How to Care for Catalyzed Lacquer Finish

Wood tables and accessories contain a finish that protects the wood from becoming warped and damaged.

Dusting and Polishing

Use a polishing/cleaning agent to clean your wood's catalyzed lacquer finish.Use a polishing/cleaning agent to clean your wood's catalyzed lacquer finish.
A catalyzed lacquer finish is one such coating that protects wood from moisture, discoloration and temperature changes. The finish is durable, clear and contains a shine, but like other coatings, is not immune to dust, dirt and grime buildup, as well as to scratches. Catalyzed lacquer finishes need regular care, including polishing and cleaning, to keep the wood's surface looking like new.

Remove any objects from the wood item containing a catalyzed lacquer finish and place them to the side or on another surface.

Wipe the piece of wood with a soft cloth or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt. Wiping the surface first also keeps any loose debris from grinding into the wood during the next step. Fold the cloth or rag in half after wiping down the surface.

Spray a layer of furniture polish onto the wood surface or apply 2 to 3 tbsp. of a liquid polish to the soft cloth or rag. Wipe the wood in the direction of its grain with the soft cloth or rag.

Use a clean, soft cloth or rag to wipe off any excess polish. Again, wipe in the direction of the wood's grain.

Removing Dirt and Scratches

Apply 2 to 3 tbsp. of a wood cleaner containing a polishing agent to a soft cloth or rag. If the wood surface is extremely soiled or scratched, apply the cleaner to a piece of super-fine grade #0000 steel wool.

Wipe the wood in the direction of its grain with the cleaner-soaked soft cloth, rag or piece of steel wool. Let the cleaner soak into the wood for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use a clean, soft cloth or rag to wipe off the dirt and any excess cleaner. Again, wipe in the direction of the wood's grain. If you left the cleaner on too long or the wood cleaner becomes tacky, apply an additional tablespoon of the cleaner to the wood surface and let it soak into the wood for 4 to 5 minutes, then wipe the cleaner from the wood.

Let the cloths or rags dry completely before washing or discarding of them in your home's trash. Failure to let the cloths/rags dry can lead to a risk of spontaneous combustion.

Things You Will Need

  • 2 soft cloths or rags
  • Furniture polish
  • Wood cleaner with polishing agent
  • Super-fine grade #0000 steel wool (optional)

Warning

  • Do not use acetone, alcohol or other toxic chemicals to clean your wood's catalyzed lacquer finish. These chemicals can remove the finish and damage the wood's surface.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.