We know nowadays, furniture and home decor items are the way we decorate our houses and office. Also, selecting furniture according to the styles, prices, and quality is essential. The final and the most crucial thing in a furniture-making is the final finish or polish to be applied. The prime use of applying finishing coats is about the protection from moisture, sunlight, etc. So the main two final finish elements are the lacquer and polyurethane. Let us look at the differences and uses between the two. Read the review of Lacquer Vs Polyurethane.
When we are talking about lacquer and polyurethane, they have a lot in common, and both have many differences. Moreover, both are used for the finish and protection of wood materials. Suppose you need a profit from woodworking. Go for lacquer as it is cheap. Moreover, if you want to save time, also lacquer is the best option. If your choice is durability, go for polyurethane. Polyurethane gives better protection from UV and moisture. But we need more time to get the final works to be done. For more details, read the below review.
Lacquer Vs Polyurethane: Comparison Chart
For better information and greater detail in less time, read the table below. As both these products have almost similar use. We will have a lot of confusion to choose from both.
|Price||Less compared to polyurethane||Very high compared to lacquer|
|Drying Time||10 to 20 minutes||4 to 6 hours|
|Re-coat time||30 minutes to 1 hour||12 to 24 hours|
|Use||Indoor use||Outdoor as well as indoor use|
|Protects From:||Moisture, scratches||Moisture, UV rays, scratches|
|Durability and lifetime||Durable but won’t run for a long time||Durable and better for long term use|
|Final Finish||High finish||Depends on the way we apply|
Lacquer Vs Polyurethane: Differences
1. Mode Of Easy Applying
Polyurethane is an oil-based finish. Whereas lacquer is a resin-based finish. We need to brush or wipe on the polyurethane for applying. But the lacquer can be brush on or sprayed to the surface. So the more accessible mode of applying is lacquer as it can be sprayed. It is available in spray cans as well as tin cans. Spraying saves a lot of time and hence reduce human effort.
Bottom Line: Lacquer Wins
2. Drying Time
The drying time between the lacquer and polyurethane is very much different. Generally, lacquer takes 10 minutes to dry the coat applied. We can re-coat after the next 30 minutes. But in the case of polyurethane, it takes 4 to 6 hours to dry the coat applied. Moreover, it takes 12 to 24 hours to apply the re-coat also. So for a quick dry time, lacquer is the best option.
Bottom Line: Lacquer wins
3. Final Finish
When we look at the final finish, we must add lacquer as we apply the second coat to lacquer. The second coat will dissolve with the first coat and make a perfect finish. Moreover, spraying does not leave any extra marks. But in polyurethane, applying second forms a layer over the other. We will feel like two-layer, and it can leave brush traces.
Moreover, in polyurethane, there is a chance of getting dust particles trapped in the layer as the drying time is more. Lacquer always gives a glossy finish.
Bottom Line: Lacquer wins
When we compare the price range, lacquer is cheap compared to polyurethane. A can of polyurethane is double the price of a can of lacquer. So lacquer is be used by most commercial furniture makers.
Bottom Line: Lacquer is inexpensive
5. The Lifetime Of Coating
Even if both are durable and give high protection from a lot of factors, polyurethane will withstand a lot more characteristics and hence provide a more lifetime. Lacquer loss its quality over the years, but it is highly economical in the long run.
Bottom Line: Polyurethane Wins
Lacquer Vs Polyurethane: Similarities
Both the lacquer and polyurethane are highly durable. They will also make a good surface finish. Moreover, it can prevent damage to furniture in the long run.
Both the polyurethane and lacquer are waterproof. So we will get better protection from moisture contents. Moreover, cleaning is easy when the material gets moisture content. We can wipe off easily.
3. Safety Measures Taken Before Applying
While applying lacquer and polyurethane, we must take some safety measures. We must keep safety measures from fire, explosion. Moreover, do not inhale the fumes. Take protection like using gloves and mask while working with lacquer and polyurethane.
Lacquer Vs Polyurethane: Technical Features and Specification
Lacquer Technical Features and Specifications:
- Quick-drying time of 10 minutes.
- Easy application
- They are thermoplastic coating.
- We will get a dust-free surface.
- The final coat almost dissolves with the first coat.
- Used in paints and colorants
Polyurethane Technical Features and Specification:
- Safe from UV rays
- Take a drying time of 6 hours
- The second coat will be layered over the first one.
- It can be applied to the surface with a good brush.
- Polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer. They will also be available in the thermoplastic polymer.
- Do not melt upon heating.
Lacquer Vs Polyurethane: What’s In The Box?
