To keep our indoor or outdoor furniture safe and protected against rusting and other wear and tear, we apply different types of coatings on it. Whether you choose the Catalyzed Lacquer or Polyurethane coating, both will be excellent.
However, Lacquer takes less time to dry, whereas Polyurethane takes more. The former option is highly affordable, but the latter coating option for furniture is expensive.
But both can be applied to the furniture depending on what you like the most and what application method you like the best.
A Short Comparison Table
|Differences Based upon||Catalyzed Lacquer||Polyurethane Coating|
|Types||Lacquer is available in acrylic, nitrocellulose, and water-based||It is either water-based or oil-based|
|Durability||Durable but not more than Lacquer||Extremely Durable|
|Drying time||Quicker||Takes almost a day|
|Application method||It is applied through high-pressure or low-pressure sprays||It is applied through the brush|
|Affordability||Highly Affordable||Less affordable|
|Level of VOCs||Only water-based has the least number of VOCs||The oil-based is very toxic|
In-Depth Differences Between Catalyzed Lacquer And Polyurethane Coating
Based on their applications, both vary differently in their types.
When you look at the catalyzed Lacquer, you are provided with unique types of lacquers.
These include that water-based, acrylic, nitrocellulose, and mainly discussed catalyzed Lacquer.
Since we are only comparing the Catalyzed Lacquer, they include the urea-based resins.
Nitrocellulose-based resins are the strongest and stiffest coating with a prolonged lifespan.
Such type of Lacquer comes in boxes we call pre-catalyzed Lacquer. Or one can mix his own. But one should always use that store-available catalyzed Lacquer.
On the other hand, Polyurethane is classified either into water-based or oil-based compounds. Both are extremely good to apply on the furniture and leave impermeant remarks.
You can use oil- or water-based furniture, depending on which is more suitable and readily available.
We also accept that both are excellently visible and proven on the furniture. It doesn’t matter whether you use Lacquer or Polyurethane to shine or protect those wooden pieces; both will stand out and be durable.
However, you must know that applying oil-based Polyurethane is proven to be more durable than a Catalyzed Lacquer.
So, this is the fundamental difference between the hardiness and strength of the furniture. The durability period decides how long a coating will stand on the furniture items.
- Drying Time
Polyurethane coating application on furniture or other indoor or outdoor wood items takes more time to dry.
If required, you’d have to give almost 24 hours to let this coating dry before considering applying that next coat.
However, this is not the case with catalyzed Lacquer because it dries even faster. You can go for multiple coats if you want to, as the faster you keep applying it on the furniture, the sooner it will dry.
- Application Method
Usually, we apply the oil-based or water-based Polyurethane by using paint brushes and applying multiple coats to make things stern. Here is exactly how and when to apply it.
However, applying Lacquer is a bit different than that. For this product, you’ll get it into spray bottles and can just spray straightforwardly on furniture items.
But if you have prepared your Lacquer, you can also use a brush.
- Viscosity Level
It determines how thick that solution will be, which you’ll apply as a coating on the furniture.
Well, answering this question is very simple. Because Polyurethane is comparatively a thicker compound.
In contrast, Lacquer is a thinner compound. So, the viscosity level of the former item is higher, and the last item is lower.
Comparing both with their prices, you’ll likely spend less when you buy the catalyzed liquid.
Because they are comparatively more affordable than oil-based or water-based Polyurethane on furniture items.
It is another reasonable difference between these types of coatings for furniture.
- Level of VOCs
Such a factor helps you determine how toxic a coating solution could be when applied to furniture and how it will affect the air.
It means a coating with higher VOCs will spread more toxic compounds in the air or rancid smells.
On the other hand, fewer VOCs will rise quickly with the sunlight, and there are fewer chances of bad smells coming into the air.
Based on these facts, using the Polyurethane coating mixed with water will give you fewer VOCs.
On the contrary, oil-based Lacquer has a higher number of VOCs and tends to be more toxic.
What Is Better To Use For Furniture, Lacquer or Polyurethane?
Both are great to apply as a coating on various indoor and outdoor furniture items. But if you want faster drying and have less budget, you can consider Catalyzed or any other liquid.
However, if you are Okay with your old Polyurethane method, nothing can change your mind.
Because now, you have the money to spend, time to wait for its drying, and likely have the urge to go for a more significant number of coats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Depending on your relief, budget, and other requirements, you may use any of these. Using Lacquer means saving some extra bucks, which you might be spending otherwise.
When determining the sheer durability, oil-based Polyurethane coating is more durable than your regular Lacquer.
A catalyzed lacquer is a high-end compound that provides a rigid and double-packed coating for most internal wood finishes.
The main difference between these two is that Lacquer takes less time to try and is considerably less durable than Polyurethane. In contrast, Polyurethane takes more time to dry but is highly durable than Lacquer.
In conclusion, you must take your chances with Lacquer because of the affordability and still a better finishing. Polyurethane application is more complicated and takes much time to dry.
Therefore, you can easily decide between Catalyzed Lacquer and Polyurethane to apply to your furniture.
However, most people still love to use the traditional method of coating, which is more durable. You can also use Polyurethane if you are willing to spend more but expect high-end results.