care instructions


At Rail and Stile, we use a pre-catalyzed nitrocellulose lacquer, most commonly seen in gloss, but also matte, dull rub, and satin. Lacquer adheres best to the furniture and provides the most professional high-quality look, however, it takes 90 days to fully cure.

Every day it gets more and more durable up to the 90 days and can be moved, shipped, and utilized prior to the 90 days. Keep in mind that weather and humidity can impact this timeline. We can use a low VOC water-based version upon request. This adds $33 to price and increases dry time in the shop by 48 hours – but is a great option for nurseries or in homes with allergies/asthma, etc. Our standard requirement after completion of each piece is that it cures for 1 week before it can be picked up locally and 2 weeks before it gets placed on a truck for delivery.

Caring for your lacquered furniture during the 90 day period:

  • You can use the drawers immediately. It is the top surface that requires the most care.
  • Give it two weeks to acclimate to your environment. And then only place light items upon the piece until 90 days have elapsed.
  • During that time only clean using a clean microfiber cloth with nothing more than a light spritz of water on the cloth. You may use a damp rag for soiled areas, but be sure to remove all moisture afterwards.
  • After the 90 days, we still recommend only the mildest of cleansers.
  • We recommend glass tops for your furniture. This is particularly important for desks or other high use pieces. We can provide this for you locally for fee, but every city has a Mirror and Glass company that can do this for you. We recommend ¼ thick, polished edge.
  • After acclimating for one week in your space you may place the glass on top. leverage the cookies provided (small plastic wafers that come with your glass top) to ensure the glass does not stick/adhere to the surface and cause the very damage you are trying to avoid.

We recommend the following general care instructions for the life of your furniture:

  • Do not use harsh chemical cleaners as they will damage your finish.
  • Immediately wipe up any spills and be particularly careful with glassware on the surface without coasters, as they can sweat and create rings in the finish if left unattended.
  • Please note that strong sunlight can lighten the finish on your furniture.
  • Note that the items you place on top of your furniture can leave marks. Ideally, use plastic or felt dots/pads under lamps, figurines, alarm clocks, etc.
  • For buffets and dining tables, please avoid contact with hot items by using pads/trivets under hot dishware. Avoid writing directly on the surface of your piece, as it may leave small indentation marks.
  • Please make sure that all family members and any cleaning service you may utilize know about the curing period and how to clean your new lacquered piece.
  • For chips in the paint, we provide touch up paint in a nail polish bottle with an applicator. Like nail polish, lacquer will self-level.

Please contact us with questions at 919-607-3732.


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By Appointment




3529 Neil Street
Raleigh, NC 27607