Types and technical characteristics of the NC varnishes for wood processing

Nitrocellulose varnishes, also known as NC varnishes, are a common option for wood finishing because of how quickly they dry and how simple they are to apply. Because these varnishes are made from cellulose, a naturally occurring polymer found in plants, they are a desirable choice for anyone wishing to give their wood projects a high-quality finish. They are especially well-liked by DIY enthusiasts and the furniture industry because of their capacity to accentuate the inherent beauty of wood with a glossy, smooth finish.

The quick drying time of NC varnishes is one of their key advantages. This feature greatly shortens the waiting period between coats, which is especially helpful for projects that call for several coats. These varnishes are renowned for their outstanding sanding qualities, which enable a smooth, even finish, in addition to their speed. They are therefore perfect for both intricate, small-scale woodworking and large-scale manufacturing.

High clarity and resistance to yellowing over time are two technical features of NC varnishes that help preserve the wood’s original appearance. In addition, they provide good resistance to water and common household chemicals, extending the life of the wood’s surface. It’s crucial to remember that NC varnishes are often less flexible than other kinds, which can increase their susceptibility to cracking in specific situations. To get the most out of them, maintenance and application must be done correctly.

Applying NC varnishes can be done in a few different ways, such as blasting, brushing, or dipping. Every approach has benefits, and the best one is selected depending on the particulars of the project. For example, brushing may be more appropriate for finer, more detailed work, but spraying is frequently chosen for large surfaces in order to achieve a smooth, even coat. Regardless of the technique, the solvents used in these varnishes can be highly flammable and emit strong fumes, so proper ventilation and safety measures are imperative.

All things considered, NC varnishes provide a flexible and effective wood finishing option. Their quick drying times, simplicity of application, and superior end product quality make them indispensable for both novice and expert woodworkers. For your wood projects, knowing their technical properties and appropriate application methods will help guarantee the best results.

Type of NC Varnish Technical Characteristics
NC Gloss Varnish Provides a shiny finish, dries quickly, offers moderate protection
NC Matt Varnish Gives a non-reflective finish, dries fast, good for surfaces with minimal wear
NC Semi-Gloss Varnish Balances between gloss and matt, fast drying, suitable for various wood surfaces
NC Sanding Sealer Seals wood pores, easy to sand, prepares surface for final varnish
NC Clear Varnish Transparent finish, enhances wood grain, quick drying

Features of nitrolak

A premium nitrocellulose (an artificial polymer with a structure strikingly similar to that of natural cellulose fibers) serves as the product’s foundation. It’s time to use the mixture. The finish is uniform, solid, and even after the varnish itself dries fast.

There is more adhesion in the composition. Furthermore, priming the surface is not necessary.

There are three different textures for NC Lac: glossy, matte, and half-glossy. The protective coating on wooden furniture can also be aesthetically pleasing, but it is susceptible to breaking down due to extreme heat and UV rays. Parquet flooring is another use for this tool.

Applying to multiple thin layers is recommended.

Because nitrolak ignites easily, it must be stored and handled away from flames and spark sources.

You can add a solvent to the composition (about 5% of the total varnish amount) and mix well to prevent the composition from coming together.


Vincol, rosin, alkyd and aminformaldehyde resins, wood (or cotton) cellulose, and an organic diluent are added to the mixture. Solvents such as xylol, ethyl acetate, toluene, acetic acid, and prophylacetate can be used. Phosphates, casterol, and chlorparafin are the recognized nitroparafins (plasticizers).

Properties of varnish NC

The dried product is still hard, even, and strong. It is polished and adheres to the base more firmly. Working with coatings at a temperature between +12 and +60 o C is ideal. Because varnish is sensitive to moisture, sunlight, and temperature changes, it can only be used indoors due to its properties. It is distinguished by a higher risk of fire.


  • dissolution of resins and colloxilin with organic substances;
  • adding plasticizers, modified compounds;
  • measurement of indicators of the result;
  • cleaning of the composition;
  • filtration;
  • spill along the container (for example, nitrolak in spray cans).

