LacquerIn a general sense, lacquer is a clear or colored varnish that dries by solvent evaporation and often a curing process as well that produces a hard, durable finish, in any sheen level from ultra matte to high gloss and that can be further polished as required. Lacquer finishes have been used for centuries to give woodworking projects a tough, durable and water-resistant clear finish. Today's lacquers are available in both spray and brush-on styles, but both have the advantage of being among the fastest-drying of all woodworking finishes. Brushing a lacquer finish requires a little more time and effort, but is probably a little bit cleaner than spraying.

What is Lacquer?
Because of the similarity of the names, lacquer is often confused with shellac. The confusion often comes from the fact that shellac comes from the lac beetle, but lacquer does not. Instead, lacquer is derived from the resin of a specific tree commonly referred to as a varnish tree. This resin is harvested from the tree's sap, and is then refined and mixed with lacquer thinner to create the common woodworking finish. Lacquer is commonly used with some paints to give a strong, durable paint finish.There are about nine different categories we can separate lacquer into. Nitrocellous, CAB (butyrate), Pre-Catalyzed, Post Catalyzed, Conversion Varnish, Urethane, Polyester, and UV Coatings. (Note: Polyurethane does not refer to the brushable products that can be purchased at big box stores, hardware stores or anywhere else. It refers to a dual component product that releases isocyanides and must be applied in a shop.)

Be aware that lacquer fumes can build up quickly in enclosed spaces.