There are a lot of thinners and solvents, which ones should you use?

We offer thinners and solvents for a variety of purposes. In addition to cleaning brushes and other painting tools, thinners and solvents are frequently used to improve the brushing, rolling or spraying characteristics of paints. Sometimes they are used to make paints easier to apply in cold or in hot weather.

The thinner or solvent that you select must be compatible with the resin system of the coating you plan to apply. This is where adherence to the manufacturer’s recommendations can save you from disastrous results. You will find the manufacturer’s recommendations on the paint can’s label, on the manufacturer’s website or on data sheets linked to many of our online paint descriptions.

Do environmental regulations apply to the thinners and solvents we sell?

Yes. Most of the thinners and solvents we sell are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) subject to environmental regulations. Organic solvents generally evaporate and float into the atmosphere, where they become a component of photochemical smog. Most thinners and solvents “dry” by vaporizing and leaving the coating surface.

When working around VOCs, care should be taken not to breathe the vapors. At the very least, an organic vapor mask should be worn. Depending on the level of concentration, a partial or full-face respirator may be required. For guidance, see Safety Gear for Boat Maintenance.