Finishing Options: Lacquer

Lacquer is a versatile and durable finish that has been used for centuries to enhance the beauty of various objects. From furniture to musical instruments, lacquer provides a protective and decorative coating that adds a touch of elegance to any item. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of lacquer and its many applications.

What is Lacquer?

Lacquer is a clear or colored coating that is typically applied to wood, metal, or other materials to create a smooth and glossy finish. It is made from the sap of the lacquer tree, which is native to East Asia. The sap is harvested and processed to create a resin that can be mixed with pigments and other additives to achieve different colors and effects.


There are several reasons why lacquer is a popular choice for finishing and protecting various objects:

  • Durability: Lacquer is known for its exceptional durability. It forms a hard and protective layer that can withstand everyday wear and tear.
  • Beauty: The glossy finish of lacquer adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any object. It enhances the natural beauty of the material it is applied to.
  • Water Resistance: Lacquer is highly resistant to water, making it an ideal choice for items that may come into contact with moisture.
  • Chemical Resistance: Lacquer is also resistant to many chemicals, including solvents and household cleaners, which helps to preserve the finish over time.


Lacquer is a little softer than varnish and is therefore prone to scratches and due to the way in which it is applied it is not possible to fix a scratch. The entire surface needs to be sanded back to raw timber and then the lacquer needs to be reapplied. In other words, lacquer generally cannot be fixed at home. It needs to be sent off to a workshop for repairs.

Whether you are looking to protect a piece of furniture or add a touch of elegance to your artwork, lacquer is a versatile and reliable choice. Its durability, beauty, and resistance to water and chemicals make it a popular finish for a wide range of applications. Consider using lacquer for your next project and experience the timeless appeal of this remarkable coating.