Best Spray Lacquer for Wood 2023

January 4, 2023

Applying finish coating on wood surface with wood lacquer spray.

It’s important to have a smooth and polished surface while dealing with wood. When this happens, lacquer and varnish should be considered as options. The best wood lacquer will give the wood a glossy, long-lasting shine while also preserving it. Lacquer may be applied to wood using a spray gun or a brush, and it dries rapidly. The use of a wood lacquer spray rather than wood oil will result in a more lasting external coating since it penetrates the wood. Continue reading to find out more about best lacquer paint spray for wood, including how to apply it and which brands are the most effective.

It is for this reason that many woodworkers like lacquer. It does give full protection to your painted wood. Furthermore, it is responsible for the glossy finish while also smoothing the surface.

Different Types of Spray Lacquer Suitable for Wood

There has been a lot of debate around town regarding which lacquer is the finest. As far as we’re concerned, it all comes down to perspective and usage. So, let’s have a look at the three main categories and get more information about them-

1) Acrylic Lacquer

Acrylic lacquer is the sort of paint that we prefer. This is because they are more user-friendly than other choices. This makes the Acrylic lacquer as the best choice for even for beginner users. Additionally, they give coatings that are crystal transparent. Moreover, they have a very long shelf life. In order to achieve a long-lasting finish, acrylic lacquer is the best choice!

2) Nitrocellulose Lacquer

Nitrocellulose is the least expensive kind of lacquer that you can find on the market. In terms of price, it’s an excellent deal. Additionally, it has a longer lifetime. However, following the application, the color changes to a yellowish hue. As a consequence, it will not have the white finish you would want it to be.

3) Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer

This lacquer finishes through evaporation. In addition to this, they provide a chemical reaction cure as an additional option to consider. The term “pre-catalyzed” refers to the presence of a catalyst in the mixture.

Because a catalyst has been added to this kind of paint, it will last far longer. Additionally, the durability and toughness that chemical reactions provide are enhanced. This one seems to be more durable than Nitrocellulose lacquer.

That being said, Pre-catalyzed lacquer is an expensive product. They are a bit more expensive than the rest of the selections on our list. You should consider this factor before buying one!

In addition, they are white and will not become yellow after being applied to the surface. Additionally, they are not toxic enough to be dangerous to your health. Moreover, they have a very long economic life. They would be the best lacquer options if you don’t mind the cost of purchasing them.

Polyurethane vs. Lacquer for Wood: Which is Better?

When it comes to application, lacquer is believed to be less complicated to apply than polyurethane (another form of wood sealant). Precision and care are essential when applying polyurethane, while lacquer does not necessitate the same level of attention and skill.

Making a mistake or damaging anything when working with lacquer is significantly less difficult to fix than making a mistake or damaging something while working with polyurethane. Lacquer may be applied to a wide range of materials, including wood and metal, with excellent results. The two objects cannot be utilized on the same surface since they are incompatible with each other and would cause damage to it.

Despite the fact that polyurethane is more durable than lacquers, it takes much longer to dry due to its thickness. In the case of lacquer that has been exposed to sunlight for a lengthy period of time, it may turn yellow and brittle. More coats of lacquer are easier and faster to apply compared to polyurethane, which is more time-consuming.

Most Recommended Spray Lacquer for Wood

Last update on 2024-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1) RUST-OLEUM Clear Gloss Lacquer Spray

You should choose this Rust-Oleum spray wood lacquer when seeking the finest of the best in wood finishing. The spray is great for giving a long-lasting high-shine finish to a range of irregularly shaped items of various sizes and shapes, including jewelry. You’ll be able to apply a smooth, consistent coating every time without having to worry about drips or brush marks.

This spray lacquer for wood dries clearly and can be used on a range of different surfaces. You may, for example, use unglazed pottery or wood to create your design. A single can will cover around seven square feet when used according to the directions, and it will dry in approximately 20 minutes before you can touch it again. This wood finish clear coat spray may be sanded down and used many times to provide an even glossier look on the wood.


  • It dries to a firm and long-lasting finish
  • Quick drying time
  • Vibrant and crystal clear finish
  • Very simple to use


  • Because of the acrylic nature of this lacquer, protective equipment is required.
  • It is not ideal for extremely large surfaces.
  • There is a chance of overspraying.

