Published on 30 October 2020

Posted in Floor Finishing

When it comes to polishing wooden flooring for the first time, it is not always easy to know which products are going to be your best picks for keeping that perfect look for months at a time. You’ll likely find that most flooring protection available is sold in the form of lacquer or varnish. It’s easy enough to think that both options do the same thing!

However, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, knowing the difference between varnish and lacquer could make things easier on you in the long run. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect from either choice.

Varnish or Lacquer? What should I use?

Using Varnish

Varnish is a popular choice for many people in the sense that it’s amazingly simple, as well as being incredibly protective. Did you know that varnish is UV resistant? This means that, when polishing wooden flooring, varnishing will help prevent it from fading or getting damaged in the sunlight.

There’s also the fact that varnish is amazingly tough, if you really want to lock in colour, then a good coat of varnish is always likely to be a brilliant choice. What sets it apart from lacquer is the fact that it’s made from different elements.

However, many people may find that the looks you can achieve through varnish are a little limited compared to the finishes lacquer can bring. What’s more, it’s actually even less hardy than lacquer, on the whole. However, as you might expect, there are also plenty of reasons why varnish is the better choice. For a start, it is often much easier to maintain, on the whole.

That said, varnish often needs reapplying more than lacquer – as it is not as resistant against everyday knocks and scrapes!

Using Lacquer

Lacquer is an alternative to varnish which, as mentioned, generally arrives in more looks and styles than the varnishing standard. It also tends to be very hard wearing, perhaps even more so than varnish in many cases. Lacquer is a thinner solution on the whole, too, and it tends to dry much quicker.

Of course, there are also downsides to this solution, too.  Lacquer can fade quicker than varnish, meaning that it might not be ideal for floors in particularly bright areas of the home.

Ultimately, lacquer is a great alternative to varnish if you really need that extra bit of strength and a specific look or sheen. However, it’s easy to see why so many people struggle to choose between the two. You may even find that there are specific types of wood or finish which react better to one or the other, too.

Which is Right for Me?

That all depends on what you are going to use your floors for, choose varnish for ease of reapplication and sunlight resistance, and lacquer if you want a greater range of shades and harder wear. You’ll find the right fit for your needs in no time!

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