Fine finishing work is what takes a good DIY project and turns it into something fantastic. Using the best lacquer sprayer ensures you get the results you want.
If you don't use the right sprayer, then there's a good chance that you'll just want to toss your project into the trash heap and start over from scratch.
Here is how you can find the best lacquer sprayer today.
Best Lacquer Sprayer Comparison Chart
There’s a saying when it comes to the best lacquer sprayer: cheap sprayers give you cheap-looking results.
Best Sprayer for Lacquer: HVLP
With a 500 watt motor turbine and spray volume controls, this HVLP spray station can produce up to 43 CFM and a DIN/sec of 160.
You receive a 9 foot hose with purchase, but it’s easy enough to swap that out for a longer hose if needed.
As an added benefit, however, the standard hose and the gun both store right on the machine.
Get yourself the specialized Earlex Spray Gun Cleaning Kit to get your unit super clean after use.
You receive the standard 3 spray pattern adjustments as well and overspray is not an issue with this tool. We really loved how effectively the Earlex HV3500 could apply lacquer – it also works pretty well with stains and some paints.
Best Professional Level Machine
If you do a lot of painting, then you need a durable and strong paint sprayer to get you through your workday.
This paint machine from Graco features all of the benefits that you’ve seen in the reviews above.
As an added benefit, the manufacturer recommends up to 500 gallons of annual use with this model for best results.
This spray gun is at the top of its class. It offers a 1mm needle and a “B” gold air cap with purchase, plus users receive a carrying case and a spare parts kit for the investment.
The weight of the gun is just over 1 pound and it comes ready to use with virtually any pressure pot or cup accessory you may already have.
We’ve tried out a lot of spray guns and have never encountered one that is as easy to use or provides consistent results time after time like the Apollo.
Pound for pound, even with a premium price point, this is going to be the best paint sprayer for your money.
It all begins with a redesign of the sprayer base. You’re given a working stand that allows the sprayer to be stable, but still portable, as you work.
No air compressor needed when you choose an airless paint sprayer like this Graco X5.
The SwitchTip design is a tremendous advantage with this sprayer. Let’s say that the paint gets clogged in the nozzle for some reason.
Instead of using a cleaning needle to remove the clog, Graco allows users to take advantage of a reversible tip. If it gets clogged, you reverse the tip and it’s instantly removed.
Then put it back into place and start painting once again.
Users are also given full control over the amount of pressure that is used for the paint flow at all times. You can work on any project, at any speed, and receive the same results every single time.
If you have a hard to reach areas, or you want to save your back when spraying your deck or ceilings, the Graco 20 inch Extension rod would make your job easier.
The automatic priming helps users clean out missed items from the last cleaning session and any debris, yet the PowerFlush adaptor lets you wash out your machine with just a garden hose if you prefer.
For storage, use their Pump Armor. It keeps your sprayer in tip top shape.
When you have a surface that needs to be painted quickly, you’ll want to turn to a sprayer which is extremely reliable to get the job done. This paint sprayer isn’t going to break your budget.
No matter what type of paint or stain you choose to spray, the Wagner Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer gives you the option to spray a pattern of ½-inch in size to 1 foot in size with the same optimal levels of control.
With this Wagner Spray Gun, you can thin latex paint by 10% to 20% to achieve the finish that you want.
We found that for some latex paint options, you may need to thin it by up to 40%.
That means you’ve got to pay close attention to your spray to avoid clogging issues. Going beyond that level of usefulness is difficult.
Painting a bedroom wall, for example, would not be feasible with this equipment. You wouldn’t want to take it outside to paint a fence. Painting the exterior of a home? Forget about it.
With 20 feet of high flex air hose and a strong enough quality that you can use this tool indoors or outdoors, this is your perfect solution for lacquer.
You receive an additional nozzle and a 1.3 quart or liter cup in addition to your standard items, giving you some extra versatility with the equipment.
