Nitro -cellulose varnishes (nitrolaki) – description, characteristics and properties

Nitrocellulose varnishes, also referred to as nitrolaki, are a well-liked option for a variety of finishing uses. The automotive, musical instrument, and woodworking industries have all made extensive use of these varnishes. Their distinct combination of qualities, which makes them perfect for attaining glossy, smooth finishes, is what makes them appealing.

The ability of nitrocellulose varnishes to dry quickly is one of their main advantages. Professionals who need to finish projects quickly without sacrificing quality love them for this feature. They also offer superior adhesion to a range of surfaces, guaranteeing a strong and long-lasting finish.

The fact that nitrocellulose varnishes are easy to apply contributes to their widespread use. Their application versatility stems from their ability to be brushed or sprayed on. Once applied, they form a strong, shielding layer that protects the object from environmental elements and minor scratches while also improving its appearance.

Another benefit of nitrocellulose varnishes is that they can be highly polished. They are therefore especially appropriate for projects that call for a glossy, mirror-like finish. It’s crucial to remember that, despite all of their benefits, they can be combustible and should be handled and applied with ventilation.

In conclusion, nitrocellulose varnishes provide a gorgeous, glossy finish, rapid drying times, and ease of application. Nitrolaki is a high-quality finish that can be used for a variety of projects, such as furniture refinishing, instrument building, and automotive part protection.

Description Nitrocellulose varnishes, also known as nitrolaki, are quick-drying varnishes made from nitrocellulose and a blend of solvents. They provide a glossy finish and are commonly used for wood and metal surfaces.
Characteristics Nitrocellulose varnishes dry quickly, are easy to apply, and give a hard, durable finish. They have good adhesion and are resistant to water and mild chemicals.
Properties These varnishes are known for their excellent clarity and high gloss. They are also flexible, making them ideal for surfaces that may expand or contract.

Features of the material

Nitrocellulose, a complex nitrogen-acid ester of cellulose, is the chemical compound used to make nitropocellulose varnish (NC). The organic product that is produced has useful qualities. It helps shield wood from harm and gives it a lovely coating, which enhances the product’s aesthetic appeal. The resultant lacquer film is clear, colorless, and extremely robust.

The fact that varnishes don’t require any particular surface priming—though occasionally soil is still applied—is a noteworthy characteristic. The product can be used in both hot and cold temperatures, but adding a solvent up to 5% is advised to get a high-quality coating. This will lessen the chance of the material drying out.

Nitro-cellulose varnishes, also referred to as nitrolaki, are well-liked in the furniture and automotive industries for their high gloss finish and ability to dry quickly. These varnishes offer outstanding clarity and color retention along with a hard, long-lasting surface that is resistant to wear and scratches. Nitrolaki are perfect for projects that need a smooth, polished look in a hurry because they are simple to apply and dry quickly. Nevertheless, due to their high flammability, they must be applied carefully and with adequate ventilation.

The composition of the varnish

As was already mentioned, the core ingredient is a polymer called premium cotton or wood cellulose. This material is diluted and given varnish colloxilines, a unique organic mixture. Additionally, addresses are added to the composition:

  • alkyd resins, shellac;
  • aminformaldehyde resins;
  • cyclohexanon-formaldehyde resins;
  • Vincol;
  • rosin.

Up to a 1:1 ratio, the quantity of these additives can vary in relation to colloxilin. In order to achieve the required consistency in the composition, a blend of solvents is used, including propilatate, ethyl acetate, acetic acid, xylol, toluene, and different types of alcohol. The material may contain nitroparafins, and plasticizers (such as phosphates, casterol, and chlorparafin) are undoubtedly present. As you can see, the NC varnish has a highly intricate, multicomponent composition.

Properties of the material

Three key benefits of the method are its high quality, affordability, and ease of use. Depending on the particular brand, the movie produced could be:

  • matte;
  • glossy;
  • semi -tint, half -gloss.

The coating will be well-polished, uniform, even, and have outstanding adherence to the base. Items coated in this manner should be between +12 and +60 degrees; any higher temperature will cause the varnish to collapse rapidly. The substance is perfect for wooden floors, doors, souvenirs, furniture, and other wood products. It is frequently referred to as furniture varnish or parquet.

Although the majority of varnish types are not meant for outdoor use, you can use these products indoors. Moreover, the product’s high sensitivity to the effects of sunlight and water, increased flammability, and minimal chemical and physical resistance are its drawbacks.

Production of varnish

This paintwork has a fairly intricate production process. It is predicated on the subsequent phases:

  • dissolution of resins and colloxilin in organic solvents;
  • connection with plasticizers and other additives;
  • measurement of indicators of the resulting material;
  • cleaning, filtering;
  • Spill in the container.

At a specific point in the production process, the pigments required to create black varnish and its other shades are added. Without them, colorless varnish is produced. Every component is added in a controlled quantity, and the volume of colloxil serves as a guideline for the rest of the components’ norms.

Take note! Because colloxilin is flammable and explosive, special circumstances must be followed when preparing it. This material should only be kept under specific circumstances in hermetic containers.

You can alter the material’s density during production by adding colloxilin if it’s too liquid, or adding solvent if it’s too thick. The introduction of premium, purified components and subsequent centrifugation cleaning produce homogeneity.