In terms of performance, this lacquer is excellent. Because of its user-friendliness and gorgeous finish, it is a popular choice for many people. Despite its modest size, this lacquer may be used for a broad variety of tasks.

2) DEFT Interior Clear Lacquer

This lacquer is ideal for use on wood and metal surfaces since it is fully composed of nitrocellulose and will not affect the surface in any way. This wood lacquer spray has a revolutionary self-leveling composition that makes it easy to produce a perfectly smooth surface finish on a wide range of items, including furniture. It is very simple to apply, and it dries in around two hours.

A crystal-clear finish that won’t yellow is possible after the curing process. Because lacquer cures in 30 minutes, you may reapply it several times without polishing between layers. Because of the transparency of the spray, the natural beauty of any interior hardwood surface would still be visible. As a result, it is acceptable to use it on almost any kind of wood, including hardwoods. When fully cured, this finish becomes water-resistant and provides excellent protection against stains of all kinds.


  • Dries quickly
  • Boost your wood appearance
  • Ideal protection for all kinds of interior wood finishes
  • User-friendly
  • Does not discolor
  • Resistant to water


  • A bit more expensive lacquer
  • The liquid form has toxic properties
  • Produces fumes while in use
  • Flammable
  • Cleaning the nozzle in between coatings is critical to preventing blockage.

3) Lacquer Spray Paint, Dull Aluminum Blast Acrylic Lacquer

Another excellent choice is SM Arnold’s lacquer paint. As a result of the acrylic resin that has been applied, it has excellent adhesion and long-lasting performance characteristics.

As an added advantage, it is heat resistant up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is very high compared to other products. This flexible sealant may benefit calipers, gearbox housings, water pumps, alternators, and the majority of wood and metal parts. This flexible sealant may be applied to all of these products.

Aluminum objects may also benefit from a new coat of paint applied with this method. It will not wear out over time as a result of the non-leafing pigment and greater durability of the material. It also meets with the Volatile Organic Compound’s criteria which means that this product is following the government regulations regarding organic compounds. Because lacquer dries rapidly and is smudge-proof, it is ideal for use with a single coat application method.

4) Rust-Oleum 1904830 Lacquer Spray

Rust-Oleum is one of the most well-known brands, and their lacquer paints for wood are among the best on the market.

There are three color choices available: white, black, and transparent.

Because it is manufactured in the United States, rest assured that this product is a popular choice for furniture and accessories because it lends an appealing and professional appearance to your work.

It cures and dries rapidly, and the gloss may be enhanced if required. It’s a great all-around product.

5) Minwax 15200 Gloss Brushing Lacquer Spray

This Minwax combination offers your wood or metal a beautiful, translucent, and long-lasting finish that is both smooth and durable.

When applied to bare or colored wood, it dries in 30 minutes and is entirely resistant to water and moisture. If you need to redo your application, give it two hours before doing so. Due to the fact that lacquer seals itself, there is no need to sand in-between applications.

The Minwax product gives a smooth, bubble-free finish that will not leave any noticeable splotches, in contrast to other treatments available on the market. Upon drying, it leaves a thin but durable coating. When polished, it gives a beautiful sheen on the applied surface. If you’ve never worked with lacquer paint before, this may not be the best choice for your first try. In contrast, the Minwax 15200 will astound even the most inexperienced user with its ease of application, smooth finish, and long-lasting performance.

Everything from drums and guitars to furniture and blacksmithing items, metal products, and craft projects may benefit from using a Minwax.

