Nitro, poly, lacquer..? I need to get that right

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Nitro, poly, lacquer..? I need to get that right

Post by 3rdstone » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:37 pm

I feel kinda stupid about this, but whatever. I thought I'd once learned the general basic differences between poly (simplified; a kind of synthetic, plastic/acrylic finish, right?), and nitro (simplified; nitro cellulose - a more organic, natural finish, right?).

But the term "lacquer" confuses me.

I used to think "nitro" and "lacquer" were just two names for the same finish. But it seems that there's more to it? If so, what's the difference? :oops:
"What, another one? But for God's sake why, they all look the same?!!"

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Post by LPjunior » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:45 am

Nitro is just a shortened version of nitrocellulose lacquer, the lacquer part just refers to the fact than the finish, in this case nitrocellulose, is dissolved/suspended in a solvent and after the solvent evaporates the finish is left behind. You can get acrylic laquers than are similar and the acrylic finish is suspended in water so less harmful than the solvents needed for nitrocellulose.

The poly finishes harden by a chemical reaction rather than the solvent just evaporating like they do in laqcuers.

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