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Polyurethane vs Lacquer - Which Stain and Finish Do You Need for Your Woodworking Project?

Jun 11, 2021
Today let's take a look at

polyurethane

and

lacquer

and talk about the differences and similarities and when you might want to use either of them,

polyurethane

by the way. You may also want to consider polycrylic,

which

is similar to polyurethane. We also have another video and article on polyurethane vs polycrylic if you want to check it out, but today we compare it to

lacquer

, polyurethane is basically an oil based

finish

that is applied with a brush or a cloth, on the other hand, lacquer it is most often sprayed with a sprayer. or in aerosol, but you can't.
polyurethane vs lacquer   which stain and finish do you need for your woodworking project
It also comes in brush versions where you can brush the lacquer on both

finish

es. They are very durable. Polyurethane takes much longer to dry. It will probably take four to six hours to dry to the touch. probably 12 to 24 hours before you want to reapply lacquer, on the other hand you'd better apply it very quickly because it dries in about ten minutes and dries to a finish, read another coat in about 30 minutes. Another thing about lacquer is that lacquer is basically its own solvent, so when you apply one coat of lacquer and then reapply a second coat, the second coat actually partially dissolves the top coat of the first coat and the two They bond chemically like this.
polyurethane vs lacquer   which stain and finish do you need for your woodworking project

More Interesting Facts About,

polyurethane vs lacquer which stain and finish do you need for your woodworking project...

Urethane on the other hand is like stacking pieces of paper, each layer is a separate thing when you finish the polyurethane finish you have put on, whether by wiping or brushing, it will have some imperfections on the finish part ie. If you use a brush, you may see slight brush marks depending on how good you are with the brush and the quality of the brush you use, but also because it takes a long time to dry the dust particles. Dirt particles tend to settle on each other's polyurethane. the hand lacquer dries almost instantly and also blends one coat with the other, so it automatically comes out the door a little smoother both technologies both chemicals you should wear very solid protection so you don't breathe any of the fumes, that's true , they follow urethane, but it's really true for lacquer.
polyurethane vs lacquer   which stain and finish do you need for your woodworking project
The other thing about lacquer is that you can't use a spray lacquer variety near an open flame like a pilot light because it can ignite in an explosion in

your

enclosed space, so you would want to have good ventilation, you would want to have good respiratory protection and would want to stay away from all flame sources. My personal experience is that brushable lacquer is difficult to use on any

project

that is very large because it dries very quickly. and you have a lot of trouble keeping a wet edge that hasn't dried, if on the other hand you're doing a small piece, then you can get away with it with a lacquer brush with a lacquer brush, you can also clean it up and I.
polyurethane vs lacquer   which stain and finish do you need for your woodworking project
I think it is a very good solution. Lacquer comes in aerosol cans,

which

saves you the expense of spray equipment, but it is not as precise, more expensive, and does not come out of the nozzle as uniformly as one of these expensive spray systems. The most common spray system today is HV LP, which is high speed, low pressure and is a technology that is used without an air compressor, but it has a different type of air unit that uses less pressure and allows you to spray in any case when spraying lacquer you want to use very even sweeping strokes and you want to overlap about 50% when you do it whether you use an HVLP sprayer or if you use the can again like I said if you apply this lacquer with a brush, must do it.
Be sure to keep a wet edge or you won't like the results, so polyurethane is quite durable, as is lacquer. Most furniture you would buy today has a lacquer finish and the reason for the lacquer finish is because lacquer is relatively inexpensive. very easy to apply with a sprayer and many coats can be applied in a couple of hours, making it very conducive to producing commercial furniture at a reduced cost compared to the amount of labor that would be required to apply polyurethane. By the way, you can spray polyurethane. I never do that because you have to use quite a bit to fit it into a spray container that allows you to use it that way.
Both finishes are quite durable. Lacquer is an interior finish. Polyurethane is for interiors. outdoor finish, if you buy a variety that allows it to resist UV light, but you don't want to put lacquer on anything that will go outside, so the slow drying time of polyurethane is the fast drying time of lacquer, You can apply it with a brush quite easily. and can maintain a wet edge quite easily. Applying lacquer with a brush is difficult because maintaining a wet edge on a large surface is very difficult. Spraying is pretty simple, you just have to remember to use even strokes and overlap those strokes again.
You may be interested. when comparing polyurethane to polycrylic, which is a type of water-based polyurethane, and we have articles and videos on that, if you want to see that comparison, as always, we really hope you click the subscribe button on

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