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Quick Tip: Difference between Mineral Turps & Lacquer Thinners?

There seems to be some confusion about the difference between Mineral Turpentine and Lacquer Thinners and when each product should be used.


When it comes down to using mineral turpentine or lacquer thinners, more than a few people are confused about the difference between these two products, and which product is used for what. Since I regularly use both mineral turpentine (turps) and lacquer thinners (thinners) I thought it would be interesting to put out an article on what each product is used for.

First off, you will probably have both these products in your home, especially if you do, or are planning to do, lots of painting, whether it be of a crafty type or relating to decorating or home improvement.







What can both mineral turpentine and lacquer thinners be used for?

Both mineral turpentine and lacquer thinners can be used to clean your dirty paintbrushes when you have been using a solvent- or oil-based paint.





What do I use lacquer thinners for?

You can use lacquer thinners to dilute high-gloss or lacquer-based paints, as well as easy cleaning of all the tools used when applying these paints.

GOOD TO KNOW: While lacquer thinners can be used to reduce the viscosity of paints and varnishes or other similar adhesives, mineral turpentine is far less toxic - see below for more information on using mineral turpentine.

Lacquer thinners has other uses in and around the home, for example, you can use lacquer thinners to break down and dissolve shellac finishes. It will also help if you need to remove tar-based products for any reason.





What do I use mineral turpentine for?

Mineral turpentine can be added to most oil-based paints to extend the drying time of these. Artists prefer to use mineral turpentine to clean their painting equipment after use, as it isn't as harsh as lacquer thinners and won't damage the bristles and loosen the glue in the ferrule that holds the bristles in place.

GOOD TO KNOW: Turpentine evaporates very quickly and creates a high concentration of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) but does not smell as much as lacquer thinners. When using turpentine work in a well-ventilated space.

If you need to remove oil-based paint from wood, tile or concrete, apply a small amount of mineral turpentine to soften the paint and then gently scrape with a plastic paint scraper or similar, Don't use a steel scraper, as this may damage the surface.



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