Lacquer can be described as a transparent paint. It consists of two or three components: binder, solvent and optionally filler. With oil-based lacquer all basic ingredients are harmful. Oil based lacquer, also known as transparent alkyd paint, most of the time uses alkyd as a binder and white spirit as solvent.

Oil paints and lacquer contain VOC’s which can be harmful for human health. Therefore in some countries the use of oil based paint and lacquer for professionals is only allowed for application outside. For every oil based lacquer there is usually a water based alternative that is also of good quality.