The finish you choose is as important as other vital things like the material. What finish you choose to go with the wood you use can make or break the look of the finished products. There are many finishes you can choose from but lacquer and poly lacquer are two of the most famous ones and also what many armature and seasoned woodworkers tend to use a lot.
What makes poly lacquer and lacquer popular is that overall both do not take as much effort to apply as other wood finishes and clean-up is also pretty easy. However, the two have some distinct differences that makes lacquer finish more expensive that poly lacquer.
Lacquer absorbs into the wood to form a better and more long-lasting bond. And this is one of the main things that set it apart from poly lacquer as the latter is more of a coat for the wood since it is a polymer. lacquer is one of the easiest wood finishes to apply.
When you apply lacquer, you will get a really hard finish that will make the workpiece highly resistant to damages from water, heat and both alkalis and acids. The main benefit of lacquer is its consistency.
The reason that lacquer is priced higher than poly lacquer is because the process of getting a lacquer finish is much more grueling than a poly lacquer finish. The board is painted in lacquer and then polished. This process is repeated over 7 times until it’s finally ready. With lacquer finish, there is no edge banding.
It is lacquer painted 360 degrees. Whereas with poly lacquer, there is no paint, its edge banded along its sides. This is the main reason as to why lacquer finish products have a much higher life. The board on which lacquered paint is applied is MDF board. MDF Board is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres, often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming it into panels by applying high temperature and pressure.
MDF boards are more much more denser than plywood. Another characteristic of a poly lacquered finish is that it is painted on the front side and the back is laminate.