Pigments are added to nitrolac to tint it. The final product is transparent (colorless) in the absence of them. The quantity of additional components is added in relation to the colloxil volume. Since the primary component is flammable and explosive, it must be stored under conditions that require hermetic storage. Colloxilin can be added to the product to make it denser. Solvents are used to dilute it if it is excessively thick and viscous. The composition of paints and varnishes is made clean in centrifuges to ensure a uniform consistency.

Colloxilins are made of cotton and wood cellulose and come in two varieties: explosives and PSV, which are high-skinned and low-skinned, respectively. Once the product is applied to the surface, the nitro-cellulose base forms a protective film. There are two types of solvents: low-boiled (formalglycol, ethylacetate, propilatate, methylence, acetone) and highly-boiled (dioxans, ketones, for example, methylizobulketeton or cyclohexanon). By adding toluene and xylol, you can change the composition’s consistency.

Plasticizers are deplorable and should be avoided. Casterol, chlorparafin, castor oil, and awards are included in the second category. Additives derived from sebacinates, phosphates, and phthalates are appropriate for gelatinizing types.

  • dissolution of the coloring pigment in an organic solvent;
  • Connection of a finished coloring solution with the finished composition of nitro -cellulose varnish.

Because of the increased fire hazard, colloxilin preparation (loosening, weighing) is done in a separate room. The part is kept in airtight aluminum barrels.

Mixers with horizontal loading and alternating components—alcohol, diluent, resin, resin solutions, plasticizers, colloxille, and active solvents—are needed to produce nitrolacs with a thick consistency. Barrels, banks, or tanks are used to package the completed nitrolak.

At home, the nitro-cellulose mixture is made. Take a look at the video.


  • Immediately ready for use;
  • easily applied;
  • dries quickly;
  • succumbs to grinding;
  • Affordable cost.

There are enough protective gloves and brushes to apply the layers of nitrolak. You can apply the product evenly because of its consistency.


  • Finished coating sensitive to moisture.
  • Vulnerability to temperature drops, ultraviolet rays.
  • Increased fire hazard of the composition.

This tool should only be used internally and should be kept away from heat sources, flames, and sparks.

Brands and technical characteristics

Nitrolakov’s strength and technical characteristics vary depending on the brand. In this instance, the prospect of using them for particular tasks, like parking, is considered.


This colorless NC LAC on wood enhances the appearance of decorative products and is useful for decorating them. It can be any color, including red, purple, and green, depending on the pigments that were added. Paint is less often used in favor of color varnish. The NC-62 is used to cover mosaic windows, glass, paper, metal, and illumination lamps in addition to wooden surfaces.

The dry residue percentage ranges from 7 to 12%, and the viscosity is between 26 and 40 degrees Celsius. Utilization: 70–100 g/m^2; The final result is transparent, colorless, and glossy.

You can use Solvent No. 646 as a diluent. Apply one or two coats of varnish after the prior.


Varnish falls into the fast drying category. Fits both metal and wooden bases. Varnish can be applied externally due to the strength of the dried layers. You can use either No. 645 or No. 646 solvents.

  • The degree of viscosity is 28-60 C;
  • drying time-30-60 min;
  • Part of the non-volatile components-13-17%;
  • The result is even glossy.

Only after the prior layer are new ones applied.


Brand for furniture and window sills made of wood. Paint that dries quickly—no more than an hour at room temperature. When applied to a dry, level surface, the desired outcome can be achieved. The final coating has a ten-year shelf life. The composition’s antiseptic additives shield the details from insect damage and deterioration. Items are shielded from hooks by cabinets’ internal processing. Matte is the end result of the coating.

  • The degree of viscosity is 50-85 C;
  • part of the dry balance-30-34%;
  • Color – colorless;
  • The level of elasticity of the film for bending is 15 mm.

The product is only intended for internal use.


This varnish is intended only for use on wood surfaces and interior work.

  • The degree of viscosity is not more than 125 s;
  • moisture resistance – at least 6 hours;
  • elasticity of dried coating – 5 mm;
  • Part of non-volatile substances-33-36%.

