Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

What’s in a name?

Q: How does enamel differ from lacquer?
A: The term lacquer refers to how a finish dries. Specifically, it means a coating that dries solely by solvent evaporation. It does not give any clue to what resins were use in it, though of course, certain ones are particularly common.
The term enamel has no definitive meaning in coatings anymore, though it did at one time. Today, the term is simply used to mean a very durable paint, without giving any indication whether it is reactive, such as an oil based enamel, or evaporative, such as a lacquer enamel, or a multi-phase coating that has elements of curing methods.