags
  • Gold paint
  • Artist's brush

Tip

  • Use stencils to add Chinese symbols or other relevant pictures, such as bamboo, to your furniture doors for an extra touch of authenticity. You can find pictures online of traditional Chinese furniture to use as a guide.

About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.

Photo Credits

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