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I'm reading some posts here saying that some people miss lacquer. Is their a difference beetween laquer and urethane clear coat? Because i'm confused.
Excuse me for my ignorance but i had to ask otherwise i would have kept not knowing.

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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There are chemial differences but the characteristic differences are that lacquer is a "1K" (single componant) and urethane is a "2K" (two componant) meaning that the urethane has an added hardener which "cures" the paint making it insoluable. While lacquer only "dries" by solvents evaporating. Theoretically you could scrape lacquer off the car and put it in a can with lacquer thinner and shake it up and respray it!

Urethane when cured is MUCH more durable.

Brian
 

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I don't think they really miss lacquer, they miss how they could get it to look after buffing, how easy it was to apply with inexpensive equiptment and without a very good painting area, and not having to worry as much about what the temperature was. I've heard old timers make statements like you could probably spray it on with a squirt bottle and still make it look good. Urethane some people don't like, cause it looks plasticy to them and it has and urethane peel (been discusses recently and in past threads) As far as lacquer or urethane, the urethane is a far better system, lot less upkeep, lot more durable, resisitant to chemicals. The urethanes it is critical for you to paint in a warm shop, protect yourself well when spraying ect. But the paint itself is so much better then lacquer in most regards. And you would have a tough time finding lacquer today due to it being phased out by environmental regulations. Lacquer required many coats to be sprayed, but urethane generally only 2-3 are sprayed. So if you hear someone say they want 10 coats of clear on there car and buffed out like a mirror, they are misinformed. May have been the true in the lacquer days, but you wouldn't want that much urethane sprayed as it would be of no benefit at all and make it a more problem prone paint job then having a only a few coats.
 
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I have sprayed many gallons of lacquer. It was not unusual to spray 2 gallons or more on one car. You sprayed many coats on the vehicle. Then came the wetsanding and buffing to a smooth as glass finish. A large percent of the paint actually didn't make it on the vehicle. The paint was actually going on the car almost dry, and was a real job to get a run. If you got overspray on things, it was no big deal, as it was just dust that would wipe off. There were probably health hazards with spraying the stuff, but we didn't know about them. The only thing we knew was that you would get high while spraying, and have a good headache the next day, if you didn't have good ventilation. Of course, the paint job did look better when you were done spraying that way. :D

As far as the lacquer clear is concerned, I only sprayed that a few times. It sprayed like water, and would run real easy. The only advantage I saw was it required less wetsanding and buffing, but I didn't think it had the deep gloss.

Lacquer is solvent soluable. The easy test to see if it lacquer is to place some thinner on a rag, and wipe the surface or lay the rag on it for a couple of minutes. The paint will come right off. If you spilled brake fluid down a fender, you could watch the paint roll right off. Did make it easier to strip the paint though. :D

Aaron
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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That is an interesting point on the comparison. Lacquer was about 25 percent solids. So if you sprayed a gallon only on quart stayed on the car. Now, you sprayed it with a conventional gun that had about 25-35 or so transfer effeciency, not much was even getting on the car!

Today, the urethane SS, primers, clears will have 50 or more percent solids and the HVLP gun will have 68% transfer effeciency, BIG difference.

And they call it "the good old days". I'm sorry, I like it more the way it is. :)

Brian
 
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