How to Use a Wood Lacquer Spray: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Prior to starting anything else, make sure that your workplace and equipment are ready. Assemble your workspace in a well-ventilated area. Use newspaper to cover any surfaces that you don’t want to get dirty. It is advisable to tape off any areas of the wood that you do not want to be covered with lacquer, depending on the project. Additionally, make certain that you have enough lighting so that you can see properly what you’re doing. You may also want to consider installing a fan in your room to increase ventilation.
  • If you’re going to spray, you may start by mixing 50/50 lacquer and thinner. Fill the cup of your sprayer gun with water until it is about three-quarters full, then turn it on. If you’re going to use a spray can, figure out how much lacquer you’ll need ahead of time and have the appropriate number of cans on hand before you begin.
  • Before preparing your lacquer mixture for the sprayer, apply a preliminary application of sanding sealer to the surface. This step is completely optional, however, it will assist in the construction of a more polished finish overall. Allow at least 30 minutes to elapse after applying the second coat before polishing the surface with steel wool to remove any imperfections.
  • Make sure you have your sprayer ready at this stage. Preliminary testing of the sprayer’s performance should be done on a scrap piece of wood. Start spraying the main wood surface as soon as you’re satisfied with your results. You should wait at least two hours after you’ve finished polishing the whole surface before using steel wool or sandpaper to finish it. Using paper as fine as 220-grit or even finer would be the ideal product for sanding it. The product label and the manufacturer’s instructions should include information about drying times and other relevant factors, among other things.
  • Repeat the application technique as many times as required, wiping the area clean with a towel before applying another coat of paint is recommended. For a professional-looking finish, at the very least three coats are necessary. After that, allow it to dry for at least two days to ensure that it is entirely dry. By rubbing or polishing the last coat, it will make your surface shinier as you polish it.

FAQs on Applying Lacquer on Wood Surface

How Would You Differentiate Varnish from Lacquer?

As a beginner in woodworking, it will help if you know the difference between varnish and lacquer. Lacquer paint contains dissolved nitrocellulose, pigments, and plasticizers as a solvent-based finish. This product serves as a protective layer on metal or wood surfaces. 

Both the lacquer and the varnish serve as protective finishes. Yet, many think that the lacquer is a better option. Moreover, both the lacquer and the varnish offer a shiny finish. Lacquer, for example, comes in many color options and sheen levels. Spray varnish, on the other hand, offers a clear finish. 

Of course, you can also find lacquer in the clear option. Yet, it offers many options and sheen levels, which the varnish doesn’t provide. 

You can find lacquer with an ultra-matte to a high-gloss finish. Moreover, you can buy lacquer in a spray can or rub-on options. You can also find paint-on versions of lacquer. Nevertheless, since the varnish has thinner, it dries slower than lacquer.

Will Canned Aerosol Finishes Provide Me with Better Finishing Result?

Of course, you will get excellent finishes using canned aerosol finishes on smaller projects. However, aerosol finishes are relatively expensive and need more coating applications than other spraying methods. Yet, they do deliver a smooth and durable finish. 

If you spray too close, you may end up creating bubbles. If you spray too far, you may end up with a finish like that of sandpaper because the droplets dry fast before they hit the workpiece’s surface. Moreover, it will be good to note that high-quality lacquers can yield higher levels of solids. Hence, they build fast a coat over the workpiece surface.

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the drying time between coats to achieve good results. Besides, when using canned aerosol finishes, you should follow the correct distance between the nozzle and the project surface. 

How Long Does it Take for Lacquer to Dry Completely?

The curing process for nitrocellulose lacquers might take up to a month to finish, depending on the product. It is much less time-consuming to cure nitrocellulose lacquer when the lacquer is pre-catalyzed (usually around a week). The amount of time it takes for a product to cure is dependent on the brand and the surrounding environment.

How Long Does the Smell of Lacquer Remain in the Surface?

While the lacquer is drying, the aroma will be powerful but only last for a brief period of time. It is normal for the smell to go away after around 24 hours, however, there may be a faint scent that persists for a short period of time after that.

How Many Coats of Lacquer Do You Need to Use?

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need two or three layers of paint. When lacquer is applied using a spray gun, the coatings are much thinner compared to when applied with a brush. This will need the addition of more layers.

How Much Does Lacquer Cost?

When compared to other wood treatment options such as polyurethane or varnish, lacquer is a more cost-effective alternative to be considered. Lacquer is also more user-friendly to apply, and it is available in a greater selection of colors and sheens.


To get the finest clear coat spray for wood, invest in a high-quality lacquer before you start spraying on the clear coat. Lacquer gives wooden surfaces a lovely, polished sheen while also protecting them. It’s simple to use lacquer paint on wood, and it works well on a variety of materials. The information in our article above should have helped you pick the finest wood lacquer.

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