Last year, wallpaper was declared "over" and lacquered walls were brought "in" fashion by adventurous designers like Miles Redd. However, lacquer hasn't been embraced as wholeheartedly as wallpaper, and I've yet to see a truly glossy wall in person!
There are a few misconceptions about lacquer that need clarifications. First, the original resin from which lacquer was derived was a noxious substance that had no business being used in the home. However, the modern lacquer is usually a combination of high gloss paint and acrylic water-based varnish, which is safe to use in a well-ventilated area. There is no longer a need to inhale poison gas in order to obtain this breathtaking paint finish.
Many people believe a laborious process of sanding and patching is a prerequisite to applying lacquer. The truth is that you don't need perfectly smooth walls to apply lacquer. In fact, I prefer lacquer on uneven walls. The gloss can highlight the character of an older home and lend an air of European sophistication to your space. Imperfection in walls can be beautiful, especially in America where it's hard to find places with personality.
Also, lacquer is great for small spaces because of its mirror effect. The light bounces off the various angles of a room and the square footage instantly expands.
Finally, lacquer is perfect for people, like myself, that have "finished" decorating, but never want to stop the creative process of home design. I'm always looking for another project, but I've bought all my furniture installed all my fixtures. What to do next? Lacquer the hallway!