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Can You Put Lacquer Over Polyurethane? (Quick Answers)

Lacquer is a liquid-based coating material that is put over wood, metal, etc. This coating provides a guard to the woodwork. Lacquer is used on furniture which is costly. The best thing about lacquer is it does not get yellow over time. 

Let us see if you can put lacquer over polyurethane.

Can you put lacquer over polyurethane?

It will be unwise to put lacquer over polyurethane. Like you cannot mix water and oil, you cannot mix lacquer and polyurethane. The polyurethane surface will not add up with the lacquer. But, if you are determined to put lacquer over polyurethane, you have to be careful. As lacquer dries faster.

Stick with us to know more regarding the aspect –

Lacquer over oil-based polyurethane:

Oil-based polyurethane is good for your wallet. And, when it is applied, it is softer than water-based polyurethane coatings. Polyurethane coating is used so that the surface does not need to take any extra scratches or anything at all. 

Also, oil-based polyurethane is softer, so it has the power to take more scratches than a water-based one. Oil-based polyurethane is stickier than water-based polyurethane. But lacquer and polyurethane cannot bond together. 

Moreover, lacquer is alcohol soluble, whereas oil-based polyurethane is not. If you put lacquer over oil-based polyurethane, you need to put the lacquer carefully over oil-based polyurethane. 

And lacquer will take more time to dry if you put on the oil-based polyurethane. Ensure that the oil-based polyurethane is dry to apply any other coating over the base. Oil-based polyurethane can stand strongly against scratches. 

But you should not put a layer of lacquer over an oil-based polyurethane. Because it is not necessary.

Lacquer over water-based polyurethane:

On the other hand, when you apply lacquer over water-based polyurethane, it will stay. But the lacquer can dissolve within the surface. Because the polyurethane coating is hard, and it is different from oil-based polyurethane. 

Water-based polyurethane is as durable as oil-based polyurethane. It will not have any extra yellow hue like oil-based polyurethane, but coating with water-based polyurethane requires more money than an oil-based one. 

Lacquer also does not provide any extra yellowish hue. So, if you put lacquer over water-based polyurethane, you might not have a hard time with a yellowish hue. 

Here, if you use a coating of water-based polyurethane, you might not have to provide another layer of lacquer coating. It is unnecessary. 

If you want to put lacquer or polyurethane coating on your furniture or any other goods, you should provide a perfect layer of polyurethane or lacquer coatings. 

Like oil-based polyurethane coating, water-based polyurethane will cover the surface, you do not need to provide any extra coatings. And there is a high chance of decreasing the polyurethane coatings durability, by covering it with any other coatings.

Can you spray lacquer over polyurethane?

No, spraying lacquer over polyurethane will not be going to go well. If you spray paint on something, and if it does not dry on the surface then the surface looks not so good. Lacquer is not going to stay strong on the polyurethane surface. 

Lacquer is a semi-glossy material that is spread on surfaces like wood, metal, etc. It works as a shield against different elements such as water, heat, or humidity. On the other hand, polyurethane also has the same capabilities as lacquer. 

And polyurethane can stand firmly against UV rays. Though over time, polyurethane coatings give a yellow hue, lacquer does not provide any such things.

Why shouldn’t you put lacquer over polyurethane?

You should not put lacquer over polyurethane for the following reasons –

Won’t stick properly:

Polyurethane, when it is fully dry, will be slippery and glossy. If you put anything on it, it will not stick together. Because after polyurethane is dry, the adhesiveness is gone. On the other hand, lacquer is also used to satisfy the same purpose. 

So, whether you use polyurethane or lacquer, do not use both together. Also, if you want to put a layer of lacquer over a semi-dried or wet polyurethane surface, you will end up ruining everything. That is why you should never put lacquer over polyurethane. 

Also do not put polyurethane over lacquer as well. It is just two different coatings, with two different chemical elements serving the same thing, protection.

Not Necessary:

Not necessary, as both these elements are made to protect the surface beneath the coating. Both coatings come with different pros and cons. Polyurethane has two distinctive options, one is water-based, and another is oil-based. 

