Turpenoid vs Mineral Spirits – When it comes to choosing a solvent for your art, the options can be overwhelming. Do you go with turpenoid or mineral spirits? Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so how do you decide which one is right for you? In this blog post, we’ll break down the key differences between these two solvents to help you make the best decision for your needs. Let’s get going!
Turpenoid vs mineral spirits – what’s different?
Turpenoids (not to be confused with Terpenoids which are totally different things and definitely not a paint thinner) is a clear liquid that has the same properties as Turpentine but tends to be odorless and is less toxic than turpentine. They are usually used to thin or clean oil based paints.
Mineral Spirits are clear liquids that are typically used by artists to thin their paints and clean their brushes. Don’t confuse Mineral Spirits with Methylated Spirits. They too are totally different things.
Is Turpenoid toxic?
Turpenoids and Turpentine are a natural product made from pine trees. They have been used for centuries as a paint thinner and brush cleaner.
They are still used today for these purposes, but because of their strong odor and toxicity, many artists have switched to odorless turpenoids such as Gamsol.
Turpenoid is less toxic than turpentine, but it is still important to use it in a well-ventilated area and to avoid contact with skin.
Are Mineral Spirits toxic?
Mineral Spirits are also known as white spirits. They are a petroleum-based solvent that is used for cleaning and thinning oil-based paint.
Mineral Spirits are less toxic than turpentine, but they can still irritate your skin if it comes into contact with it.
They are also flammable, so it is important to use them in a well-ventilated area.
Alternatives to Turpenoids and Mineral Spirits
There are a few alternatives to turpenoids and mineral spirits that you can use and my pick would be Gamsol from Gamblin or any other brand that provides an odorless low toxic solvent.
Some of these include:
- Mineral Spirits
- White spirits
- Paint thinner
- Linseed oil
- Boiled linseed oil
- Odorless mineral spirits
Each of these solvents has its own set of pros and cons, so be sure to do your research before deciding which one is right for you.
How to use each product
Turpenoids and mineral spirits can be used for a variety of tasks, such as cleaning paintbrushes, thinning oil-based paints, and removing stubborn stains.
When using turpenoids or mineral spirits, always be sure to:
- Use in a well-ventilated area
- Wear gloves such as latex gloves and any protective gear you find necessary
- Wash your hands after use even if you used gloves
- If you purchased a large bottle, decanter what you need into a small jar
- Do not mix the old dirty and used liquid with fresh liquid
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pros and cons of Turpenoid and Mineral Spirits
- More expensive than mineral spirits
- Evaporates slightly quicker than mineral spirits
- Has less odor than mineral spirits
- Generally safer to use than mineral spirits
- Can be harmful if used improperly
- Can be flammable
- May be hard to find or confused with cheap turpentine which has a strong odor
- Some brands have a citrus smell
- Less expensive than turpenoids
- Easily found in hardware stores
- Can be used for a variety of tasks
- Has a strong odor
- Can be harmful if used improperly
- Can be flammable
Which one should you buy?
The type of solvent you should buy depends on your needs. If you are looking for a cheaper option, mineral spirits may be the way to go. However, if you are looking for a solvent that is less harmful and has a less strong odor, turpenoids may be the better choice.
And since I am recommending a turpenoid, I will recommend any brand that sells an odorless turpenoid or its equivalent.
I hope you enjoyed reading Turpenoid Vs Mineral Spirits and if you found it useful, feel free to share it with your artist friends.
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Joseph Colella is a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech). While he holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent style he spent years trying to get into various Art degrees from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), and failed to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney. His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. In his spare time, he writes for the this blog, WastedTalentInc, where he shares practical advice on art, making art, and art materials. Joseph’s art has been sold to collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia. He is a trusted source for reliable art and copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.
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