Difference between Lacquer Thinner and Mineral Spirits

In order to maintain a house or any other building in good condition, it is important that it should be kept clean. Having the walls painted is an important part of the process. Different kinds of paints are used for this purpose. However, it is not just paint that is needed for the job, other tools such as brush and rollers along with thinners are needed in the process as well.

When it comes to dealing with paints and house cleaning, there are some options that are available in the market. The two main choices are lacquer thinners and the mineral spirits. Both have their certain characteristics that differ from each other and make them useful.

There is a difference in the formulation of the two to start off with. A mineral spirit has some additives and is made from a single solvent. On the other hand, the lacquer thinner is a combination of various solvents whose percentage is different as per the preference of each manufacturer.

Lacquer thinner is a strong liquid and may not be ideal for cleaning in case of a delicate surface. On the other hand, the mineral spirit is ideal for cleaning walls and delicate surfaces without damaging the layer of the paint due to its mild nature.

Lacquer thinner is a highly flammable liquid. Mineral spirits are also flammable but not as reactive as the lacquer thinners.

The rate of evaporation in the mineral spirits is moderate. However, the lacquer thinners evaporate at a much faster rate. The eventual rate of evaporation depends on the formula with which the lacquer thinner was made by the given manufacturer.

Mineral spirits are used primarily to dilute standard oil based paints for a paint job. Lacquer thinner is used to thin the lacquer and to clean it as well. These are also used for the purpose of removing residue left by adhesive materials and to clean metals.


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    Lacquer Thinner

    It is a synthetic liquid that is manufactured with a number of other solvents such as ester, toluene, alcohol, glycol ether and others. It is highly flammable in nature and is used mainly to clean surfaces such as metallic surfaces.

    - Image Courtesy: bennys.bz

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    Mineral Spirits

    These are used in oil based paints to thin them or to clean painted surfaces. Other uses include cleaning of tar buildup and polishing of furniture.

    - Image Courtesy: homedepot.com

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