Lacquer Car Paint: Understanding the Pros And Cons

January 27, 2012

Before you decide whether or not you want to use lacquer car paint, it might be a smart thing to check out the pros and cons of using this kind of product on your car. Here is a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of paint.

Pros for Lacquer Paint


If it is mixed properly, the glossy finish with lacquer is probably of the highest caliber that you can get from any other car paint. Thus it is perfect from an aesthetic perspective.

Drying Time

This type of paint actually dries quicker than some others you might use and it does not drip as easily as some paints might do. In fact, it is nearly dry in 15 minutes because it begins to dry the minute it is exposed to air.

Ease of Use

Lacquer is very easy to use and because it is less toxic than other forms of paint, it can easily be applied in your own garage instead of worrying about having to find a good spot to do your paint job. You also don't have to worry about over spray like with other paints. Each coat applied does not require you to do any sanding in between coats because lacquer sticks to itself. Furthermore, it is easier to repair a damaged paint job if it is done in lacquer.


Lacquer is also is tolerant to a little bit cooler temperatures than other paints. 65 degrees is an okay temperature to apply the paint to your car. 

Cons for Lacquer Paint


When using lacquer paint it will take a lot more coats to get a finished look, with most people using around six to eight different coats. If you use a lacquer primer it must be given as much time as possible to harden. If you combine that with the six to eight coats of paint you have to eventually put on, painting with lacquer can take a lot longer.


It is a requirement that it has to be cut and polished after letting it settle for a couple of weeks. This means that you can't put on any of the trim that was taken off the car for painting until the polishing is done. That means the trim will be off the car for quite some time.

Spray Painting

Also it is important to note that lacquer paint is rarely painted on; it usually has to be applied with expensive spray paint equipment. Paint thinner and even exposure to gas being leaked onto it will damage the paint job. Thus in the long run it takes more of an effort to keep the paint job shiny.


One last disadvantage is that the durability factor is lower, even though it is easier to repair. 

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