Turpentine is a potent and highly flammable liquid created from oleoresin which is removed from the longleaf pine tree. It is mainly used for the purpose of paint thinning and allowing varnishes to be spread easily and evenly on a surface. Although, Turpentine is very efficient it is also can be a very dangerous liquid so when one is working with turpentine they should be careful and take preventive actions to avoid damage what is being worked on and also themselves.
When mixing turpentine with other varnishes safety should be the number one priority due to the many negative side affects that can irritate eyes and skin (if liquid touches directly), cause nausea and vomiting, initiate damage to the lungs, central nervous system and respiratory system (through inhalation),and even death. These health problems become even more of a concern when mixing in large quantities especially on home repairs or when using turpentine as paint thinner. To avoid these problems when mixing turpentine with other varnishes always work in an open area that has good ventilation system or just have windows open at all times. This will lessen the amount of fumes that are inhaled by the user and people who inhabit the general area where work is being done. This is extremely important if one is working around the elderly or children because they can be harmed most by these dangerous fumes. If one is unable to work in an ideally open area then they should consider wearing a combination of gas masks, safety goggles and gloves. If all are used properly while mixing turpentine with varnishes one will be protected from inhaling fumes, having damaging skin irritation, and vapor damage to the eyes.
Besides home repairs another popular usage of turpentine is its usage with oil paintings. When choosing turpentine to mix with any oil paints, always choose higher quality (often known as artist quality) turpentine. It is clear like water and contains very little impurities which makes it not only a better quality which allows oil paints to be used to their full potential but is also generally safer for the user. When mixing oil paints with turpentine always remember to follow directions specifically for the brand, not all oil paints are made to the same quality and they are easily destroyed if to much turpentine is mixed with them.
When mixing turpentine with other varnishes never use plastic containers, this is one of the most dangerous things that one can do. Due to the potency of turpentine it easily eats through plastic which can damage materials that are around it or skin if one comes in contact with it. The easiest solution for this is to simply use glass or metal containers (there are specific containers that can be bought for this purpose) when mixing turpentine with any varnish. Its better to avoid containers one would use for drinking or food storage but if one decides to never re-use the container again, turpentine is highly poisonous if ingested and will cause death.
The most important thing one can do when mixing turpentine with other varnishes is to always be aware of what is going on around them. Turpentine is highly flammable and quickly becomes a fire hazard if not watched careful. Remember if fire or high temperatures are being used around the area of turpentine move the turpentine immediately, this includes smoking. Also, avoid spilling turpentine on anything that is plastic, rubber or has a surface that is coated with paint because turpentine will dissolve all of these materials. Always keep children away when mixing turpentine with other varnishes because it is highly dangerous to their health and if ingested my cause death.
Ultimately turpentine is a great solvent that has many useful purposes in the areas of paint thinning and as a varnish. As long as one keeps in mind this guide when mixing turpentine with other varnishes their work with these liquids are guaranteed to be safe and productive.