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Old 08-10-2008, 12:58 AM   #1
Vinko
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Default Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

What are the principle differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, and shellac thinner?

I know they've got different chemical compositions, but is there a rule of thumb on the different uses, things you can clean with each of them?

I've been using acetone to clean up urethane and it works like a charm.

I looked in the archives but didn't find anything specific or comparing them.

Hope this ain't too much of a pain-in-the-ass quesiton
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Acetone
Mineral Spirits
Lacquer Thinner, Paint Thinner, etc

Or when all else fails...type in acetone or any of the other key words into Google and get the anser.....
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

And you thin shellac with denatured alcohol.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Of the ones you listed Acetone will evaporate with the least amount of surface film left behind.
Denatured alcohol will leave no film behind, but wear gloves. It will suck the oil out of your skin.
For small, complex linkages,(lawnmower carbs and such) I use either spray carb cleaner or spray starting fluid.
The starting fluid is ether and evaporates without a trace.
Most coating will tell what to use to thin it.
The same stuff will work to clean it up.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Mineral spirits, paint thinner, naptha, Stoddard solvent, white spirits are all basically the same thing - this is also the "solvent" used in solvent tanks in auto shops. It has a much lower vapor pressure than gasoline, acetone, lacquer thinner and alcohol, so it both evaporates more slowly and is less of a fire or explosion hazard than the the others.

Lacquer thinner is a proprietary mix of solvents such as acetone, dimethyl ketone, toluene, alcohol and other petroleum distillates. Has a much higher vapor pressure than "solvent" so it evaporates quickly.

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Old 08-10-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinko View Post
What are the principle differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, and shellac thinner?
The buzz?
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Quote:
The buzz?
Ok....now we know you have been stuck in Ohio way too long.....
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Acetone is a decent cleaner and is used to thin quite a few different paints.

Denatured alcohol is great for wiping down parts before they are painted. Gets rid of grease and dust, then evaporates quickly.

Lacquer thinner or MEK will clean anything. Strong shit, but works even on the spray gun your buddy "cleaned" before he gave it back.

All the others I just use as needed to thin paints. I always keep a decent amount of LT, Acetone and Den. Alcohol on hand.
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

For the most part the bottom line is, like dissolves like. Solvents run the range from non-polar to highly polar as do the things your trying to remove or dissolve. On the highly polar side we have water and on the highly non-polar side, straight chain hydrocarbons ( hexane, etc.). Between fall most other things your calling solvents. So the more water (H-O-H) like the solvent ie. ethanol (R-OH) will dissolve things that are like it ie. the shellac. Your Acetone ({CH2}=0) less polar, MEK ({R}2-C=O) even more non-polar all the way to a straight chain hydrocarbon (R-H) no polarity. So one solvent is not ideal for all things you need a range of stuff in your cleaning/dissloving arsenal....

Sorry about the lame notation it's hard in ascii.

William....
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Good explanation William.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Yeah, thanks William!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Thread resurrectus.

Hey Vinko. Found these:

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/27/ny...-solvents.html

http://wiki.xtronics.com/index.php/Solvents

http://www.leeswoodprojects.com/wood.../thinners.html
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Quote:
Originally Posted by kf4zht View Post
Denatured alcohol is great for wiping down parts before they are painted. Gets rid of grease and dust, then evaporates quickly.
Yes and no.

Yes, it cleans grease and dust and it evaporates quickly.

No, because some paints require a "metal prep" to "etch" new bare metal before painting. All of the expensive Imron paint (a HD Polyurethane Enamel) came off of my buddy's race car chassis because he did not use the prescribed DuPont metal prep !
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 AM   #14
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

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No, because some paints require a "metal prep" to "etch" new bare metal before painting. All of the expensive Imron paint (a HD Polyurethane Enamel) came off of my buddy's race car chassis because he did not use the prescribed DuPont metal prep !

Ouch!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Acetone will free superglue. (don't ask how I know this).
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Differences among acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer, paint, shellac thinner

Quote:
Originally Posted by W-Cummins View Post
For the most part the bottom line is, like dissolves like. Solvents run the range from non-polar to highly polar as do the things your trying to remove or dissolve. On the highly polar side we have water and on the highly non-polar side, straight chain hydrocarbons ( hexane, etc.). Between fall most other things your calling solvents. So the more water (H-O-H) like the solvent ie. ethanol (R-OH) will dissolve things that are like it ie. the shellac. Your Acetone ({CH2}=0) less polar, MEK ({R}2-C=O) even more non-polar all the way to a straight chain hydrocarbon (R-H) no polarity. So one solvent is not ideal for all things you need a range of stuff in your cleaning/dissloving arsenal....

Sorry about the lame notation it's hard in ascii.

William....
If I'm bi-polar, I can use any solvent.
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