Difference between Paint Thinner and Mineral Spirits

In old days, turpentine was the chemical that was used by painters in order to dissolve paints. However, it was not powerful enough to produce the desired results, so other, more potent solvents and thinners have been introduced for the same.

If you are involved in the painting or decoration industry, you must have heard about paint thinners and mineral spirits. They are quite useful products, but have got different characteristics altogether. They can be used for the same purpose, but their effects are not similar.

Due to the lubricating property of petroleum, the mineral spirits are quite sticky and thick. Therefore, they can be used for lubricating purposes. On the other hand, the lacquer thinner doesn’t stick much, so it cannot be used for lubrication of any product.

The advantage of paint thinner is that it can even remove dried paint because of being caustic. Therefore, it is also used to clean up surfaces, which are affected by the residue of adhesive.

One issue with the mineral spirits is that they leave an oily residue after being used, which makes up a mess. This is why the lacquer thinner is preferred, as it doesn’t leave anything behind.

Because of being caustic, the lacquer thinner can damage the surface, which is being cleaned, so you have to use it carefully. Compared to it, the mineral spirits are a much better option in this regard, as they keep the surface safe.

You can tell the difference between the lacquer thinner and mineral spirits with their odour. The former of the two has a sharper smell.

Mineral spirits are mainly used to clean the screen while painting. They don’t cause any damage to the screen, so you can use them over and over again. On the other hand, lacquer thinner is mainly used for the thinning of spray paints. However, it has got various other benefits and having one handy can be useful.

There are differences between the price of lacquer thinner and mineral spirits as well. The latter of the two is more expensive in comparison.


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    Paint thinner

    As the name suggests, paint thinner is used to dissolve paints in order to clean them up. It is made by combining various chemicals, which can damage any surface. Therefore, this product should be used with care.

    Image Courtesy: nerdfighters.ning.com

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    Mineral spirits

    Mineral spirits are also used by painters to make the paint thinner. This product is known as white spirit in the United Kingdom and is less aggressive than paint thinners. Due to this, it is used in dry cleaning business all over the world.

    Image Courtesy: tamiyausa.com

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