Lacquer is a coating on wood that produces a shiny The surface painted appearance of a cabinet, usually indicating its glossiness or reflectiveness. They range from most shiny to flat: Glossy... More. This is also a protective coating that is durable and water-resistant.
Historically, lacquered furniture was considered luxury items for their distinctive sheen but also for its protective qualities that make wood hard-wearing. While known for shininess, lacquer comes in all glossiness, from matte to ultra glossy. There are both acrylic and water-based lacquers. Acrylic lacquers have very fast drying times, however, the fumes they produce can be toxic. Water-based lacquers are less hazardous, but the wood finishes are not recommended for outside wood structures.