Dip the corner of a clean, soft rag into lacquer thinner. Rub the hidden area on the floor or furniture. If the surface layer dissolves, the finish is lacquer . If the surface remains unchanged, the finish is polyurethane .
Unlike polyurethane , varnish is designed for outdoor projects and is not typically used for indoor surfaces such as a hardwood floor. While polyurethane is water- or oil-based plastic resin, varnish is older and made from resins, oils, and solvents.
Shellac : This finish is virtually a natural product that creates a lustrous, mid-gloss sheen with a golden tint. Lacquer : Lacquer is a clear nitrocellulose dissolved in a solvent that creates a crystal-clear, hard wearing finish and can be applied by sprayer for an ultra-smooth surface.
Oil based stains are somewhat more water resistant than the water based finishes . Due to this, by sprinkling a little water onto the stained area you can tell if the stain is water or oil based . Simply wait for a minute and see if the water beads up. If it does, then you have an oil based stain.
Differences between Varnish and Lacquer Both varnish and lacquer provide shiny and glossy finishes to fixture surfaces. While varnishes produce a semi-gloss or satin sheen finish, lacquers provide more sheen levels, ranging from high gloss to ultra matte.
DURABILITY: Polycrylic hardens to a durable, wipeable finish and is good for high traffic pieces. Wax is only a semi-permanent finish and may never harden, making it better suited for show pieces. WEAR : Wax scratches and stains easily and will wear over time where poly has a much harder finish and is scratch resistant.
Polyurethane wood finishes
Polyurethane finish is basedon both oil and water while polycrylic is a water-based finish. That’s just one example of a difference between polyurethane and polycrylic paint.
While the terms varnish, polyurethane , lacquer and shellac are commonly used to reference a final finish in general, these products are not the same , nor are they recommended to be used interchangeably.
Shellac is very beautiful and forms a reasonably durable finish that can be high gloss in nature. It does have drawbacks however. If you place a hot mug or a hot pan onto a shellac finish , a white ring can develop under it. It is also soluble in alcohol.
Applying one or two coats of polyurethane to a painted surface is a good way to protect the paint . Oil-based polyurethane levels out to a smoother finish, although it takes several hours longer to dry. You can apply polyurethane over any type of paint , as long as it’s clean and has been properly prepared.
We recommend a minimum of 2 days of socks-only traffic for floors finished with oil polyurethane . The house is not inhabitable for a minimum of 2 days after the job is completed, and better to stay out for at least 5 as the fumes/off-gassing is not advisable to breathe in, even if there are other rooms to sleep in.
Oil based polyurethane lasts longer than water based . There is no contest on the durability between the 2 options. Water based polyurethane has lower VOC’s – which is a bit of an environmental benefit ( more about that in a moment) – but because it has lower VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), it doesn’t last as long.
Due to the deep penetration into the wood and its effectiveness at sealing the water out, decking oils provide excellent protection against mould and fungus. As well as doing brilliantly at their intended purpose to change the colour of the wood, decking stains can also provide a high level of UV protection.