Technical characteristics of varnishes

The technical features of the funds can differ based on the particular brand. Varnishing is done after reviewing the guidelines and assessing the specifications of a specific instrument.

Here are three basic brands that are most commonly used; click on them for more information.


Because the tool gives the products an appealing appearance, NC-62 material is used for decorative decoration. Because it comes in red, purple, green, and other colors, it can be used as paint. This tool can also be covered with display windows, lamps, paper, metal, and glass products in addition to a tree.

  • viscosity according to the device Viscimeter Z-246-26–40 C;
  • the volume of the dry residue is 7–12%;
  • The quality of the coating is colorless, color, transparent, glossy;
  • Consumption – 70–100 g/sq. m.

Solvent No. 646 is used for dilution. One or two layers of lacquer are applied, and each layer must completely dry "for the cast."


Mostly, wooden window sills and furniture are coated with this varnish. At room temperature, it dries in no more than an hour. Prior to application, the surface must be dry and level. If all guidelines are followed, the coating should last roughly ten years.

One characteristic that sets the product apart is the addition of unique antiseptic ingredients that prevent wood rot and insect growth. It will shield items from the clocks if you cover it with the cabinet interior. Varnish gives the product a polished appearance by allowing you to mat its surface.

  • viscosity according to the device viscosimeter Z-246-50–85 C;
  • The proportion of the dry residue is 30–34%;
  • elasticity of the film on the bend – 15 mm;
  • TML – 0.2 U. e.;
  • Color is colorless.


Any wooden item can be processed with the NC-243 tool. It mattifies, dries quickly, produces a film with a yellowish or pinkish hue, and conceals a variety of flaws. Hour is the coating drying time.

  • Light resistance – 1 hour;
  • The strength of the coating according to the M-3-0.4 U. e.;
  • The proportion of the dry residue is 26–32%;
  • TML – 0.2 U. e.;
  • coating – even, without extraneous inclusions, Ospin, wrinkles, craters.

Other brands

Other brands of nitro-cellulose paintwork materials are also manufactured and utilized in daily life and production.


The widely used lacquer NC-134 is applied to metal and wood products and is even suitable for exterior work. It is diluted to the working viscosity using solvents Nos. 645 and 646.

  • Conditional viscosity by the device Viscimeter Z-246-28–60 C;
  • The appearance of the film is even, glossy;
  • drying time – 30-60 minutes;
  • The share of non -volatile substances is 13-17%;
  • acid number – 0.5 con/g.


NC-223 material is exclusively utilized internally for covering wood and wood-derived products.

  • coating – glossy, even;
  • Conditional viscosity according to the device Viscimeter Z-246-up to 125 C;
  • The share of non -volatile substances is 33–36%;
  • resistance to water action – from 6 hours;
  • Film hardness according to the M-3-0.55 U. e.;
  • Elasticity for bending – 5 mm.


The presence of unique ethers and resins in LAK NC-224’s composition is one of its defining characteristics. It is better to grind because it makes the film less prone to cracking. Application without dilution is not necessary. Temperature of application: +18, +20, etc. The remaining indicators bear resemblance to the prior means’ indicators.


Since LAK NC 225 polishes easily, interior doors are the typical application for this material. Because of the material’s perfect tolerance for hot drying at 70–75 degrees, only one or two layers need to be applied, and more substances that form films are present.

  • The proportion of the dry residue is 35–40%;
  • viscosity through the viscometer ZA-4-115 C;
  • The thickness of one layer is 50 microns.


Special carbamide resins are used in the NC-241 tool to increase its resistance to water and frost as well as its ability to tolerate temperature fluctuations. There are two varieties of varnishes: matting and transparent. The material dries for 1.5 hours, which is longer than with previous varnishes.


Special forces fabrics are covered with LAK NC-551 to give them various properties. This liquid appears to be free of contaminants and extraneous particles. The dry residue’s mass fraction is 9%, and the viscosity was measured using the Viscimeter ZV-1-130-160 s device. Following application to the fabric, the product’s assignment will be 75 g/sq. m. (4 layers), with a 0.6% shrinkage.

Nitrocellulose varnishes, also known as nitrolaki, are a popular option in a variety of industries because of their high gloss finish and ability to dry quickly. Nitrocellulose, a substance produced by nitrating cellulose by exposure to nitric acid, is the source of these varnishes. The distinctive properties of nitrocellulose varnishes are a result of their special chemical makeup.

The quick drying time of nitrocellulose varnishes is one of their best qualities. They are therefore very practical for uses where timeliness is essential. They also give surfaces they are applied to a glossy, smooth finish that improves their visual appeal. In the production of musical instruments and woodworking, where a polished appearance is crucial, this attribute is especially prized.

Nitrocellulose varnishes are not only aesthetically pleasing but also provide good surface protection. They combine to create a tough, resilient layer that is resistant to mild abrasion. But in contrast to some contemporary synthetic varnishes, they are not as heat- or chemical-resistant. They can therefore be used indoors or in other settings where they won’t be subjected to adverse weather.

All things considered, nitrocellulose varnishes continue to be a popular option because of their superior finish, quick drying time, and ease of application. In appropriate settings, their advantages frequently exceed these disadvantages, even though they might not be as durable in harsh conditions. Nitrocellulose varnishes are still an essential tool for producing stunning and long-lasting results, whether they are used for fine instrument construction, furniture finishing, or auto restoration.

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