A viscosity measurement cup is also included should you decide to spray paint products with this machine as well.
You might not be able to paint or apply lacquer 4x faster than other models as PaintWIZ claims, but we found you can come awfully close after just a couple uses of this great paint sprayer.
This HVLP gravity feed sprayer from Ingersoll Rand is awesome with lacquer, stains and other thinner fine finish materials.
We don’t recommend spraying anything thicker with this gun, even thinned latex. The tip is just too small for spraying heavier materials.
The 33 ounce cup is big enough to get your jobs done without having to stop and constantly refill. The Fluid adjustment knob will adjust the amount of paint going to the tip, instead of buying multiple gun nozzles/tips.
The Spray pattern adjustment allows you to choose multiple patterns for more precision in your results. Weighs in at 2.7 lbs, this unit minimizes wrist fatigue, making this a great gun for novices.
Purchase an air regulator to ensure consistent professional results. Comes with a 1.5mm nozzle and requires 8 CFMs to get going.
We recommend starting off with 20 PSI to get the spray really started. This will stop any sputtering and spitting. Then dial it back and maintain at 10 PSI for optimal sprayer performance.
Most Affordable Lacquer Sprayer
With a non-drip cup and a suspension hook, the basics are covered with this gravity feed spray gun. Users also receive filtered spray and pattern adjustments that are easy to access with a side dial on the left.
An air adjustment valve is easy to access on the rear of this lacquer spray gun as well.
It can spray paint for you fairly well, but we found more success in using stains and other finishes like varnish with the Ingersoll.
It requires a high CFM at 10.5 at 50 PSI and the cup size is just 20 ounces; so keep this in mind before making a final decision.
Can Lacquer be Sprayed?
Yes! Lacquer can be fed through the majority of spray guns that are available on the market today.
With that being said, not every type of lacquer sprayer will give you the type of finish that you're going to want to see when it comes to lacquer.
How to Find the Best Lacquer Sprayer
We've narrowed down the number of lacquer spray gun types to 5 when it comes the best sprayers for lacquer.
- AAA guns. Known as air assisted airless sprayers, this is a good option for large application needs. You have more consistency through less work per piece, which increases your overall productivity.
- Pressured guns. This is your traditional application method. Different forms of pressure allow for consistent lacquer application. These are also the best option for those users who like to experiment with different materials and finishes.
- Gravity feed guns. These guns have a smaller reserve than the others, but also tend to be easier to clean. They are also much easier to use if you're not used to using spray guns already. This is often the best DIY option.
- Suction feed guns. Although not usually recommended for lacquer, they can still be used by those who have perfected their spraying techniques over time.
- HVLP guns. These are also a good choice for the DIY specialist when it comes to lacquer. When spraying lacquer with HVLP, one must just be careful about the setup of the spray gun itself to make sure it can apply the lacquer as desired in a consistent manner.
Recommended Lacquer Sprayer
If you're a beginner at spraying lacquer, we recommend investing in a gravity feed or HVLP paint sprayer. They are easier to clean and a bit easier to use with lacquer than other types of spray guns.
What to Look for in a Lacquer Sprayer
If you’re looking for a spray system check out the Fuji Semi Pro 2. This spray systems has a powerful 2 stage turbine that pushes out 1400 watts. You can lay down thicker coats of lacquer instead of thin coats and get your job done faster.
Are you spraying large or small projects? For small projects, we recommend either an HVLP or a gravity feed sprayer.
You'll want to make sure that the location of the controls is within reach so you can adjust pressure and fan patterns on the fly.
Can you spray at weird angles with the spray gun? How about upside down?
Make sure the lacquer sprayer you are looking at comes with the right tip to spray lacquer.
This can range anywhere from 1.5mm for thinner lacquer to 1.8mm for wood lacquers.
