Lacquer, Varnish, Shellac, Conversion Varnish, and Polyurethane all serve to protect a wood product from water, heat, and other spills. Lacquer vs. Polyurethane . Unlike nitrocellulose, polyurethane won’t shave off with wear and heavy use. Similarities . I'm not sure if the satin finish simply looks more matte than I expected, humidity played a factor or it just didn't work with the polycrylic. coats. This means that multiple layers of polyester or polyurethane aren’t necessary, unlike nitro finishes that require many. Lacquer and polyurethane are two of the most common finishes used for wooden furniture. Redoing my heresys, lacquer or polyurethane? Varnish and lacquer are two very similar substances, and it is common to confuse the two. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. As polyester and polyurethane is based on synthetic resin, no solvents remain after their application to a surface; hardening completely. Lacquer is considered the best finish to use for wood because it’s durable and dries quickly. Polyurethane. Here is a comparison of these two products so that you will be able to make a fully informed decision as to which of the two to use on your next wood project. So i have the clear satin lacquer spray, the clear gloss polycrylic, and also fast-drying clear satin polyurethane spray. The modern lacquer of choice, polyurethane is an organic compound that is essentially a combination of large carbon based monomers. Epoxy is simply better for sealing wood. By eliminating oil, and using acrylic and other clear resins, water-based finishes don't yellow as they age. Polyurethane is like a liquid plastic, often either a pure synthetic plastic or a blend with resin. Pre-Catalyzed Lacquers vs. Polyurethane coatings for furniture Pre-catalyzed lacquers have been a great invention, they look great and are harder and tougher than regular lacquers, but they have some draw backs and aren’t always the solution to your finishing needs. Lacquer vs. polyurethane: Paint pros & cons to make informed decisions. Making the right choice will decide the project leads to completion successfully. Whether you're getting ready to refinish your deck, your kitchen cabinets or your wood floors, it is crucial to use the correct finish for the job. It is used on guitar bodies and other musical instruments among other items. Once dry, many people would have difficulty determining whether the craftsman used a varnish or lacquer to seal the wood. Instead, use an alkyd varnish. It dries to a clear, almost indestructible plastic-like finish. Polyurethane or Lacquer (close 2nd place) Best for Outdoors: Varnish-Spar Urethane-Detailed information on each Topcoat-SHELLAC: Shellac is a natural product. Polyurethane/acrylic lacquer is one of the toughest lacquers available. Alkyd varnishes are a polyester resin that will adhere better and repair more easily. Lacquer. Although they are both effective finishes, it is important to know the difference between lacquer vs. polyurethane. For us, that’s an easy choice to make. Thanks to its tight molecular structure, polyester has a solid content of +/- 96% which gives the product superior mechanical and chemical resistance, and limits the VOC content dispersed into the environment. For indoor finishes that aren't being used as a commercial bar, and if you can spray it, lacquer wins. Also, polyurethane is the best choice when working on wood floors. There are many wood finishes available in the market but these lacquer and polyurethane are the most popular wood finishes and these are mostly used by the armature and seasoned woodworkers so much. They could attack the shellac as well if that was used as an intermediate. I feel like I should sand the lacquer down and give the polycrylic another shot. Read More: Polycrylic vs. Polyurethane: Which Is Better For You? However, each type of finish has a variety of pros and cons that you should consider to better determine which may be right for your application. But the lacquer over poly could have more immediate bad consequences as the solvents in the lacquer attack the varnish. But each one has a specific purpose. What kind of finish is Polyester? Share. Overall, lacquer seems to have an edge over polyurethane due to the ease of application and shorter drying time. Time with general use colour of wood while leaving the grain still visible choice, polyurethane is based on resin! 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