Paint Thinner vs. Acetone: What’s the Difference?
When preparing to paint, or when cleaning up paint, it is difficult to know whether you should use a paint thinner or acetone. We often use both items in painting scenarios, but each is very different, and it’s essential to know when to use them.
We are going to help by giving a detailed look at each one so you will know when to use acetone and when to use paint thinner on your project.
Paint Thinner and Acetone
Let’s begin by looking at some things acetone and paint thinner have in common.
We use a dry distillation process to create acetone, which also happens to be a natural chemical in the human body. Acetone is the chief ingredient in nail polish remover. It is a powerful cleaner due to its ability to mix with water, kill germs, dissolve the grime, and evaporate quickly. It will also dissolve superglue if you accidentally glue fingers together. It has uses in the creation of medicines and the creation of different types of plastics. Acetone will dissolve Styrofoam and certain plastics.
In the painting field, we generally use acetone to prepare metal for painting, and we use it to remove hardened paint. It’s perfect for cleaning old brushes or dried paint pans and getting hard to remove oils and grime off metal surfaces. Acetone cannot mix with paint to thin it.
Paint thinner is often just mineral spirits, but it may contain other ingredients, including acetone. This product is usually used to remove paint and to thin it out. We thin oil-based paint to use it with spray guns and for many other reasons. Thinned paint is easier to spread, and it will go further. We also use paint thinner to clean up when we are finished painting as it makes the paint watery and easy to wipe up. It’s slow to dry, so we have more time to work with wet paint and clean it up. A paint thinner can also degrease metal. If the paint thinner is only mineral spirits, it’s reasonably safe to use. Still, it can also include other ingredients, including acetone, that may make it more dangerous to your health. Always read the label when using paint thinner to learn what ingredients it uses and what the safety requirements are.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better idea of what product is better suited to your needs. Acetone is perfect for cleaning and removing thick hardened paint, but you cannot mix acetone with paint and still use it. Paint thinner is better for cleaning wet paint, though it will remove dried paint slowly if you soak it. A paint thinner can mix with paint without ruining it, and it allows the paint to work with a paint sprayer for airbrushing and other types of work.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our paint thinner versus acetone article. If it has helped you learn the difference between the two and helped you decide which is right for your project, please share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
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