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Thread: Paint solvent

  1. #1
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    Post Paint solvent

    I think this question may have been asked before, but what's the difference between paint thinner, varsol, and turpentine? They are priced very differently, with turpentine being more than twice as expensive as paint thinner. The application note on each product read essentially the same, "cleans brush, thinning oil paint, varnish,....".

    Albert

  2. #2
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    Can't comment on the Paint Thinner/Varsol differences (I think both are petroleum products), but turpentine is extracted from pine trees ... primarily the Southern Yellow Pine. Turpentine is kinda the 'cadillac' of thinners. Certainly much more pleasant to use because of the nice pine aroma, especially when it's time to clean your hands, etc. I've always understood that turpentine has more thinning capacity, so that less is required and you end up with more pigment per unit volume of the final thinned paint. I use the turpentine for 'fine' work and cleaning Me. I use paint thinner for cleaning brushes and most rough work paints (exterior primer, etc.)
    Linseed oil is also a good primer and is good for the last rinse of brushes when cleaning.

  3. #3
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    Linseed is a HORRIBLE brush cleaner.

    it is a drying oil, meaning that it will react with oxygen and set up (polymerize) toi a hard coating. It is the main ingredient in some oil base paints, including most artist oil paint.

    You want a solvent process to clean it out completely.

    BTW, the best way to clean brushes of oil base paint is to wash out the main amount of paint in a little bit of thinner, then use regular soap and water to clean out the rest.
    Jam the brush onto a wet surface (I use my hand for small brushes) so the bristles stick out all around, and work in the soap, then rinse out completely.
    Wrap in a shop towel holding it in proper form to dry.

    Sounds really bad to do, but I have been using the same bristle artist brushes for 20 years always cleaning this way. Regular paint brushes too. A good brush will not be hurt by it.

  4. #4
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    When I said "... last rinse ..." I really meant after other thinners/solvents. I also meant to say its a good 'thinner' ... not 'primer'.
    I've had no problems w/rinsing brush in linseed oil (boiled), when used after some thinner to first remove the majority of the paint. It would of course glob up if left on the brush. I always follow the solvent (whether thinner, linseed, or turpentine) with handcleaner (that orange stuff or Goop or any of the others) and then wash that out with soap & water. I've found the handcleaner removes the solvents better than soapy water, and then it in turn dissolves readily in the water. In fact, if the brush has only been used briefly so there's not a lot of paint collected back at the heel or ferrule of the brush, I've found using a thinner unneccessary and the handcleaner
    treatment alone will remove all the paint.

  5. #5
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    Albert
    I often use Varsol for washing parts.
    On the label of the 20 litre pail - Esso Varsol - and in smaller print - paint thinner/cleaning solvent

    So...I'm guessing that Varsol is just a brand name.
    Anyone know if there's any dif at all between it and generic "paint thinner"?



    [This message has been edited by Herb W (edited 08-16-2002).]

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    Hmm, linseed can take a long time to dry, don't think I'd do it anyhow.

    Agree on the handcleaner, but since they put pumice in all of it, I quit using it other than on hands.


  7. #7
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    Pumice is actually optional in hand cleaner. I always get my GoJo, Goop, Fast Orange,etc, in the smooth formula because the pumice can be a pain in the ass to get off your hands and out of your fingernails. Not to mention the undesirable abrasive effect it has on metal. When I'm working, I don't always have access to running water and usually just dry my hands with a rag after cleaning. The downside of being a field service tech.

  8. #8
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    Probably no good for brushes, but SBS makes an orange (citrus) hand cleaner with cornmeal instead of pumice. Doesn't tear the heck out of your hands, but abrasive enough
    to get them clean.

  9. #9
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    could not ever tell the difference between cheap and higher priced mineral spirits.

    I buy the cheaper stuff by the 55 gal drum and use it for thinning paint and in my parts washer.

    I have found that my hands come cleaner by using two types of hand cleaner. I use both Pax and Go-Jo.

  10. #10
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    I keep both the Fast Orange (with pumice) and also some the creamy stuff, GoJo, or Goop, or various other brands on hand. It's almost always the creamy stuff I reach for to use for brush cleaning. I can never remember which, but some brands work better than others. Some seem to resist liquifying in the presence of the residual paint thinner.

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