Paint thinner is a solvent that you can use to thin oil based paints and it can be used to clean off paint brushes, varnishes, etc. Paint thinner is something you want to be very careful with because it gives off vapors. If you use it normally, you should not be affected by it but it always pays to be extra careful when using it.
If you find yourself needing to buy paint thinner but are unsure of where to start, this guide will give you tips on how to choose your next can of paint thinner. Some of the choices you’ll encounter are Turpentine, Acetone and Toluene.
How to Choose Paint Thinner #1: Choose Thinner Based on What Kind of Paint You Have
Don’t automatically assume that you need paint thinner because you have a can or two of paint. If you have water based paint, you won’t need paint thinner because it will wash out with water. If you have oil based paint, then you can use paint thinner to thin it out or clean up paint brushes that you’ve used with it as well as getting paint off your hands (which is another good reason to wear gloves while painting so you won’t have to have the thinner on your hands).
How to Choose Paint Thinner #2: Effervescence
Do It Yourself.com recommends picking paint thinner that won’t evaporate quickly. According to the website, some paint thinners evaporate quickly if they are left open because of their chemical property. Look for a paint thinner that will last a little longer and be sure to check how tightly closed the container is when you buy it. It can be hard to automatically know paint thinner will last longer so ask the store where you’re shopping at for suggestions and keep an eye for brand name thinners that say stuff like “long lasting.”
How to Choose Paint Thinner #3: Buy Small Containers
Unless you have a really big painting job to do, buy smaller containers of paint thinner. This could save you money in the future as paint thinner evaporates quickly, as mentioned in step #2. Better yet, if you have friends who have painted and you only need a small amount of paint thinner, ask if they have any you can use/have. It may turn out you don’t have to buy a container and then be stuck with it when the job is over.
How to Choose Paint Thinner #4: Environmentally Friendly
Buying a paint thinner that is environmentally friendly is another suggestion from Do It Yourself.com. Paint thinner is very toxic so help the environment by trying to find a thinner that isn’t as toxic as others. This will give you better piece of mind and help the earth. Click here for two examples of earth friendly paint thinner. They are made using citrus ingredients (among others).
How to Choose Paint Thinner #5: Pick a Can with Clear Instructions
Choose a can that has ample instructions. Don’t trust one that doesn’t. The container your paint thinner comes in should have instructions printed on it to give warnings and safety tips. Don’t just blow them off. Read the instructions before you open it. It’s best to be well informed then not having all the info you need. You could save yourself or someone else from getting hurt if you read and follow the instructions on the can.
Always remember to keep paint thinner safety tips in mind. Wear gloves, a face mask if you have it and make sure that the area you are using paint thinner in is not close to anything flammable and has good ventilation. Hook up a couple of fans if you need to. Your safety and others is more important then anything else.