Base layers of Sinh are first applied; a glue-like substance to harden and protect the wood. We sand between each layer to help the Sinh absorb and we wrap larger pieces in thin cotton gauze to further strengthen the finish and prevent cracking.

Natural lacquer is next applied and mixed with fine ground mountain rock, alluvium soil and cashew nut shell oil. This special mix is known as Hom and each layer dries in its own time before being wet-sanded in fresh water with fine carbon paper until perfectly smooth. We repeat this step of the process over and over again.

The next few layers are known as Lot and form a strong lining mostly consisting of cashew nut shell oil. Finally, the color is applied, wet-sanded in layers and the decoration is meticulously hand painted.

There is no prescribed drying time, no set number of layers; regardless of the desired finish, from ultra matte to high gloss, the lacquer is applied and polished until perfect.


Son Mai lacquer has been produced in Vietnam for centuries and is among the world’s finest. Our skilled craftsmen create handmade pieces according to their own instincts and experience. This means that each piece we produce is truly unique whilst upholding our commitment to the world’s finest Son Mai lacquer.



Handmade lacquer is a delicate material and may be scratched or marred. Clean only with a very soft, damp cloth (paper towels can be too abrasive). If scratches appear, Turtle Wax or similar car wax may be gently applied and polished to restore the finish.