mineral spirits or paint thinner

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Forum topic by Karda posted 05-06-2021 05:58 AM 545 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3182 posts in 1673 days

05-06-2021 05:58 AM

got a dumb question, What is the difference between mineral spirits and paint thinner

9 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


8638 posts in 3318 days

#1 posted 05-06-2021 08:05 AM

Mineral spirits is a paint thinner. “Paint Thinner” may or may not be mineral spirits, so check the container.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View OSU55's profile


2796 posts in 3108 days

#2 posted 05-06-2021 01:04 PM

What Brad said. There is also “reduced odor” ms, which is a bit different mix of solvents, which I use a lot without issue to thin poly. Stay away from anything that eludes to being “green” on the label.

View xedos's profile


343 posts in 419 days

#3 posted 05-06-2021 01:08 PM

Mineral spirits is what the stuff comprises – or is made of. Petroleum distillates in this case.

Paint thinner is a description of what the product actually does. Function . It could be comprised (made of) lots of stuff, mineral spirits being the most popular one. But, it doesn’t have to be made form mineral spirits.

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John Smith

2949 posts in 1281 days

#4 posted 05-06-2021 01:31 PM

100% Mineral Spirits should be used as a thinner if you care about the finish you are applying.
the stronger the odor = the higher quality, IMO.
same with Pure Gum Turpentine.
some states have banned certain products – so it is up to the user to determine what “substitute” is best for them.

this should NOT be used as an acceptable substitute for Mineral Spirits Paint Thinner.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Karda's profile


3182 posts in 1673 days

#5 posted 05-06-2021 03:55 PM

thanks I guess I can use the cheap stuff, I only use it for cleaning thanks

View newwoodbutcher's profile


863 posts in 3969 days

#6 posted 05-06-2021 04:24 PM

Good question and answers, thank you all

-- Ken

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4548 posts in 2613 days

#7 posted 05-07-2021 03:35 AM

+1 Best paint thinner is 100% Stoddard solvent.

Read the SDS or MSDS.
Most “mineral spirits” are blend of solvents. The content varies based on local EPA laws.

The odorless stuff should not be called mineral spirits. Many of the retail blends only 1/3-1/2 petroleum solvent (hydro treated kerosene AKA Jet fuel) and rest is water.

Beware of solvents in Peoples Republic of Kalifornia especially the stuff for SCAQMD.
SCAQMD consumers are not allowed to buy any good solvents. Their version of paint thinner contains mostly acetone.


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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214 posts in 2327 days

#8 posted 05-07-2021 12:54 PM

thanks I guess I can use the cheap stuff, I only use it for cleaning thanks

- Karda

FWIW I have started using lacquer thinner for cleaning brushes. Best thing I have found! Cleans much better than anything else I have used.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats*

View Karda's profile


3182 posts in 1673 days

#9 posted 05-07-2021 03:47 PM

thats good to know but what I use it for is surface cleaning to remove sanding dust and such

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