The choice or painting/ coating or polishing of substrate (wood or metal etc) is mainly dependent on 4 factors – durability, finish, time and cost.

Whether polishing/ coating or painting your doors, cabinets, frames, furniture, woodwork, grills, structures etc these four factors will play a vital role in decision making.

Here are the major differences between the commonly used finishes/coatings/paints available in the market:

 ENAMELNITROCELLULOSE (NC)MELAMINEPOLYURETHANE (PU)POLYESTER 
PAINT / POLISH/ COATINGPAINT / POLISH/ COATINGPAINT / POLISH/ COATINGPAINT / POLISH/ COATINGPAINT/ POLISH/ COATING
OTHER COMMON NAMESSynthetic Enamel, Oil PaintNC paint, Duco paint, lacquer polishMelamine matt polish, melamine coating,PU paint, PU polish, 2K paint,Poylester lamination, Polyester polish
(in India)Nitrocellulose paint, Duco Polishmatt polishPU coating, PU acrylic paint polishlamination coating
TYPE1 component - Single pack1 component - Single pack2 component - lacquer + hardener2 component - lacquer + hardener3 component - lacquer + hardener +
accelerator
FINISHGlossy and mattGlossy, Satin and mattGlossy, Satin and mattVery High Gloss, Satin, matt, deadVery High gloss
matt, soft touch (velvet feel)
APPLICATIONSInterior & ExteriorInterior & ExteriorInteriorBest in class - interior and exterior.Interior
Acrylic based PU recommended for
exteriors
AREA OF USEWood, Metal & wood based substratesWood, Metal, Fibreboard & wood basedWood & wood based substratesWood, Glass, Metals, Plastic, Floorings,Wood & wood based substrates
substrateswood based substrates, Industrial applications
DRYING TIMEslow - long dry timefast - quick dryingModerateslow - long dry timeslow - long dry time
SCRATCH RESISTANCELowLowHighHigh to very highvery High - best in class
WASHABLEYesYesYesYesYes
COST (Approx incl.labor)Economical - Rs. 25 - 30 per sq. ft.Moderate - Rs. 80 - 110 per sq. ft.Moderate - Rs. 80 - 100 per sq. ft.High - Rs. 120 - 220 per sq ft. dependingVery High - Rs. 300 & above depending
on new surfacedepending upon colour & finish requireddepending upon finish requiredupon finish required.upon thickness required.
HOW TO APPLYBrush, SpraySpraySpraySpraySpray
ADVANTAGESEconomical, easy to apply, easy toQuick drying & hardening time, Short recoating time,High solids - so film build is good,Best in class paint/Coating - High solids, providesVery High solids - +/-96% - very high & hard
repair, water resistant, recoat & touchup, long pot liferelatively low cost, easy to apply, easy tovery good stain, water & chemical resistance,Excellent flexibility, varity of finishes can be achievedfilm build, excellent resistance to
repair, recoat & touchup, available in variety ofExcellent adhesion, high stain,from dead matt to very high gloss smooth finish,chemicals, acids, stains, abrasion, water
colours, good clarity, long pot life, water resistant,scratch/abrasion resistance, goodProtection against Ultraviolet (UV) raysmarks, scratch resistance, very high gloss & depth,
easy to strip, no formaldehyde release,resistance against heat/hot water -& weathering (non yellowing properties),Very strong adhesion, high resistance to
Isocyanate freeso hot cup /glass marks dosent affectVery good mechanical properties,removal & shrinkage,
the coating, good clarity, smooth finishhardness & abrasion/ scratch
resistance, Excellent water & chemical resistance,
Very good clarity & depth, available in variety
of colours, performance in harsh enviroments,
very good corrosion resistance, Good
electrical insulating properties, versatility,
DISADVANATGESSlow dry time - allows greater potentialLess resistant to heat - prone to hot water marks,Cannot be used in exeriors, emitsHigh Cost, Short pot life after addingVery high cost, very short pot life after
for dust to settle in your finish, low scratchlow resistance to solvents, low scratch resistance,formaldehyde, short pot life afterhardener (upto 4 hours), lot of qualities are availableadding hardener accelerator (only few minutes),
resistance, old technologyvery high gloss finishes cannot be achieved,adding hardener (8 hours), difficultfor various surfaces - so choosingSkilled applicator is a must for desired results,
to repair & strip, needs sanding betweenthe right product is critical, needs dustslow drying, special equipment is required,
coats for adhesionfree environment, skilled applicatorlabor intensive job, requires dust
is essential for desired results, Containsproof environment, cannot be applied in
Isocyanate, sensitive to environmental changes primarilycarvings
temperature & humidity, Slow drying
requires dust proof environment
RECOMMENDATIONSynthetic Enamels are not suited for heavyDUCO or NC or Nitrocellulose paintsMelamine polish/coating are suitablePolyurethane (PU) polish/coating is a heavy duty full packagePolyester coating in terms of finish,
applications requiring extreme resistanceare not suited for heavyfor heavy duty interior applicationsproduct which offers complete protectionhardness, high gloss (glass like finish), scratch resistance,
properties but they are ideal for light dutyapplications requiring extreme resistanceon all wood based products & furnitures includingfor your surface whether Interior or exterioradhesion is the best coating available
applications with moderate durability onproperties but they are ideal for light dutytable tops due to very good resistancewith maximum durability.in the market. Due to these properties
metals and wood based products &applications with moderate durability onagainst acids, tea, coffee, alcohol,Due to its versatiliy its popularly used inits preffered choice in luxury furniture
furnitures.Automobiles, Metals, wood basedstain marks etc.Automobiles, Metals, wood basedsegment. Is is not recommended for
products & furniture & Industrial ItemsMelamine is not recommended forproducts & furniture, Plastics, glass, floorings.exterior applications.
exterior applications.Polyurethane (PU) coatings is a preferred
industrial coating worldwide