Paint thinner is a solvent used for cleaning paint from brushes, rollers, and any other equipment or surfaces it ends up on. It is a pretty toxic substance that has a flash point at around 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The vapors are especially hazardous. In fact, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists set a specific threshold limit for this type of compound, which is the maximum concentration that can be breathed by any person in a 40-hour work week.
Paint thinner is used for more than just cleaning up oil-based paint. Its name gives away a hint:
Best Way the Reduce Paint Viscosity
Before getting a paint thinner, you need to know that there are different paint thinners for specific applications. Oil-based paint and latex paints will require different products to thin the paint. Read the manufacturer’s recommendation on how to use the right ratio of paint to paint thinner.
The mix shall be prepared carefully adding the thinner slowly and mixing it thoroughly. Normally, a ratio of 4:1 paint to thinner should be a good one. You don’t want to have more thinner than paint, as it will deteriorate and affect the quality of the paint.
Do note that if you are using a sprayer, the mixture has to be thin so it can flow through the gun.
Read more here: Uses and Applications for Paint Thinner
It’s important to store and mix paint thinner with paint at room temperature. You also have to put a lid on paint thinner or it will evaporate.
There’s no specific amount to use when thinning paint. Add it slowly until you get it to the desired viscosity.
Cleaning Your Brush
Now back to the main reason I’ve used paint thinner – cleaning up. This video demonstrates how to safely use paint thinner to clean your paint brush:
If you invest in a really good paint brush, it is worth spending some time cleaning it up when you are finished. Using as small amount of solvent as possible to do the job not only saves money by keeping your brush in good condition but it’s also good for the environment.
Notice he wears rubber gloves to protect his hands. You might also want to consider using safety goggles in case of an accidental splash.
Another safety tip is to wear a respirator to prevent inhalation of fumes. It’s also wise to work in a well ventilated area, but if that’s not an option then the respirator is a must.
Here’s a post offering more tips on protecting yourself when using paint thinner:
4. Keep Paint Thinner Away From Acidic Materials
Paint thinner can react with acids and acidic materials in a hazardous chemical reaction. You must keep the two separate at all times.
5. Avoid Mixing Paint Thinner With Substances Other Than Paint
Never mix paint thinner with other substances, whether solid or liquid. It may result in explosive chemical reactions.
6. Keep Away From Combustible Materials and Heat
Paint thinner is a volatile substance that must be kept away from combustible materials, liquids, heaters, and open flames.
7. Never Consume Food in the Vicinity
Never eat or drink in the work area when you are handling paint thinners. The food substances can easily be contaminated and you may unknowingly ingest paint thinner.
If you have paint thinner or oil-based paint on your hands, and you want to eat between tasks, leave the room and wear latex or nitrile gloves on your hands while you eat.
See the rest of the safety tips here: 12 Paint Thinner Safety Tips
Always wash your hands after using paint thinner even with wearing gloves and don’t smoke or use an open flame around any of these flammable substances.
Storing paint thinner in a glass container is advised and it should never be placed in the garbage, poured down the drain or on the ground.
Hiring a professional painter in Denver to manage the operation who has the experience with all types of situations would make sense so you aren’t putting yourself or family at risk.