A paint thinner is a solvent used to thin paint. There are a number of different paint thinners on the market today. Some of the different ones are acetone, turpentine, naphtha, toluene, white spirit, xylene and lacquer thinner. I will give you some tips on the characteristics of various paint thinners and selecting the right one for your painting projects.
1. Turpentine: This is probably the most common paint thinner out there. It is also the best thinner for nor causing pollution problems and the most suitable for cleaning purposes.
2. Naphtha: This paint thinner has a very solvency quotient so it’s highly flammable and should be used wearing gloves and face masks.
3. Lacquer Thinner: This is not the best paint thinning agent, but it’s good for cleaning brushes and removing excess adhesive.
4. Mineral Spirits: This odorless spirit can be used to dissolve paint and make it thinner. It’s not as flammable as many of the other paint thinners are, but does tend to evaporate fast if left open. This is best for thinning oil based paints and oil varnish and is also a good solvent for artists oil paints.
5. Alcohol: This is a natural thinner that can be used to remove pencil marks, as well as thin shellac-based paints. and also clean the brushes to apply shellac paints.
6. Acetone: Many of us are familiar with this clear, colorless liquid that is found in nail polish removers.
7. Water: We may not think of water as a paint thinner, but it can be used to thin latex paint, which is a water based paint. Usually you don’t need to thin latex paint unless you are applying it with a sprayer or if the paint container has been left open for too long of a time and the paint becomes thick.
Now that we know what some of the various paint thinners are and their uses, here are a few tips on how to use them properly and get the most out of them.
1. Flammability: Most paint thinners are highly flammable, so they should be kept away from any fire sources.
2. Effervescence: Thinners tend to evaporate fast, so make sure the container is closed tight when not in use.
3. Patch Test: Do a patch test on the surface to make sure you have the right thinner & consistency.
4. Read Labels: Read the paint label as well as the thinner label to make sure you are using the right products together.
5. Dispose properly: Make sure you dispose any paint thinner you will no longer be using properly so fewer toxins aren’t released into our precious environment. The container should have the directions on it for proper disposal.
Keeping these tips in mind when purchasing and using your paint thinners could help your painting projects go a lot “smoother”.
Sources: ehow.com/paint thinners