Mineral spirits is a chemical used in many professions for a myriad of applications. Many homeowners mineral spirits during daily chores and maintenance. Also known as Stoddard solvent, mineral spirits are used as paint thinner, in hobby use and in other projects. Read on to learn more about what to consider before you buy mineral spirits.
Paint Thinner and Mineral Spirits
Paint thinners and mineral spirits are generally used for the same thing and have identical products. Companies will release paint thinner under brand names in hopes they will sell more product by sounding more specific in their task. Mineral spirits thin paint the same exact manner as paint thinners.
To mix mineral spirits with paint, you can safely blend 90 percent paint with 10 percent mineral spirits. Anything more than that, and you may run into the issue of the paint not adhering to the wall or not drying correctly.
Alternative to Turpentine
Turpentine is another type of solvent that is used for every day tasks. Turpentine is a very dangerous chemical to work with because it is highly flammable and toxic.
Turpentine will thin paint and dissolve grease, and mineral spirits will do the same. There is no doubt that mineral spirits is less weak than turpentine, but it is less volatile and toxic.
Uses of Mineral Spirits
Mineral spirits is a catch-all solvent that can be used for many things. Mineral spirits is mostly used to thin paint to create even coats on surfaces, regardless of the material. Mineral spirits is also used by artists to dissolve paint on brushes as it will not harm nylon, let alone expensive brushes made from horse hair. You can also use mineral spirits to remove grease and grime from gears and threads. If you cut mineral spirits with oil, you can create a very sturdy and long-lasting lubricant.
Mineral spirits is also used in the process of screen printing as a way to clean screens.
Model Hobby Use
A solvent generates its own radiant heat. This is why turpentine can easily catch on fire without a spark being present. Mineral spirits is also known as white spirits which is a form of paint thinner used in plastic model building. Even though paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits and white spirits are relatively the same they has varying characteristics. Model builders should never use mineral spirits as it can literally melt the plastic of the model.