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Can You Paint Enamel Over Lacquer? (Explained)

Whenever it comes to coating any appliance or furniture, we think about lacquer and enamel. Generally, these two are coating materials that protect many types of surfaces. You might have heard about lacquer polishing or enamel coating over cooking wares. 

These two elements are vastly used on different types of surfaces.

So, you might be confused about whether you can paint enamel over lacquer or not. Well, you have to know whether these two elements react with each other or not. Moreover, knowing about the safety of using enamel over lacquer is pretty essential.

Can you paint enamel over lacquer?

You can paint over lacquer. Generally, enamel coating over lacquer doesn’t cause any problem. Besides, you can apply enamel over lacquer if the lacquer surface is free from dirt, dust, and grease. Moreover, a dried and completely cured lacquer surface will be necessary to paint enamel over it.

Generally, lacquer is one type of clear coat that we use for the final finish of a surface. We spray lacquer over the top layer of any surface to give protection. But when we want to make the lacquer surface protected or coated with another layer, we have to decide wisely.

Because all types of coating will not adhere to the lacquer surface. So, we have to choose something that will create a tough surface and keep the smooth lacquer protected. From this perspective, enamel can be a good choice.

Because when you put enamel on lacquer, it will stick to the smooth lacquer surface and keep the lacquer sealed. Moreover, when you use enamel on lacquer, the enamel dries quickly. So, this can be a great benefit.

Sometimes, when we put an extra coating over the lacquer, the lacquer might melt. So, the enamel is pretty adjustable with the lacquer since it doesn’t melt the lacquer.

Generally, when we compare enamel and lacquer, the enamel is more durable than lacquer. That means when you will give a coating of enamel over the lacquer surface, it will create a more durable surface. That means the overall finish will remain durable.

Moreover, if you are searching for a suitable type of enamel to coat the lacquer surface, you can choose oil-based enamel. It will dry quickly and stick to the lacquer. Besides, clear enamel will be better as a topcoat over lacquer.

Is it okay to paint enamel over lacquer?

Yes, it is okay to paint enamel over lacquer. Generally, if you are searching for something best to coat the lacquer, the enamel might not be the best. But enamel will be okay if you are looking for something affordable and easy.

Generally, enamel coating dries fast. So, when you put enamel over lacquer, you will not have to wait for a long time. Moreover, the enamel is pretty hard and durable. It will keep the lacquer surface protected from environmental elements.

Besides, the process of enamel coating is pretty easy. But the lacquer surface must be free from dirt and dust. Otherwise, the final coat will not be durable.

So, if you want a clear coat over lacquer, you can choose an enamel coating. You can try to choose oil-based enamel and transparent ones. This will adhere to the surface well and also make the surface look glossy.

3 reasons why you can paint enamel over lacquer

Now that you know you can paint enamel over lacquer, you might want to know the reasons. Let’s see the reasons why you can paint enamel over lacquer.


Enamel is the type of coating that dries fast. When you put a coating on the lacquer surface, we expect to dry the coating fast. Otherwise, the upper coating might not stick well to the lacquer.

So, you can paint enamel over lacquer because enamel dries quickly.


One of the most essential advantages of enamel coating is its durability. Generally, the enamel is more durable than lacquer. So, when you use enamel coating over lacquer, it will make the final surface more durable.

Moreover, when the enamel dries, it creates a hard surface over lacquer. Generally, lacquer is a pretty attractive and safe coating. So, when we coat lacquer another time, we expect something more durable. In this perspective, you can use enamel over lacquer.

Attractive surface:

Enamel coating, especially clear coat enamel is one of the most effective coatings for a transparent outlook. Sometimes, we coat lacquer over furniture to make it look attractive. 

So, when you put enamel over it, you might be confused about the shine and glossiness of the lacquer.

But enamel coating can also be transparent if you use clear coat enamel. This will preserve the glossiness of the lacquer and make the surface look attractive. So, you can use enamel over lacquer.

How to paint enamel over lacquer?

However, painting enamel over lacquer is pretty easy. But if you don’t use it appropriately, the lacquer and enamel coating can be useless. So, let’s see the proper way how you can paint enamel over lacquer.

Lacquer coating:

First, you have to complete the lacquer coating. For example, you can coat a thin layer of lacquer over the surface.

Drying and curing:

After using the lacquer coating, you can’t apply another paint immediately. You have to wait until the lacquer completely dries and cures. You can wait overnight after applying the lacquer coating.


Then you have to clean the lacquer surface before applying the enamel paint. Because dirt, dust, grease, etc. on the lacquer surface will make the enamel coating ineffective. So, remove all types of dust and residues from the lacquer surface. 

You can also wipe the surface with a soft piece of cloth.

Applying enamel:

Then you can apply enamel paint over lacquer. Generally, enamel dries fast. Still, you have to allow enough time to ensure the durability of enamel.

If you want to coat the surface multiple times, you can do it. But after each coat, you have to wait some time to make the surface dry enough. You have to wait at least 24 hours before using the surface finally.

What is the difference between lacquer and enamel?

Generally, lacquer and enamel both are used for coating purposes. But these two have some differences that make them different from each other. Let’s see the basic differences between lacquer and enamel.


Generally, the enamel is pretty harder than lacquer. So, when the coating dries, enamel becomes harder than lacquer surface. Moreover, lacquer can soften over a while. But enamel remains hard and durable for a long time.


If you think about shine and gloss, Lacquer is better. Because lacquer coating provides a shine that is more attractive than the enamel.


You might have heard that enamel dries faster. But if you compare between lacquer and enamel, the lacquer will dry faster. Enamel also dries fast. But this can be a little slower than the lacquer.


If you compare defects, lacquer is more defective. It can create bubbles and cracks over some time. But enamels generally don’t create bubbles and cracks.


Generally, lacquer is thicker than the enamel coating.

What kind of paint can go over lacquer?

If you want to paint over lacquer, you have to choose such an oil-based paint. Because oil-based paint or coating will adhere to the surface. On the other hand, the polyurethane-type coating will damage the lacquer by melting.

So, you can choose either a latex or oil-based coating that can go over lacquer. For example, you can use a coating like enamel that will make the lacquer durable. Moreover, it will create a hard surface over the lacquer. Besides, you can choose something that dries fast. 

Otherwise, the lacquer surface can be damaged if the drying time is slow.

However, you can use the following paint or coating over lacquer surface:

  • Enamel
  • Latex paint
  • Oil-based paint
  • Alkyd varnish
  • Acrylic latex paint

Final Thoughts

You can paint enamel over lacquer if the lacquer surface is dry and clean. Otherwise, the enamel coating will not adhere to the surface. Generally, the enamel will make a hard surface finish and protect the lacquer. Moreover, it will dry fast and preserve the shine of the lacquer surface.