Best Sprayer for Lacquer Features
Spraying Lacquer with an Airless Sprayer
Airless sprayers are known for high levels of overspray. Spraying lacquer with an airless sprayer will create a ton of mess and waste. Don’t even bother with an airless sprayer if you’re going to be mainly spraying lacquer.
Spray Gun Tips and Lacquer
Once you've determined which type of spray gun you'll want to use to apply the lacquer, it is equally important to know what tip should be used for the application.
HVLP gravity feed guns, for example, require a 1.6mm or greater tip size to apply lacquers and similar enamels.
Pressure feed spray guns, however, only require 1.2mm tip for an effective application.
What is the Best Spray Gun for Lacquer?
We recommend the Earlex HV3500 as the best lacquer sprayer. Why? Well, it's a turbine system so no air compressor needed.
Come with a long 9 ft hose to maneuver around your work space, the gun and hose store right on the machine, minimal overspray, and it can spray stains and some paints too.
What is Lacquer?
So exactly what is Lacquer Paint? According to DIY Network, lacquer paint is a protective coating. It provides a very intense gloss finish. It is durable and resistant to damage, including water damage.
You can purchased clear or tinted lacquers. Use lacquer spray if you want an ultra modern shiny look or if your furniture is used frequently.
Lacquer spray paint is thinner than other finishes, and is best applied with a lacquer sprayer. You will have to spray multiple coats, allowing at least 24 hours between each one.
How to Avoid Common Problems with Spray Lacquer
If you’re using the best lacquer sprayer, then it is important to make sure any stains you’ve applied have completely dried before applying the sealant.
Remember that 3 or 4 light coats of lacquer tend to work better than one very thick coat.
A 320 fine grit sandpaper in-between the second and third coat will help the upper coats adhere better for a better overall finish.
If a run should occur, shave it down with a razor blade after drying and then re-spray to fix.
Make sure to use a completely horizontal movement when spraying lacquer.
An arcing motion is a common beginner’s error and will result in a surface that is not uniform. Always keep your spray gun 8-14 inches away from the surface based on your manufacturer’s instructions.
Humidity and Your Lacquer Sprayer
It is best to apply lacquer in an environment that has relatively low humidity. Anything above 65% humidity can result in blushing, which makes the lacquer look hazy once it dries.
Early morning spraying tends to provide the best results when you live in a high humidity environment.
Tips for Spray Painting Lacquer
It is also important to keep the spray gun moving at all times. A constant flow of lacquer is critical to an even finish. Having some lacquer overlap on the finished surface is expected. It takes a little practice to move at a pace that is steady, but still quick.
How to Clean Up After Applying Lacquer
You have two lacquer options: nitrocellulose or water-base.
With nitrocellulose lacquer spray, you can spray throughout the day, taking breaks in-between each application, and only clean your spray gun when finished.
Detach the gun from the air hose, pull the trigger so the lacquer in the gun drips back into your cup, and then follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions.
For water-base lacquers, you’ll need to completely flush your lacquer spray gun with water. Any leftover lacquer should be returned to the can.
Make sure to wipe off the parts to prevent lacquer buildup within the gun that could affect future results.
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Lacquer Thinner vs Paint Thinner
Lacquer thinner is a very strong solvent that has advantages and disadvantages over paint thinner. It is stronger than most solvents and can ruin oil paints, surface and fabrics.
While paint thinner is milder and safer to use, it is advised to use on wood, metal and concrete. Get all the details in our latest post on how to use paint thinner before you start your next DIY painting project.
Be sure to test a hidden area before using lacquer thinner. It is also more flammable than paint thinner. Each brand of lacquer thinner is made of different ratios of solvents: what might work for one project, may wreck another.
Read and follow the directions to the letter for best results.
What is Polyurethane? What is the Difference between Lacquer and Polyurethane?
Polyurethane is not the same as lacquer. According to DIY Network, it is a plastic in the form of a liquid until it dries. Lacquer is a coating that provides a glass like finish versus polyurethane which is a plastic type coating.
