6 Tips for Using Lacquer Thinner

Lacquer thinner is used to dissolve and remove a variety of lacquer-based products. It is an extremely toxic substance that creates a number of hazards if it is not used in the correct way. The smallest splash on the skin can cause uncomfortable burning and rashes. Here are a few tips you should bear in mind when using lacquer thinner.

Safety Equipment

Use the correct and appropriate safety clothing when you use lacquer thinner. You should be wearing high standard safety goggles and industrial safety gloves. Lacquer thinner has the ability to make skin cells react violently when the substance touches the skin. This can cause instant irritation, rashes, redness and burning. Safety equipment should always be worn, regardless of how large or small the job is.


Lacquer thinner is one of the more toxic cleaning substances. You need to have good ventilation when you are using lacquer thinner. Fumes from the thinner can easily be inhaled and cause nausea and fainting spells. Having two reliable fans on either side of where you are working will solve this problem. Alternatively, use lacquer thinner in a room that has a high power extractor fan inside.

Check Your Materials

Lacquer thinner can damage a variety of different materials. These are materials you may not think usually about. Make sure any paintbrushes you are using are not made of a nylon base. This is because the thinner will attack the bristles and could cause them to fall out while you are in the middle of an important painting project. Always check the materials you are using to make sure that lacquer thinner will not damage them.

Always Do a Patch Test

You may need to remove lacquer based products from a range of different surfaces. It is a good idea to test whether lacquer thinner will damage these surfaces before you use it over an entire surface. Have an old rag at hand and use small drops of thinner on hidden areas of wood, plastic and other materials. Lacquer thinner can damage the surface structure of different woods, leaving them with discolored or peeling areas that cannot be repaired.

Work in a Safe Place

Other than causing great skin irritation and dizziness, lacquer thinner does have other hazards. It is extremely flammable and will ignite with the smallest of sparks. It is imperative to the success of your project and your personal safety that you work in a safe area. This means choosing a room that has no obvious fire hazards few electrical sockets. Smoking and naked flames should also be avoided.

Common Sense

The best thing you can employ when using lacquer thinner is common sense. This means doing whatever feels right. Lay ground sheets to protect the floor, cover electrical sockets with masking tape and using small amounts of the thinner at any given time. Some of the most basic tips for using lacquer thinner are the most logical.