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What's the difference between pigmented lacquer and conversion varnish?

Pigmented lacquer and conversion varnish are both types of finishes used on cabinets, but they have some key differences.

Pigmented lacquer: Pigmented lacquer is a type of clear finish that is colored with pigments. It is a durable finish that can be used to enhance the natural color of wood or to change its color entirely. It is also a fast drying finish that can be spray applied, it can be easily repaired or touched up and it is less expensive than conversion varnish.

Conversion varnish: Conversion varnish is a type of clear finish that is made from a mixture of resins and solvents that cure or harden when exposed to air. This type of finish is more durable and resistant to chemicals, solvents and heat, which makes it more resistant to kitchen usage. It also has a harder surface and gives better protection against scratches and water, but it is also more expensive and takes longer to dry and cure, and the repairing or touching up process can be more complicated.

Appearance: The main difference in the appearance is that pigmented lacquer has a somewhat softer and more flexible feel to it, and it can be more susceptible to scratches, while conversion varnish is generally harder, giving it a more glass-like surface which is more resistant to scratches but less forgiving on touch-ups.

Application process: Pigmented lacquer is more commonly applied by spraying, while conversion varnish is more commonly brushed or rolled on.

Cost: Pigmented lacquer is generally less expensive than conversion varnish.

Ultimately, the choice between pigmented lacquer and conversion varnish will depend on your specific needs and preferences, including durability, desired appearance and budget.

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