Refinishing Lacquered Maple

The basics of stripping and refinishing a lacquered maple cabinet. December 31, 2005

Built a great maple entertainment center a few years back... Lacquered it to a beautiful shine. Now I need to get it a different color, or get rid of it... You figure out why. Any ideas on how to get this to a coffee color?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor M:
Tint lacquer or strip the finish and dye/pigmented dye, stain the wood and base coat, glaze (if you want), tint and topcoat as you wish.

From contributor D:
Since the finish is lacquer, I'm assuming NC lacquer, this can be stripped very easily and you can start coloring from the raw wood stage. This will give you the advantage of bringing the color of the wood to the proper tone in stages. Dye or stain on raw wood. Toned sealer and clear or toned finish coat.

Since the unit is maple, this is the process I would take, if it were my own. However, you could just scuff sand the existing finish and shade the unit using toned sealers and finish coats. Depending on the color desired, the unit may look more painted wood than finished wood.

From contributor S:
If it were my project, I would want to tone it to the color that I want and then give it a new topcoat. But the first thing I would do before anything else is to mix up a little TSP and water and wash the surfaces. I think that the ratio is a couple of tablespoons of TSP dissolved in a gallon of cool water. Wash and then rinse and then dry.