Varnish vs Lacquer

Anonymous asked 10 years ago

How can you tell if surface you want to restain was originally varnished or lacquered? I want to restain the window sills and woodwork in my kitchen, but am not sure if they were originally varnished or lacquered.

2 Answers
MagicDave answered.

In either case… it doesn't matter… you cannot "re-stain" them without removing the finish completely with either a Stripper or Refinisher Product…

Crowder Painting answered.

Lacquer is easily dissolved with lacquer thinner then re-hardens undamaged. Varnish will get sticky and be damaged.

It is possible to "tone" pre-finished cabinets without stripping. Take a look at this page I wrote about restaining with a gel stain; <a href="">Restain Cabinets for a New Look</a>