was in the borg looking st finish and for the first time read the direction
of Daft Lacquer, much faster dry time, now sanding between coats, self
leaving and 2 bucks cheaper, besides the 72hour wait after the final coat
for regular use, is there any reason to use poly over lacquer?
is there a good online resource for finish comparison?
Easier to brush *because* it doesn't dry so fast. Solvents aren't quite as
Not that I'm sticking up for poly. I have been throroughly converted by the
Brothers of Shellac Promulgation Society.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 21:04:23 -0700, Richard Clements
Where are the English folks when we need them? <G>
Lacquer's great stuff, but it's sensitive to humidity during
application, and gives off STRONG, flammable fumes when wet. It also
will not stand up well to a wet glass, overflowing flower pot, or
sweaty can or bottle. That said, it's a beautiful furniture finish,
that is extremely nice to rub out, and it leaves a sheen that can be
easily adjusted up or down, simply by rubbing. Lacquer is an
evaporative finish, so each coat melts into the previous. Lacquer is
easiest to apply with spray gear.
Polyurethane completely seals the wood, and is impervious to liquids.
Poly finishes take longer to dry, so more dust can settle in. If
applied too heavily, it leaves a plastic look and feel. It can be
rubbed out, although not as easily as lacquer, and the finisher needs
to wait quite a bit longer for the finish to dry before rubbing. If
applied with patience, a good looking finish can be obtained.
Polyurethane varnishes go though a chemical conversion during curing,
and can not be reconstituted. Each coat sits on top of the previous
coat, so scuffing the earlier coat is often recommended by the finish
Lacquer goes on thinner and is more transparent. But it's harder to work
with and requires a proper respirator.
Best left to high end finishing like pianos, conference tables where finish
is paramount. imo
We made the mistake of letting our contractor use the 3-step production
laquer process in our new hours five years ago. The following spring I
finished the basement and used the same product that we ordered from the
original contrator's batch.
- Lets the paint contractor get in, and out, of a 1,600 sq ft house in two
days while he is doing the same in another new home down the street. (profit
max). The stuff dries fast and the painter can often get throught two of
the threes steps in one day.
- Lets the paint contractor put one decent gun operator in the house with
one or two minimum wage high school dropouts to wipe up behind him (cost).
- More of a wood cover than stain. The oak in our house is attractive if
you don't look close. A picky woodworker will not find the effect of deep
staining or any grain depth you find with oil base and poly or other
finish. It looks like what it is - a colored laquer cover over the wood.
- Not durable. After 5 years, many of our baseboards and lower cabinets
need to be recoated or finished. I believe part of this problem is too
little product applied during construction. However the window sills that
same to have heaver coat have not held up well either.
- Stinky, toxic. I sprayed the same product in our basement with a
respirator and the windows open. Still a dizzying experience. I will say,
however, that the sealer and final coat are fairly easy to apply and are
- The final piece of the basement finish was a bar that was installed
several months later. I did use the Laquer stain (brush coated), skipped
the sealer and finished with satin poly. Looks much better but kinda sticks
out against the surrounding wood work (at least to me).
I will not use the product again.
Lacquer is a top coat finish. It is not a stain. It is just a nasty
fumes top coat. OK, the question originally was about Deft lacquer
which when I have used it has been nothing but a top coat. You stain
with stain. You apply 2 or three coats of lacquer. I have furniture
that I applied Deft brand lacquer over 20 years ago and it looks fine
and holds up just fine. http://www.deftfinishes.com/wood/clear.htm
Using lacquer requires proper ventilation. Opening up windows is not
proper ventilation. Positive ventilation like box fan exhausting out
the window and a proper respirator rated for the solvent is required.
No wonder you are offering bad advice. You are still suffering from
You can buy all kinds of stain. Water based, oil based, analine and
other stuff like blood, Georgia clay or anything else you can come up
with. Minwax has some poly stain/finish that is quite ugly.
By the time you flash off all the solvents, you will have a lot more
solids left when using a Poly than a laquer.
Laquers are for people who spray. I have seen some brushed laquer work,
but those guys are a dying breed.
Laquers are 70% volatiles. (Give or take)
(As an aside, some of Sikkens Acrylic laquers are almost 80% solids,
hence the high costs)
Some powder coating processes have no volatiles and are all solids.
Having said all that, Deft is a wonderful product, but it has a place.
Finishing a whole house in it is not it.
Just my opinion...thassal...
Let me flip the question around. "Is there any reason to use lacquer
over poly?" Lacquer dries / cures much more quickly that poly making it
much more desirable in a production environment. Since it dries much more
quickly, it is less likely to trap dust in the cured film making it less
necessary to sand out the resulting roughness. Lacquer also dries to a more
brittle film so it can be more easily rubbed out if desired. Subsequent
coats of lacquer melt into previous coats so it is easy to build up a
finish. It is easier to spray than poly making it more useful, again, in a
production environment. The brushing lacquer that Deft makes for hobbyist
use is a bit softer than a "professional" line than can actually be brushed.
Poly is more solvent and abrasion resistant than nitrocellulose lacquer.
Poly takes much more time than lacquer to dry and cure making it less useful
to professionals although there are some fast drying polys that are a bit
more practical. There is a finite time window for a subsequent coat to be
applied. If the window is exceeded, the previous coat must be roughened to
enable the new coat of poly to "bite" into the previous coat.
There are varnishes intended for professional use that must be sprayed
that try to have the best of both worlds - sprayable and fast drying. These
are things like conversion varnishes but they are not intended for the
I think Baron said it all. But, one thing not mentioned in the previous
notes is that water borne lacquer does not have the odor or explosive
character of the nitro lacquer. It goes on the same way and cures just
a bit more slowly. You may find the "perfectly clear" characteristic
less desirable than the slight amber tint of nitro lacquer. but you can
tone it with an amber additive or you can color the wood first.
Richard Clements wrote:
I have used the Hoods Hydrocote lacquer and poly. They behave quite
differently. The lacquer dries much quicker and seems to burn in. It is
also much easier to rub out. ?? I put a mirror finish on a piece of
walnut without too much difficulty. The poly did not seem to be that
easy. I don't know the chemistry of the two. You might look on the
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