It ends up looking like a glossy, flat film.


Composition strengthened against cracking by the addition of ethers and resins. It is simpler to grind the outcome. Don’t thin the varnish out before applying it. During operation, the temperature must be kept between +18 and +20 o. Other than that, the tool is comparable to NC-223.


Used frequently for processing interior doors. It is heat-resistant and easily polished.

  • part of the dry residue-35-40%;
  • The degree of viscosity of the composition is 115 s;
  • The optimal thickness of one layer is 50 microns.

Once one to two layers are applied, quality is assured. This is because plasticizers—substances that form folk—have been added.


The presence of carbamide resins in the composition explains the product’s peculiarities. They give the composition resistance against moisture and cold. It takes the completed coating at least 1.5 hours to dry. The end product is a transparent matting.


Pigments are added to create a coating that is ultimately somewhat pink or yellow in color. The product falls under the fast drying matting compounds category. Real for concealing flaws.

  • layer drying time – 60 minutes;
  • part of the dry residue-26-32%;
  • degree of light resistance – 60 min.

Without creases or superfluous inclusions, the dried base remains smooth in its final state.


Textile products are processed using the nitro-cellulose content of the brand 551 (special forces fabrics).

  • Part of the dry residue – 9%;
  • The degree of viscosity is 130-160 C;
  • Sandling level – 0.6%.

The surface itself needs to be cleared of any old paint, dust, and imperfections before polishing. It is necessary to apply varnish in four layers. The first layer takes one to two hours to dry. You can use the construction hairdryer to speed up the process. It takes six to eight hours for each layer to dry completely. It is advised to use a water-based stain to prepare the surface before varnishing.

NC varnishes have become a mainstay in wood processing because of their easy application and fast drying times. Experts and do-it-yourselfers alike love them because they provide a flexible way to get a glossy, long-lasting finish on wood surfaces. Their mainly nitrocellulose-based chemical composition offers superior adhesion and a hard, durable finish that highlights the inherent beauty of wood.

The quick drying time of NC varnishes is one of their best features. This feature speeds up project completion by drastically cutting down on the amount of time between coats. Furthermore, even individuals with no prior experience in wood finishing can achieve a professional finish due to their ease of application. With so many finishes to choose from—high gloss to matte—any project can easily achieve the look it wants.

NC varnishes offer numerous benefits, but they are not without limitations. Comparatively speaking to other kinds of varnishes, they are less resistant to heat and chemicals. As a result, indoor furniture and decorative objects work better with them than surfaces that are subjected to extreme weather. In order to prevent fume inhalation and maintain a safe working environment, proper ventilation is also essential during application.

In general, NC varnishes are a dependable option for a variety of woodworking uses. They are a great choice for people who want to improve the look and longevity of wood surfaces because of their balance of simplicity of use, speedy drying time, and aesthetic versatility. When handled and applied correctly, NC varnishes can produce a stunning, long-lasting finish that brings out the inherent beauty of wood.

Nitrocellulose (NC) varnishes are widely used in wood processing because of their high gloss, long-lasting finish, and quick drying time. These varnishes, which are formulated to suit different wood types and desired finishes, are made from cellulose that has been treated with sulfuric and nitric acids. They have outstanding adhesion, a rapid drying time, and the capacity to bring out the wood’s inherent beauty. They must, however, be applied with adequate ventilation because they are combustible. It is easier to choose the appropriate NC varnish for a given woodworking project when one is aware of its types and characteristics.

Video on the topic

School of Stolyar. Lesson No. 5. paints and varnishes.

125. Choosing a tree for wood. Types and properties of varnishes for wood products. Part 1.

Types of floor varnish

Yacht lacquer for wood Biofa. How to apply correctly

179. About water varnish for wood, but correctly call it – water -reduced wood varnish.

What color, in your opinion, is able to make a person happier?
Share to friends
Daria Yakovlev

Interior designer, author of online color design courses. I will help you create a harmonious interior using color.

Rate author
Add a comment