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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500264
06/24/03

Wood, Modern Lacquer Finish--Care and Cleaning



Care
Lacquer is hard and glossy but may be dented or chipped so avoid hard blows. Avoid use of water unless furniture label recommends it. Much new furniture has a durable lacquer finish. Older lacquered pieces or imported items may have finishes affected by some solvents, so test products first on an inconspicuous place.

Cleaning
Vacuum and/or dust with a soft, dry cloth; do not use oiled or treated cloths on waxed finishes. Some finishes can be wiped with a damp (not wet) cloth, followed at once by rubbing with a dry cloth,(test first in inconspicuous spot) to remove fingerprints and smudges. A solvent-based furniture cleaner can be used on most finishes (test first).

Special Cleaning
Use a solvent-base furniture cleaner. Apply with soft cloth in one hand, and wipe at once with soft cloth in other hand, doing only a small area at a time. An oil soap may be satisfactory on some finishes but test first in an inconspicuous spot to be sure it is OK with finish. Protect with liquid wax or polish to maintain gloss.

Resin Lacquer Protection:
3-M has introduced a "Scotchgard" wood protection which is synthetic resin looking much like a traditional lacquer finish. But it is claimed to resist stains, chips, scratches, heat; spots or rings from water- alcohol, and oil-based liquids, and damage from solvent- based products such as nail polish and polish remover. It can be cleaned with soap and water, and a damp cloth. Waxing is not needed but can be used. It is claimed to not wear off during the life of the furniture under normal use. Currently it is first being used on dining table tops.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with references from Wisconsin Extension bulletin, Care, Cleaning and Minor Repairs of Furniture Surfaces.

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