What’s the differences between lacquer and oil?

What’s the difference between oil and lacquer and which one do you choose?… I know decisions are hard enough especially when you don’t know much about them. But i am going to try my hardest to teach us both a little about them! If you just want to read about lacquer and oil I’ve headed the sections in bold. There’s also a video from our specialists talking about them.

Before I begin, I’m going to say that at Art of Clean, we recommend always using the best products and to us, and many others, the best is Pallmann. We also always consult with Ultimate Floor Care as they not only sell the products but also help you learn how to use all equipment and products correctly to get the best result. To learn more about their products and where you can buy them from, Click here.

Many wood floor restoration companies hired to restore your beautiful investment will generally choose the finish for you. I know what you’re thinking… It doesn’t matter to you; you’re too busy to care, so you chose a company to do it for you. After all, they know what they are doing. If that’s the case, this article probably isn’t for you. However, if you want to learn more, there will be a video from the experts at the end that you may be interested in.

Your technician doesn’t have to live with the floor. They won’t be the ones having friends over for a dinner party and want to show off what they have.

Picture yourself on the floor. Your brand new, beautifully sanded, and finished floor. What are your furnishings like, and what colours are you thinking about having in the room? You may think the floor doesn’t matter, but don’t be fooled. The finish does matter! I will educate us both in lacquers and Oils to picture this properly.

You wouldn’t choose a new car without knowing what it does, how it looks, and what the drive is like… so let’s treat this investment with the same love and care.

What is the difference between oil and lacquer finishes?

1. Lacquer finish

Most floor sanding companies will use water-based polyurethane lacquers, as this is what they are familiar with. We recommend Pallmann’s Pall x 96, a water-based polyurethane product whose carrier is water.

Once upon a time, lacquers were traditionally a glossy finish, but today you can have a lower shine matt finish precisely like an oil-based finish. They aren’t always ultra matt like you can get on an oil finish, but they are better than they were with more of a range now.

Lacquers, particularly the pall x 96 I have already mentioned, are durable for mechanical and chemical wear. It does, however, sit on the surface of your wood like all lacquers, which means if you get a scratch on polyurethane lacquer, you will have to sand the whole floor as it exposes the raw wood.

However, because it sits on the top, if you spill something on a lacquered floor, it should sit on the surface so no watermark or stain should occur if the spill is cleared up relatively quickly.

Most lacquers will yellow and darken pine and oak floors compared to the unfinished floor, but they will darken less than the oil.

In 2019 – 2020 the new trend of having a more contemporary modern look came into place. Ultimate Floor Care and Pallmann came up with the idea to formulate a new product called Pall X-Pure. This product has a white pigment added that minimises colour change and gives the floor an unfinished appearance.

The finish on a Lacquered floor may look like this:

2. Oil finish

Oil finish is not something most sanding companies would recommend. The downside to the oil finish was that they weren’t as durable as the lacquer finish. In these modern times, an oil finish on a wood floor is far superior and makes the floor easier to maintain. Working alongside Ultimate Floor Care, we have found a highly recommended product. Pallmann has formulated Pallmann’s magic oil 2K to have a 2-component oil, so it has a hardener that goes in the oil to make it more durable and more resistant to chemicals.

Pallmann Magic Oil gives you a beautiful, attractive finish and a natural look to the wood, which is very appealing to homeowners. You can add colours from a colour range called Ergo.Again this can be obtained through Ultimate Floor Care. On an oak floor, it gives a rich finish and tends to darken the wood to provide it with a permanent wet look. On a pine floor, it will usually yellow the wood more.

Oil sinks into the wood, so If you get a scratch on an oil-finished floor, the repair could be localised and so less disruption. It does leave it open to spills seeping in if not wiped straight away.

The finish on an oiled floor may look like this:

Do you want to learn more about wood floor finishes, then check out this video and learn from the best:

If would you like to know how much wood floor sanding can cost, then this article is for you:

How much is wood floor sanding?

Check out what our customers have to say about us:

Wood Floor Restoration – Reviews for you! 

Written and edited by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please do not hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901551 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio, and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning, and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Our Dry-Cleaning service is provided by Farthings Cambridge