​​​​​​​Normally paint thinner is used to remove oil-based paint from brushes, rollers, equipment, and surfaces. However, there are many other applications and uses for paint thinner saving you money and time. This article presents some of the most common uses for thinner and others that might surprise you as well. Let's check them out.Oil-based primers and paints have been an industry standard for decades. Oil paints provide good adhesion and good gloss, and are durable, highly resistant to scuffs and scrapes and (when used with a primer) are excellent for blocking stains. Compared to latex paints, oil-based paints also provide better surface penetration, better leveling and they usually dry to a smoother finish. They are, however, often slow-drying and release high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to people in high concentrations and with prolonged exposure. When working with oil-based paints, solvents are a necessity to clean brushes and applicators. Latex paints can be cleaned up with soap and water and don’t give off as many fumes.
​​​​​​​What Makes a Quality Paint Thinner
Even though they typically have similar characteristics, a paint thinner chemical composition can be different from product to product. What exactly qualifies as a paint thinner solvent?
A thinner is a volatile solvent that is used to dilute or extend oil-based paints or cleanup after use. Common solvents used as paint thinner chemicals include mineral spirits, mineral and true turpentine, acetone, naphtha, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), dimethylformamide (DMF), glycol ethers and xylene. Whatever the chemical name of a thinner, extreme care is required when handling them, as exposure to their vapors during use or in cleanup may be hazardous.
At SolvChem® Custom Packaging Division, we offer multiple options for chemicals that can double as paint thinners. Our more popular paint thinner compositions include turpentine, acetone and mineral spirits. Whatever your application, our team can help you make the best selection so that you have a quality paint thinner to get the job done.
Paint thinner can be used to clean your equipment and tools once you have finished your job, especially when you have been using oil-based paint. Paint thinner can also be used to 'thin' or reduce the viscosity of paint so it can be used in sprayer applicators. Another important use that most people are not aware of, is that paint thinner can be used to prevent paint from hardening when it has been left open. Paint thinners should not be used with latex paints, shellac or lacquer​​​​​​​