I'm so used to alkyd and acrylic latex paints, I tossed a brush with
Kilz Oil Based Primer into the sink to wash up one day a few months
ago. It took half an hour to get the crap out of the sink, having to
dry the water first, then wipe what I could. I had forgotten to bring
spirits with me. My (already receding) hairline did NOT appreciate
We're all here because we're not all there.
It has nothing to do with the brushes: I just mentioned that as one of the
wonders of modern varnishes.
(I agree with what it says on the tine except where it says use a synthetic
filament brush: I bought a 'special' looking teflon fine filament brush and
it just left trails of bubbles everywhere.)
I don't know if they are all like it these days, but at least some of the
Ronseals I've used do wash out pretty well with water: they look kind of
cloudy in the tin but dry clear - and I generally go for the 'diamond hard'
and find it excellent: and a little goes a long way so it is not as
expensive as it seems. They do tend to drip, so the finer the layer you
apply the better, and that is where these thin sectioned artists brushes
come into their own. (It is a year or so since I last did any varnishing -
though there is still plenty needs doing! - so I didn't stick my neck out
here to say whether I thinned my last lot with white spirit or water.).
Incidentally I've also used the same brushes with very thinned gloss paint
to get a smooth finish on the fiddly bits of window frames too..
But it does not say so on the tin of Ronseal Diamond Hard that I was talking
about: it just says brushes wash out in water, and I'm not psychic to know
whether this is because water is the solvent or because there are
emulsifiers or surfactants included of whether indeed the solvent might be
glycol or alcohol based or based on something I've never heard of.
Reread your lable.
PREPARATION: Ensure all surfaces are free from wax, grease and oil by wiping
cloth dampened with white spirit. Bare Wood: Sand smooth with fine
Do not use steel wool. Remove dust with a damp cloth.
Do not use steel wool because small broken pieces of it will rust because
of the water in the product and stain your finish.
Alright, I missed the last bit, but it only says there is water in the
product not that it is the main solvent: the foregoing part about wiping
down with white spirit rather gives the impression that they would not
advise you getting water in it. Also, I have found that, unlike water based
paints, this varnish does not raise the grain of wood. In fact, I have
actually used it as a wood primer when I could not lay my hands on a solvent
based one locally, in a hurry.
Typically you wipe down with an oil based product , paint thinner, so as to
not raise the grain and to remove any dust. Paint thinner or better yet
mineral spirits will evaporate relatively quickly and then you can use what
ever product you want.
Is that the stuff that turns thick and milky? I threw out half a gallon
because of that. The first quart I poured out of the gallon was clear as
was the rest of the container, a few months later it was useless. I
mistakenly got the Environmentally safe crap the last time I bought.
Getting a bit deja vu here as we went into this just a little while ago.
'White Spirit' is just a distillation fraction and can contain a range of
different solvents that distil in that range. A lot of it is also concocted
out of recycled solvents, and it can end up with quite a bit of water in. I
used to have to test drums of the stuff for use in various printing industry
solutions. Our stock buyers were always looking for the cheapest sources,
and this could mean drums with several inches of rusty water in the bottom,
and any amount of other goo, and quite a wide range of acidity. If it is
only being bottled up for cleaning paint brushes, it doesn't have to be
anything special and may indeed be saturated with water and turn cloudy when
you go to use it. Also, if you use it and then pour it back in the bottle,
some thixotropic modern paints are very good a gelifying in surprisingly
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