Oil-based one is low-cost, softer, and scratch proof. On the other hand, the water-based one is costly, but it will not become yellow after some time. Similarly, lacquer also gives a thin layer of durable protection against scratches, and it dries faster than polyurethane coatings. 

Like polyurethane, lacquer also comes in diverse types. A good thing about lacquer is that it does not change its color to yellow over time. If you can apply it perfectly, it will cover your surface for a long time.

Not cost-effective:

Everything has a cost to itself. Whether you use polyurethane or lacquer, you must bear a certain cost. If your budget is low, then you should go for an oil-based polyurethane coating. Lacquer will charge more per square foot than regular polyurethane coatings. 

Moreover, water-based polyurethane is costlier than oil-based polyurethane. So, if you coat your surface with both polyurethane and lacquer, you will end up losing more money. When you are coating your surface with anything, apply the best thing to it. 

Do not apply two or three things together. It will not end well. And, it will have an impact on your wallet.

Can you put polyurethane over lacquer?

Stick with us to know if you can put polyurethane over lacquer –

Oil-based polyurethane over lacquer:

You should not put polyurethane over lacquer or lacquer over polyurethane. Though you will see people do that, it is unnecessary because both these coatings serve the same purpose, as we have seen earlier. 

Oil-based polyurethane is more prone to stick with any new things than water-based polyurethane coatings. So, if you put any coatings of polyurethane over lacquer, you should put an oil-based polyurethane coating over the lacquer. 

But ensure that the lacquer coating is fully dry. But remember, there is a high chance that polyurethane and lacquer coating may stay apart from each other. Because both these have a certain glossiness. 

So, it will be recommended for you to put a good layer of lacquer over a surface, or polyurethane over that surface, but never put both together.

Water-based polyurethane over lacquer:

Water-based polyurethane is hard, and it is less sticky. So, if you cover a lacquer surface with water-based polyurethane, you may waste so much time drying and sticking both the coatings. 

Like oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane is a good coating only on the bare surface. Even over an oil-based or old water-based polyurethane coating, you cannot put water-based polyurethane coating. 

So, it will be unwise to put a layer of water-based polyurethane over lacquer. As you know, lacquer also is a strong coating over a surface, just like water-based polyurethane coating, it becomes hard on the surface. 

So, it is recommended not to use water-based polyurethane over lacquer.

Polyurethane vs lacquer, which is better?

Polyurethane and lacquer are used for increasing the beauty of the surface. Also, prolonging the surface materials’ life. Both have their pros and cons.

Polyurethane Overall:

Polyurethane is used as a shield for products, and it uplifts the durability of the product as well. Polyurethane can resist water. However, when you put polyurethane over the surface, it will easily increase the durability of woods or steels that can perish or ruin easily. 

It is not used for high-end furniture. There are two different types of polyurethane, one is oil-based, and another is water-based. Oil-based one is long-lasting, and it takes more time to dry. Also, oil-based polyurethane coatings are not as costly as their counterparts. 

There are different options you may choose from oil-based polyurethane, these are gloss, semi-gloss, and satins. The glossiest one is the best among other options. The other type of polyurethane is water-based polyurethane. It costs more than regular oil-based polyurethane. 

It is thinner than oil-based polyurethane. Also, it does not have an extra smell to it and dries faster than usual.

Lacquer Overall:

Lacquer is used for high-end furniture or any other surfaces that need to have a strong durable coating. If you want to finish with lacquer, you need to have a certain skill in painting lacquer. It dries faster and it is thinner than all other coatings. 

You can use an HVLP sprayer to spray lacquer perfectly. Nitrocellulose, Acrylic, Water-based, and Catalyzed lacquer are the four different types of lacquer.

Final thoughts

You should not put lacquer over polyurethane or polyurethane over lacquer. Certain things require certain coatings. If you want to coat any exterior things, you should go for oil-based polyurethane. High-end furniture requires lacquer. Do not paint different types of coatings one over another.