Is There a Waterborne Finish as Nice as Solvent-Based Lacquer?
Some product options for brushing and spraying.
I’m trying to avoid the safety and health problems associated with solvent-based lacquer, so I’ve tried spraying several waterborne clear finishes. However, none of them have the same clarity, luster, and depth as solvent lacquer, especially on figured woods. Is there a water-based clear finish that has the advantages of lacquer without the drawbacks?
Tom Smith, Green Bay, WI
No. In 30 years of finishing and refinishing wood, I’ve never seen one and probably never will. Water-based finishes just don’t penetrate and envelop the cellular structure of the wood as well as solvent-based finishes, and that’s why they don’t have the same luster and depth. However, there are still some very good-looking water-based finishes. For spraying, try either Target Coatings EM6000 production lacquer or General Finishes Water-Based lacquer. For brushing, I use General Finishes Enduro-Var, which has a nice amber tint that mimics the look of lacquer.