Difference Between Lacquer and Enamel

Lacquer vs Enamel

Lacquer and enamel paints are two choices for people when they want a glossy finish to the surface of the object that they are trying to paint. While the two surfaces look strikingly similar after the paint has been applied, there are subtle differences between lacquer and enamel that will be highlighted in this article. Paint component in both types of paints remain the same, and the basic difference lies in the solvents used in the two paints. Let us take a closer look at enamel paint and lacquer paint.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint has a paint that dries to leave behind a glossy finish. This is a paint that is mostly used on walls and metallic surfaces where a glossy finish is required. While, in automobiles, enamel paints are a necessity, they are also used in homes, in places where there is a lot of moisture and water is used that can affect the surface of the paint. Thus, enamel paints are used in kitchens and bathrooms, to preserve the paint on the walls. Outdoor structures that are exposed to elements are often painted using enamel paints. Enamel paints take time to dry out and prove to be very durable.

Lacquer Paint

Lacquer paints are paints that utilize lacquer to serve the purpose of thinner. Lacquer paint produces a very glossy transparent finish that is shiny and looks very attractive. However, this paint has the tendency to crack and also develop bubbles in a short time if it is not applied by professional painters. These paints also dry up very quickly which is why they are applied using a sprayer.

Between 1920’s and 1960’s lacquer paint used to be very popular, and it was applied on automobile bodies and furniture as it produced an attractive glossy finish. Lacquer paints are labeled soft, and they need several coats to be applied. They are still not very durable. One can find these paints in the form of spray guns and containers.

Lacquer vs Enamel

• The difference between enamel and lacquer paints lies in their solvents. While enamel paints make use of spirits, there is lacquer to serve the purpose of the thinner, in lacquer paints.

• Lacquer paints soften over a period of time, whereas enamel paints remain hard for a long time.

• Lacquer paints develop bubbles if not applied by professionals. This is not the case with enamel paints.

• Lacquer paints were very popular in between 1920 and 1960 when they were used to cover automobile bodies.

• Enamel paints are harder to dry whereas lacquer paints dry up quickly.

• Enamel paints are cheaper than lacquer paints.