When painting kitchen cabinets, I used polyurethane to provide a clear, solid plastic type seal and protective coating. It dried shiny and was perfect to brighten up a white kitchen even more.
Tip: use a natural bristle brush to apply poly. This avoid bubbles in the coating.
NEVER shake the can. This introduces bubbles into the poly. Always stir the product thoroughly with a paint stick. If any imperfection appear in your coating, you can remove it with mineral spirits for about 20-30 minutes after application.
Always apply in a well ventilated area, and expect a waiting time of a day or two or more for it to cure/set. Careful, if you use oil based products, as they can leave a yellow color behind as they age, especially on lighter paints. You can buy water based OR oil based poly, and for painting light colored surfaces, grab water based polyurethane.
Is Lacquer the same as Clear Coat?
Yes and no. A clear coat is a type of final coat of paint that is clear which protects your paint or wood of your surface underneath. You can buy both clear and tinted lacquers. So, if you use a clear lacquer then yes, it is the same as clear coat for your projects. But, if you buy tinted lacquer, it will alter the original color of your surface and is, therefore, in this case, not a clear coat.
What is Lacquer’s Water Resistance? Is Lacquer Water Resistant?
Lacquer has been used for centuries to protect and preserve items from water damage and that benefit continues today. How durable is a lacquer finish? Lacquer penetrates your surface more than other types of protective coats simply because its thinner, so it seeps deeper into your wood and other surface.
It gives you a tough enough finish that you can use it on a high traffic area like your dining room table, a nightstand, a coffee table, or your outdoor furniture and it will protect like a champ.
It can withstand all types of weather so its perfect for your patio chairs, tables, decorations, etc.
How Long Does Lacquer Last?
Lacquer can last anywhere from a few years to many, many years. Lacquer that is applied to things that are exposed to harsh weather and outdoor conditions will last less time than lacquer applied to indoor items that are protected from the elements.
How long a specific lacquer will last depends on how well you stored it in the can and each type (water or oil or nitrocellulose) has a different shelf life. Best to read the can for the optimum shelf life as stated by the manufacturer.
How Do You Protect a Lacquer Finish?
Here are a few tips to keep that lacquer looking lovely throughout the years:
- Don’t leave heavy items or items that can scratch the surface
- Wipe up spills right away
- Dust it regularly
Best Lacquer Brands: Pro Results Fast
Deft dries in about 30 minutes with a crystal clear finish that won’t yellow or darken with age. Available in gloss finish, it covers approximately 400 sq feet per gallon.
Can You Spray Deft Brushing Lacquer?
Perfect for wood finishes and stains, Deft sprays awesome when you’ve got yourself one of our recommended spray guns for lacquer.
Watco by Rust-Oleum is a tried and trusted brand for over 80 years. The finish is super clear and durable. We found it dried in just under 1 hour and will cover about 290 square feet. Great for small batch jobs.
Promises to not yellow over time as some lacquer can do, especially if painted over an oil base paint.
What Are the Prices for the Best Lacquer Sprayer?
The price that you’ll pay for a lacquer spray gun that works well depends on the type and features that you’ll need for your next project.
Some basic entry-level models retail for between $25-$50. The average user can find a great spray gun for around $100 and often a bit less.
Premium products for high capacity use can run as high as $300 for a professional grade tool with stainless steel and brass parts.
The best spray gun for lacquer is going to give your project the perfect finish.
If you want amazing results that can be achieved quickly and easily, then the professional looks that these sprayers can provide are going to impress you.
Find yours today and let your creativity start to flow.
What is the best lacquer sprayer?
What to Look for in a Lacquer Sprayer
Easy to reach controls, sprays upside down, correct tip to spray lacquer.
What is Lacquer?
It’s a protective coating with an intense gloss finish.
What is Polyurethane?
It is a liquid form of plastic that leaves a clear plastic type seal.