Black Lacquer Customization

Hi all!

Last week I found a box on ebay that looked like it had a unique factory finish.  It didn’t.  It was painted brown – inside and out.  The paint was thin so I stripped it off.  When a Lane box is stripped the redish color that is added to the lacquer in the factory finishing process is removed.  The underlying cedar has very white and very red areas and the white still has a bit of a pink tint and it doesn’t look very good.  Therefore, given the box was free of dents I decided to try a black lacquer finish.  It’s hard to take a photo that shows the finish but here it is…


I put about 5 coats of black lacquer on the box, let it dry for 24 hours and then sanded the finish with progressively higher grit wet sandpaper.  I went up to 2000 grit and then polished it with car headlight rubbing compound/polish.  The finish it really glossing – like a piano!

I then decided to cover the inside of the box with black felt…


Given the box was already painted and the original finish was already compromised, I didn’t feel bad at all about customizing it.  Plus, this is a Short box…not really that old or unique.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my little project.

Merry Christmas everyone!


2 thoughts on “Black Lacquer Customization

  1. That is really cool. And it’s giving me ideas – I have a couple of boxes I picked up that are damaged – some painted on, some written, one has something gouged into the front (It’s packed away right now so I can’t remember exactly) and I’ve been meaning to sand them down and make them nice again – but I never could find anything that gave me any guidance so that they’d look like the originals, that lovely dark reddish cedar brown with a matte finish. But youre right, if they’re just newer short boxes there’s no real loss in finishing them and making them more personalized. I’ll have to think about what I want to try 😀 I have some pretty teal paint, so maybe… 🙂


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