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Can You Put Lacquer Over Oil Based Stain? (Explained)

Whenever it comes to providing a surface with a glossy or transparent finish, you might have thought of lacquer. Generally, lacquer is one type of finish or varnish that we use over different types of furnaces. Sometimes, we also use lacquer on different types of paints and stains.

So, you might be confused about whether you can put lacquer over the oil-based stain or not. Well, you have to know the consequences of putting lacquer over the oil-based stain. 

Moreover, knowing about the appropriate process and safety of using lacquer over oil-based stain is also essential.

Can you put lacquer over an oil-based stain?

You can put lacquer over the oil-based stain. But many people might suggest you not put lacquer over the oil-based stain. Sometimes, the oil-based stain might bleed through the finish. But if you let the oil-based stain cure for enough time, putting lacquer will be safe and durable.

However, lacquer can be of different types. The best type of lacquer to use on another finish is the water-based lacquer. So, you can use water-based lacquer over the oil-based stain.

But for applying water-based lacquer on the oil-based stain, you must have to follow two things. First, before applying the lacquer, the stain must be cured completely. If the oil-based stain is not completely dried or cured, the lacquer might not be durable.

As a result, the stain might bleed through the lacquer. The curing time is not specific. Sometimes, the time might be several days long. Moreover, the water-based lacquer should be of good quality. If the lacquer is not good, it might not be durable on the stain.

Generally, lacquer is applied as a topcoat over an oil-based stain. But the surface must be dry for applying the lacquer. Sometimes, lacquer works as a sealant over the oil-based stain surface. So, lacquer can be pretty efficient for the final finish.

But sometimes, lacquer can have disadvantages too. If you don’t know the appropriate way to use lacquer over the oil-based stain, it will make the finish less durable. Moreover, the lacquer can’t protect the surface from scratching and damage by the environmental effects.

Sometimes, you might want multiple coatings of lacquer on the surface. For this, you have to allow the surface to dry completely. Otherwise, the final coating will not stick to the surface. The final finish of a simple coating of lacquer over the oil-based stain.

Is lacquer oil or water-based?

Generally, lacquer is considered water-based. Lacquer is one type of emulsified liquid. But when the lacquer dries, it will create a solid thin film over the surface. The film will be transparent. 

So, you might not notice any extra surface but you will see the glossiness of the lacquer.

Moreover, the lacquer surface is pretty hard when dries. This feature makes the lacquer a suitable finish for increasing the durability of any surface. But you might dry the surface to make lacquer stick to it.

Sometimes, people prefer oil-based paint to make the surface shiny. But you can also use lacquer over an oil-based stain. This can be possible if the lacquer is a water-based finish.

Can you spray lacquer over minwax stain?

Yes, you can spray lacquer over Minwax stain. Generally, spraying lacquer over Minwax stain will not create any problem. But you might let the Minwax stain dry and cure for sufficient time. Lacquer of Minwax is also available for use over Minwax stain.

Generally, you should let the Minwax stain dry for at least 24 hours. After this time, you can apply the lacquer. Minwax stain is one type of wood stain. This stain is also oil-based. So, you can also use lacquer over Minwax stain since you can put it on an oil-based stain.

How long should stain dry before applying lacquer?

Generally, you should allow at least 24 hours to dry the stain before applying lacquer. When we apply stain over a surface, it will take from 1 to 3 days to dry the surface completely. Sometimes, the stain takes much time if the surface has multiple coatings of stain.

Drying and curing before applying lacquer is a must. Because an uncured surface of stain will diffuse stain through the final finish. Moreover, the final finish of lacquer will not be durable if the stain finish is not cured.

So, you should wait at least one day before applying lacquer over the stain.

How to apply lacquer over oil-based stain?

Now that you know you can apply lacquer over the oil-based stain, you might want to know the process. So, let’s see how you can apply lacquer over the oil-based stain.


Whenever we want to varnish or give a finish to a surface, we have to sand the surface. So, if you want to apply lacquer over an oil-based stain, you need to make the surface ready so that the lacquer can stick to it.

Use sandpaper to sand the surface for removing the old finish. Make the surface clean from old finish or paint and make it abraded.

Staining and curing:

Then you have to apply the stain. You can use oil-based stains on the surface. After applying the stain, you need to dry the surface. You have to allow at least 24 hours for curing the stain completely.

You can also keep the furniture in a warm room to make the surface dry fast.

Applying lacquer:

After drying the stain completely, wipe the surface with a soft piece of cloth. Remove any extra dirt and dust from the surface. Then apply a thin coat of lacquer. You can either use a spray lacquer or a brush.

If you make the surface thick enough, apply multiple coats. But let one layer dry enough to use another coat. Dry and cure the final finish of the lacquer coating. After curing for sufficient time, you can finally use the furniture.

Can you put lacquer over oil-based paint?

Generally, lacquer is not recommended to be put over oil-based paint. Generally, sticking the lacquer over the oil-based paint is pretty difficult. But if you want to apply lacquer, you can apply it on the oil-based stain.

Because stain absorbs on the surface. So, the sticking of the lacquer becomes easy. On the other hand, oil-based paint will make an additional layer on the surface. So, lacquer might not be suitable to stick to the surface.

But if the paint is latex-based, you can apply lacquer over it. Otherwise, lacquer should not be put over oil-based paint.

Does oil-based stain need to be sealed?

Yes, you should seal the oil-based stain. Because sealing the oil-based stain will protect the surface from damage and discoloration. Moreover, sealing will make the surface smooth. So, cleaning the surface will be easy.

Besides, if you seal the oil-based stain with an oil-based finish or lacquer, the surface will be durable and glossy. Most importantly, the surface will be protected from physical damages.

What finish is best over oil-based stain?

The water-based topcoat will be the best finish over an oil-based stain. Generally, you have to put a finish that sticks to the oil-based stain surface and makes the surface durable.

For example, you can use water-based polyurethane over the oil-based stain. It will be the best finish for oil-based stains.

Final Thoughts

You can put lacquer over an oil-based stain if the stain is completely cured. Because an uncured surface will not make the final finish durable. Moreover, the lacquer will not stick to the surface. So, you have to allow the stain to dry completely. Then you can apply a lacquer finish over it.