Lacquer canned in a tin. Sometimes you will get optional brushes. Sometimes you can buy spray canned lacquer.
Polyurethane comes within a tin can. Optional brushes will also be available with some brands.
Lacquer Vs Polyurethane: Overview
Overview Of Lacquer
Lacquer is generally a thermosetting plastic. It is a resin-based finish. Lacquers are applied to wood or metal for the final finish or protection. It is safe and straightforward to apply. A beginner can also do the work with much ease. There are different types of lacquers. They are shellac-based, urushiol-based, etc.
They are also available in acrylic-based and water-based lacquers. Lacquer comes in a tin can, which can be sprayed on a surface. Or even we can brush it. HVLP or High-Velocity Low-Pressure sprayers are used to spray it. When it comes to brushing the lacquer, it isn’t easy to brush when there is a large surface area. The most important thing is the drying time. The lacquer gets dried quickly.
It takes only ten minutes to dry. Moreover, we will get a perfect finishing also. We can apply the second coat in the next 30 minutes. Moreover, the second coat dissolves with the first coat, and we can get a better finish. So the chance of getting dust and dirt trapped in the lacquer coat is less. It also gives protection from scratches. Lacquer is mainly coated on indoor materials. Lacquer does not provide efficient protection from UV rays. So it is not coated on outdoor materials. Coming to the price, lacquer is cheap. So most commercial furniture makers use lacquer for coatings.
Lacquer is also available in spray cans, but the spray coming out of the nozzle is uneven. The price of lacquer in spray cans may be high. Coming to the safety. We must take a lot of precautions as it is highly inflammable. We must take precautions from the fire also. Moreover, it’s better not to inhale the fumes of lacquer. Always use a pair of gloves while working. There are a lot of manufactures for lacquer. They are Nippon paints, Asian paints, etc.
Overview Of Polyurethane
Polyurethane is an organic polymer. It can be a thermosetting or thermoplastic polymer. Thermosetting polymer does not melt on heating. Polyurethane is an oil-based finish. Polyurethane is mainly plastic material. They are available in the form of solid as well as liquid. In solid form, it is applied to car parts and in the manufacture of insulation.
Liquid type Polyurethane is mainly applied on a wood surface for a better finish. Another primary purpose of the application is the protection of wood. The first and most important thing before applying the coat is to make the surface free from dust. Otherwise, we might lose the finish. We can apply coats by brushing or by using rollers. The coat will thicker; hence furniture will get better protection also.
The most important thing is the drying time. For a polyurethane coat to dry. It will take around 4 to 6 hours. While drying, makes sure the coat will not get a dust particle trapped in it. We can apply the re-coat only after in the next 24 hours. The second coat will form a layer over the first one. Sometimes it may lose perfection. But we will get good protection from scratch and UV rays. Polyurethane is an indoor-outdoor protection coat.
We can use outdoors since it gives protection from UV rays. But coming to the price. Polyurethane is a costly material. So most of the commercial furniture manufacturers go for alternative products. It also gives protection from moisture. Polyurethane comes in a tin can. Even a beginner can use it without much difficulty. The most important thing while working is to take safety from fire and explosions. Polyurethane is highly inflammable. Do not breathe the fumes also. Major manufactures of polyurethane are Asian paints, varathane, etc.
1. Which one is best for re-coating my old furniture? What are the steps taken before re-coating?
Both these finishes are good. Suppose you are applying a coat on outdoor furniture. Go for polyurethane as it is an indoor-outdoor coating. Before applying the coat, make sure the surface free from dirt and dust. Please clean using sandpaper before working.
2. Which one of these lasts for a longer time?
Both of the lacquer and polyurethane are durable. Both these give protection and a good finish. But polyurethane is better for long term use. It will provide a high standard of protection from scratch and moisture. Polyurethane is always better known for permanence.
3. Which one gives a better finish?
The lacquer gives a better finish compared to polyurethane. It also has less drying time. For a better finish, go for lacquer as it is available at a low price too. Lacquer always gives a glossy finish.
4. Do I need to take safety precautions while working on lacquer and polyurethane?
Yes, You must take some safety measures. They include take prevention from fire, masks and hand gloves, or even eye protective glasses. It is a must to take safety measures.
So we concluded our review. In most of the workshops and furniture shops, they are using lacquer. It is for a better profit and better finish. Both of the coats give us better protection from moisture and scratches. For a wood floor, it is better to choose a polyurethane coat as it is much durable compared to lacquer. But it may take a longer time to complete the finishing jobs. The most important thing about lacquer and polyurethane is that even a beginner can do work with much ease. Choose your finish and buy accordingly. Thank you.