Paint Thinner Vs Mineral Spirit: Comparison, Which One Is the Best? Check Out the Features!!!

Contents Paint thinner vs Mineral spiritFeatures: Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit1. Toxicity :2. Odour :3. Price:4. Effectiveness:5. Versatile cleaning:6. For latex paint application : Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit: Finding …

Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit

Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit: Finding the perfect color of paint is rather simple than determining the consistency of the paint. The paint’s thickness or thinness is the thing that determines the application process of the paint. If you want to thin your paint to pour them into a spray gun or brush it on thin and even coats you have to add either pain thinners or mineral spirits. Petroleum-derived liquids are the best option for thinning your paint. They can be also used to remove excess paint from the brush or roller after the painting work.

The solvents look the same and they can be used interchangeably. They differ in toxicity, odor, cost, and efficacy of the application. Many are confused and cannot differentiate between the two. This article will focus on the difference between Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit. This will give you a clear-cut profile of which thinner to buy the next time you paint. The content on Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit is given below,

Features: Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit

Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit

1. Toxicity :

Both paint thinners and mineral spirits are produced by the process of distillation of petroleum. However, mineral spirits are refined finely during the production process to reduce toxicity. Toxic compounds like VOCs and sulfur are removed from the mineral spirits during the purification process. There are odor-free mineral spirits available in the home centers. The above said toxic compounds are eliminated from the odor-free spirit. These odorless mineral spirits are very convenient for homeowners with kids and pets. It will relieve them from the stress of introducing toxic chemicals into the home during the painting process.


On the other hand, paint thinners are least purified during production. They are not completely free of those toxins. They will retain most of the toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene. These VOCs can cause various defects in humans and animals. They can also be carcinogenic sometimes.

So, in the case of toxicity mineral spirits are best and safe than paint thinners.

2. Odour :

Both mineral spirits and paint thinners emit a kerosene-like smell. This smell is caused by the volatile organic compounds present in them. The potency of Smell depends upon the VOC content in the mineral spirit. Mineral spirits are less smelly compared to paint thinners.

Paint thinners give out a strong nauseous odor. It will take time to air out. Smelly or not always wear protective respiratory gear to prevent these toxins from entering your system. Work in a very well-ventilated room. Be very careful while working with both the compound as the fumes arising from them can enter the respiratory system very easily. It will affect respiratory health when inhaled in higher concentrations.

3. Price:

A gallon of mineral spirit costs only $10 on average. The odor-free mineral spirit costs $15 per gallon. They are a little costlier than the ordinary mineral spirit. The price difference is because the mineral spirits need extra energy to be purified and to attain the status of refined mineral spirit. But, paint thinners are not much refined and thus only require less labor. This is the reason for paint thinners being less pricey.  The price difference is not a huge thing to be considered. As these thinners are required only in a small amount for mixing as well as for cleaning the paintbrushes and rollers,  you don’t need to buy them in huge amounts. Only 4-6 ounces of solvent will be needed for the cleaning process. So even with a high price, the mineral spirit will be worth considering the fact it is less toxic.

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4. Effectiveness:

Both the Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit can be used to thin paint and to clean the painting brush or rollers just by soaking them in the thinner. They can also be used to make paint into proper proportion. But even in these things, the mineral spirit is more desirable. Mineral spirits have a low rate of evaporation. Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit will dry easily and will give a smooth and perfect look. But the paint thinned with paint thinners will take time to dry. They are also very easily evaporated. Always remember that the paint should be still fresh when you clean the brushes with the solvent. It becomes very hard to remove paint once the paint has dried.


5. Versatile cleaning:

Mineral spirits are pure and less toxic this allows them to expand their role more than being used in the paint job. Mineral spirits can be used to remove paint as well as tar, oil, and several other stains from the large surface areas including garden shears, metal and wood worktops. It can remove stains from concrete too. It will not damage the surface but will remove the stain off it. A paint thinner can be also applied to remove stains off the surface. But, they are very toxic compared to mineral spirits. Paint thinners have a noxious odor of VOC. It can cause respiratory defects if inhaled. These harmful effects make it less suitable to be used as a paint remover. So for removing paint consider mineral spirit.

6. For latex paint application :

Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit is solvent-based and not water-based. So that they can be used with only oil-based paints. Using either of these to thin off water-based latex paint will separate the paint pigments from paint solvent. It will not work even if you try to remove the latex paint off using these thinners. For thinning or cleaning utensils and painting types of equipment used with latex paint always use plain water. It will do the trick. You can also buy specially formulated latex-based paint thinners to remove the paint off.

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Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit is not similar though they are used for a common function. They have distinctive characters. They are entirely different in toxicity and few characters. On the whole, the mineral spirits are considered the best among both. They are refined during production and have fewer toxic chemicals. They have comparatively less odor and are easy to handle. They don’t evaporate easily and dry off soon. They are easy to apply. Though their price is quite high they are worth it. So if you are very conscious about toxic chemicals always choose mineral spirits over paint thinners. This is all in Paint thinner vs Mineral spirit!!!

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