Difference Between Lacquer and Paint

Lacquer vs Paint

Lacquer is a product that is used to form a protective coating over the surface of wooden furniture. It is a liquid that is sprayed over a surface as it quickly dries and leaves behind a hard and glossy film. However, lacquer is also a paint that is known for its ability to dry up quickly by evaporation of the solvent. This article attempts to remove all confusion from the minds of the readers who remain confused between a lacquer and paint as also to enable them to choose the right product for their requirement.


Lacquer is both a product as well as a finish that is obtained by the application of this product over the surface of wooden furniture. It is similar to varnish in that it provides a highly glossy coating that is hard and durable and prevents surfaces from the harsh weather as well as accidental spills and scratches. However, lacquer also refers to lacquer paints that were very popular in the 20’s till 60’s as they were used to paint the bodies of automobiles.

Lacquer dries up very quickly, which is why it is sprayed on to the surface rather than being applied with the help of a brush. Lacquer is usually the backbone of the furniture industry as it is used to provide a protective covering that is also aesthetically pleasing.


Paint is a substance that is used to provide a protective covering and a solid film over the surface of an object. It is usually a liquid that dries up to leave a film over the surface on which it is applied. This liquid contains a vehicle, a solvent, and a pigment that is responsible for giving the color to the surface. Vehicles are binders that make the pigment stick to the surface while a solvent is that dissolves the vehicle to convert the pigment into a liquid.

In general, paints are classified as enamels and lacquers. While enamels dry and also cure the surface over which they are applied, lacquer paints just dry to leave a solid film over the surface without curing it.

Lacquer vs Paint

• Lacquer is a word that is used both for the product as well as the finish that is provided by it to the surface over which it is applied.

• Lacquer is mostly used to have a protective and glossy coating over wooden and other metallic surfaces and is usually clear or tinted.

• Paint refers to the liquid that is used to have a colorful solid film over the surface over which it is applied.

• There are basically two types of paints namely enamels and lacquers.

• Lacquer paints dry up quickly and are usually sprayed.

• Lacquer paints were once very popular for painting the bodies of automobiles.