Solvent in Paint: All You Need to Know About

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For most of the people, paint is the colour on walls, timber, metal, bricks or outside/inside surfaces of their house. Furthermore, from the layman’s point of view paint is colour of their car, boat, or any other object/elements in routine life. Solvent is one of the major components of paint. They are the oils and added to the paint to make paint thin. They are also known as thinners.

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Courtesy - 123rf

Solvents or thinners are volatile substances, added to the paint for following reasons:

  • It makes the application of paint easy, smooth and spreading evenly.
  • It is added to the paint to get the desired consistency
  • Solvent or thinner helps the paint in penetrating through the porous surface. So they increase the spreading power of paint.
  • Solvent or thinner quickly gets evaporate during drying of the film.

The common thinning agents used are petroleum, spirit, naphtha & turpentine oil. Among them, spirits of turpentine are the most common thinner used in practice. Turpentine is inflammable and evaporates rapidly consequently dries the oil quickly.

Also Read: Basic Components of Paint (This question will give you overview of what are the raw materials used to make paint ready to apply to your house)

Use of a thinner in paint reduces the protective value of the coating, flattens colours & lessens the gloss of the linseed oil as the spirits evaporate leaving an excess of colour not mixed with the oil.

A thinner is not generally used in finishing coats on exposed surfaces as it has a tendency to impair the firmness of the paint, but if the surface is to be exposed to the sun, turpentine is added to reduce the possibility of blistering defect in paint.

Must Read: What is Blistering? (The link will give you overview of blistering defect of paint)

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