Paint thinner or Mineral Spirits
What's the difference?
Does it matter which one I use depending on what it's being used for? That sound right?
IMO, paint thinner is a general category of products such as mineral spirits, turpentine, naptha and others for thinning paint. In the case of the liquid sold as "paint thinner" you would have to check the label to see exactly what is inside the container but I'd bet most of it, if not all, is mineral spirits.
Hmm..not sure but when I was at the store yesterday I seem to recall something like petroleum distilates on one of the bottles. Might of even been both bottles -not sure.
From the Recochem website
What is the difference between Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner? What other names is it known by?
Answer: Mineral Spirits has fewer aromatic solvents while other similar Products-Paint Thinner, Varsol® - contain higher concentrations. Both are petroleum distillates, are generally interchangeable, and are available in different grades
Petroleum distallates is another catch all category and mineral spirits is a petroleum distillate. So is naptha, gasoline, ... Basically, anything that can be distilled from crude oil.
Originally Posted by Bri in Mtl
Good question and I had the same recently when I decided to make my own wipe-on poly.
I visited HD and read the uses on paint thinner, mineral spirits, and Varsol. Paint thinner and mineral spirits were identical for uses and almost the same in price. Varsol was the only one showing a use for thinning polyurathane and of course it was more expensive. All were made by the same company.
I not really sure what the differences are but I know the all do the same job.
Varsol is just Imperial Oil's brand name for mineral spirits. No point in paying the extra money.
You can use paint thinner, mineral spirits and Varsol interchangeably for things like cleaning brushes. There is a difference between them, though. Varsol is a little "cleaner" than mineral spirits, which is a little cleaner than paint thinner. That's why Varsol is specifically okay for thinning oil-based polyurethanes and most paint thinners and mineral spirits don't list that as a use. You can actually use them for that, but if your results aren't what you hoped for don't blame the company.
I pay the little extra for Varsol (actually I pay even more and get the low-odour Varsol) because I get a little better results when I use it to thin poly.
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