Like a coat of lip gloss on a minimalist makeup, lacquered walls have a way to make a room instantly polished and sophisticated.
Whether looked at straight on or to the side, the finish of such walls has an appeal equaled by no others. It bounces light off its slick surface while adding depth to the colour and the objects laid before it. I mean… look at it, do I really need to say more?
But the DIY girl in me also looks at this and cannot help but to have a pinch of hesitation when it comes to its application. Here are a few tips I believe are important before embarking of a glossy craze.
1. Beware of the power of prep
Preparation if key here. Any defect or irregularities in the walls will stick out like a sore thumb once the lacquer goes on the painted wall. No orange peel finish wanted here! A trick to really see the shape of your walls it to shine a bright light directly onto them.
2. Skim coat
If the walls prove to be less than perfect, they will need to be skim-coated. I recommend the help of a professional plasterer here as he (or she) will skim onto the wall one or two slim coats of plaster to even out the bruise and bumps or your walls suffered over time.
3. Sand… and I don’t mean at the beach
Sanding is another key element between plaster coats as well as before priming. Also make sure you wipe clean (with a damp cloth please) the walls before applying any primer. This is a sticky issue… literally. If not cleaned properly, the paint will not adhere well to the wall.
Yé, the pretty stuff finally! But hold on, this is another step that needs special attention. To get the effect seen in magazines (like this vestibule in royal blue) the paint was applied using spraying method. The reason is that paint brushes and rollers will leave a dimpled finish onto the surface. If that kind of splurge is out of your range (understandably), then I recommend that you at least use good quality oil paint (pregnant women refrain) and that you apply 2 or even 3 coats. Sanding between coats with a 1000 grit sandpaper will help you get a soft and even finish.
5. Here comes the lacquer
There are a few options here in terms of lacquer. Shellac being one of them. Due to its temperamental nature (it dries quickly and if tricky to apply to a vertical surface), Shellac is most often applied by a professional using a spray gun. If you want to give it a try at home, then I suggest you use a good quality acrylic base varnish (that will not yellow over time) and that you get ready to apply between five to seven coats with a light wet-sanding between coats to even out the finish.
Nothing comes for free in the world my mom always said… and it seems to apply to lacquered walls as well. But I can promise you that the final look will be well worth the efforts.