Home Decorating Tips

Lacquer Thinner 101

everything you need to know about lacquer thinner

Home Decorating Tips

Lacquer Thinner 101

Posted on September 11, 2015

A can of lacquer thinner is probably one of the most reliable items that people who like DIY projects  ought to have in their kits. Best known for cleaning brushes and wiping off paint drips and splashes, thinners are created primarily for making paint jobs more convenient. As its name suggests, lacquer thinner effectively reduces or thins out the consistency of varnishes, lacquers and oil-based paints for easier application, as well as improved gloss. This particular type of solvent may also be used to smooth surfaces.


Using lacquer thinner for your paint project appears easy, whether it is adjusting your paint’s thickness and gloss or cleaning up your equipment. And it is! The important thing to keep in mind is to use the right amount of thinner for the type of consistency and gloss you’re going for. Always refer to your brand’s instructions and recommended mixing proportions for best results.


Safety is an important concern with thinners in general. Because lacquer thinner is essentially a mixture of solvents and harmful chemicals such as acetone, ketone, and aromatics, one small drop on your skin may cause burns and rashes. Take the extra step in using the item safely.

  • Use appropriate protective gear such as protective gloves and goggles.
  • Make sure that the area you are using the product in is well-ventilated.
  • In case of skin or eye contact, wash thoroughly with water and immediately contact a physician.
  • Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors.
  • Because thinners are flammable, better to keep the product away from heat and open flames.
  • Check your equipment and do patch tests before using your product on surfaces. Lacquer thinners are known to damage certain.


Professionals advise keeping your can of lacquer thinner in a cool, dry and ventilated place. Don’t just pour your leftover thinner down the drain! Did you know that leftover thinner may be recycled for a few more uses? Do right by your housemates and by your community by seeing to it that your thinner is properly disposed of.

It is important to note that lacquer thinner is not for all types of paints. In fact, there is no one product for all kinds of paint. While water may be enough for latex-based paints, its best to use an acrylic thinner for acrylic paint, and paint thinner for oil-based paints.

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