The difference between Thinner and Mineral Spirits, Revisited

I posted comments about my painting experiences and how I have not enjoyed using thinner to clean brushes, especially when returning to the task after lunch.
I got a lot of answers as to how to deal with a brush soaked with thinner however I was really looking for the differences in the two chemicals. Thank you for your input. The friend that I work with does have a brush spinner which he raved about several years ago for final cleaning but does not use it during the work day. Actually I think he only uses it when for the final, final cleaning, when he expects to put the brush up of a period of time. Basically our brushes are wet 4-5 hours in the morning and an equal time in the afternoon. The brushes need to be cleaned 2 to 3 times daily any way so the suggestion of covering them for lunch does not solve the cleaning problem that I have. I was aware of that tip however I find cleaning to usually be pretty quick. I prefer to start again or refresh periodically with a fresh brush.
Anyway, through several searches I have deducted that Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner are not the same in the same sense that Milk and Water are not the same. Yes, paint thinner and milk both have mineral spirits and water respectively but paint thinner and milk are both a bit more complex than what are mostly composed of. What I have deducted is both paint thinner and mineral spirits will both do the same thing however paint thinner as it's name suggests works better as a paint thinner because of the "different" additives that various manufacturers will add. Each has it's own "secret recipe". For the same reason that thinner has mineral spirits and other additives, mineral spirits is a more pure form of solvent.
What I strongly suspect is that mineral spirits actually does evaporate more quickly than thinner, this would explain why I had no dripping going on after cleaning the brushes with mineral spirits vs. paint thinner. It also would stand to reason that paint thinner would have additives that evaporate more slowly so that it would create a mixture that would remain closer to the same viscosity through out the entire can of paint. With mineral spirits used as a thinner I would highly suspect that an open can of paint would probably need to be thinned more than once depending on how long it takes to consume that amount of paint.
I also saw mentioned time and again that mineral spirits used alone is a better degreaser/cleaning agent as it leaves less residue behind than paint thinner. It is a better choice for cleaning petroleum distillates from most mechanical equipment. It has been mentioned that mineral spirits is a better choice than paint thinner to wipe on a surface, such as wood, to show the grain. Paint thinner is going to leave more residue on the surface and will, although very slightly, not show as true, the actual wood color.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon,
Thanks for the lesson. We rarely use oil based paint but I will keep it in mind. I'll also try out some mineral spirits next time I do maintenance and cleaning on the wife's Vespa.
I use the spinner at lunch time even on latex. When we return from lunch I prefer a brush that is totally dry and ready to go. Keeping a brush wet all day seems to diminish its performance.
Purdy, Wooster or other?
Craig

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Use 2 brushes. Clean one to the max at lunch, fresh one for the afternoon. Even spinners, although a huge help, cannot dry the brush to the max.
Painting...I'm so damned fussy that I could never make a dime at it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Use 2 brushes. Clean one to the max at lunch, fresh one for the afternoon. Even spinners, although a huge help, cannot dry the brush to the max.
Painting...I'm so damned fussy that I could never make a dime at it.
LOL, well I am probably better than most at painting, but have over the years learned to cut in with out the need for masking tape. I recall using several rolls of it in years past, now 4 or 5 feet if we run across a house with door knobs that already has paint on them from the previous jobs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well and you probably already know this but a "water" wet natural brissle brush is worthless. With water based and latex paints you always want to use a syntehtic brush. Like you hair goes limp when you wash it, so does a hatural brissle brush.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

You forget the crowd in this group.
Got a better analogy?
--
Froz...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Can't really say the word "limp" out loud here either.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy wrote:

Well hey, I may not have a whole head of hair any more, but I got no problem in THAT arena*. <puffs muscles like a He-Man>
*Yet. :-)
--
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Careful! you'll geta cramp doing that. LOL
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

Too late! :-)
--
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

;~) If you keep it trimmed your deck looks larger.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/29/2009 4:35 AM Leon spake thus:

Well, that is the crux of the matter, isn't it?
Don't want to add too much to this discussion except to say that yes, there are different types of *paint* thinner (notice the qualifier), but they're basically variations on a theme. They do have different viscosities, evaporation rates, etc., but they're basically all similar petroleum distilllates (mostly based on naphtha, I'd guess). They all work about the same, although as you've discovered, some will evaporate faster than others.
Just to clarify, based on some comments made in another thread by Robatoy: yes, there are other kinds of thinners in the world, like lacquer thinner and shellac thinner. However, these are different critters from *paint* thinners, so we shouldn't confuse the issue by including them in this discussion. For the most part, you really don't want to use lacquer thinner (acetone, etc.) to clean a *paint* brush (and vice versa). There are other solvents, like xylol and toluene, that are also not normally used in thinning and cleaning paint.
--
Who needs a junta or a dictatorship when you have a Congress
blowing Wall Street, using the media as a condom?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Correct! common Paint Thinner is for "Oil Based" paints. There are other specific thinners for different type finishes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.