Best Paint Thinners of 2023: Top Picks

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Sunnyside Paint Thinner
EDITOR’S PICK
Sunnyside Paint Thinner
  • Brand: SunnySide
  • Size: Quart
  • Color: ‎Pure Odorless Paint Thinner
  • Material ‎: Oil based
  • Item Weight: ‎0.01 ounces
Airbrush Flow Improver
PREMIUM PICK
Airbrush Flow Improver
  • Brand: IMPRESA
  • Package Information: Bottle,Cup
  • Paint Type: Acrylic
  • Item Volume: 250 Milliliters
  • Item Weight: 10.1 ounces
Special Brushing Thinner
BUDGET PICK
Special Brushing Thinner
  • Brand: TotalBoat
  • Size: 1 Gallon (Pack of 1)
  • Item Volume: 1 Gallons
  • Unit Count: 128.0 Fl Oz
  • Item Form: Liquid
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Paint thinners are essential tools for those looking to achieve the perfect finish in painting projects. They come in handy for diluting paints, cleaning brushes, and removing unwanted paint stains from surfaces.

Choosing a suitable paint thinner depends primarily on the type of paint being used, as well as the desired consistency and drying time.

After extensive research and testing, we’ve compiled a list of the best paint thinners available on the market to ensure a smooth and beautiful finish for your painting projects.

Paint Thinner

Best Paint Thinners

In the following list, you’ll find the top paint thinners available on the market today. These products have been selected based on their quality, performance, and customer satisfaction.

Pure Odorless Paint Thinner

Sunnyside

This paint thinner is an excellent choice for those wanting an odorless, effective, and reliable solution for thinning and cleaning oil-based paints.

Key Features:

  • Odorless formula for indoor use
  • Efficiently thins oil-based paints, primers, varnishes, and stains
  • Works well as a cleaner for brushes and equipment
  • Suitable for sensitive environments
  • Versatile and effective for oil-based products

Pros

  • Odorless formula perfect for indoor use
  • Efficiently thins oil-based paints, primers, varnishes, and stains
  • Works well as a cleaner for brushes and equipment

Cons

  • Not suitable for use with latex paint or water-based coatings
  • Not for sale in California and other VOC-restricted areas
  • Quantity may be insufficient for large projects

The Sunnyside 70532 Pure Odorless Paint Thinner is a game-changer for those who prefer a completely odorless paint thinner. Its unique formula not only effectively thins and blends well into oil-based paints, stains, and varnishes but is also an excellent cleaner for brushes and equipment.

One of the primary advantages of this product is its odorless nature. It is ideal for use in indoor spaces, especially in sensitive environments like hospitals, nursing homes, or homes with children and pets.

Related Article: What Does Paint Thinner Smell Like?

No longer do you have to worry about the strong smells typically associated with paint thinners, as this product’s odorless formula removes that concern?

However, it’s essential to note that this paint thinner is not suitable for use with latex paint or water-based coatings. It is specifically designed for oil-based products, so if you intend to use it with water-based paints, it won’t be as effective.

In conclusion, the Sunnyside 70532 Pure Odorless Paint Thinner is an excellent, versatile choice for those who need an odorless paint thinner and brush cleaner for oil-based products.

U.S. Art Supply Pint Airbrush Thinner

Airbrush

A suitable choice for acrylic paint thinning with excellent usability and results without compromising paint quality.

Key Features:

  • Effective for thinning acrylic paints
  • Improves color flow with smaller-tipped airbrushes
  • Preserves paint quality with acrylic-based binders

Pros

  • This acrylic paint effectively
  • Improves color flow with smaller tipped airbrushes
  • Preserves paint quality

Cons

  • May receive multiple smaller bottles instead of one 4-ounce bottle
  • Nozzle design can cause spills
  • Could alter some paint colors slightly

In my recent experience using the U.S. Art Supply 4-ounce Airbrush Thinner, I found it to be highly effective in thinning a variety of acrylic paints. The product’s airbrush reducer and extender base make it perfect for both Acrylic Pouring Art Paint and airbrushing fine-line detailed work.

The thinner is uniquely designed to increase color transparency and improve color flow, especially when using smaller-tipped airbrushes. One of its standout features is the inclusion of acrylic-based binders that ensure your paint quality remains intact.

However, it’s important to note that although the product is advertised as a single 4-ounce bottle, some users reported receiving four smaller 1-ounce bottles instead. The nozzle design can also result in spillage when pouring the thinner into the paint.

A few users noticed slight alterations to their paint colors after using the product, though generally speaking, the impact on color vibrancy is minimal.

Overall, the U.S. Art Supply 4-Ounce Pint Airbrush Thinner is a reliable and effective choice for those looking to thin their acrylic paints without sacrificing quality. Its ability to improve color flow and transparency in various acrylic paint applications makes it a valuable asset for any artist.

Special Brushing Thinner

Total Boat

The TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner 100 is an excellent choice for those who want to improve paint flow and extend workability in warm weather conditions.

Key Features:

  • Enhances flow for solvent-based paint and primer
  • Prolongs workability in warm weather due to slower drying
  • Can be used to clean painting tools and equipment
  • Specifically designed for use with TotalBoat marine paints and primers

Pros

  • Enhances flow for solvent-based paint and primer application
  • Prolongs workability in warm weather due to slower drying properties
  • Can be used to clean painting tools and equipment

Cons

  • Limited to TotalBoat marine paints and primers
  • Not suitable for TotalProtect Barrier Coat Primer or Aluminum Boat Carrier Coat
  • Only available in quart and gallon sizes

The TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner 100 is designed specifically for use with TotalBoat marine paints and primers, improving the flow of solvent-based paints when applied by brush or roller.

Its slower drying properties help preserve the wet edge in warm weather conditions, allowing for a smoother and more even paint job.

Its performance is comparable to other paint thinners on the market, such as Interlux Brushing Liquid 333 and Pettit paint thinners.

However, it is essential to note that the Thinner 100 is not suitable for use with TotalProtect Barrier Coat Primer or Aluminum Boat Carrier Coat, and we recommend using TotalBoat Epoxy Thinner 200 for these specific products.

Overall, the TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner 100 is a reliable choice for those working with TotalBoat paints and primers, offering improved paint flow and a longer working window in warmer weather conditions.

IMPRESA Airbrush Flow Improver

Flow Improver

The IMPRESA Airbrush Flow Improver is an excellent choice for artists and hobbyists, due to its improved airbrush performance and reduced clogging.

Key Features:

  • Enhances paint flow without compromising quality
  • Economical with long-lasting effects (8oz bottle)
  • Suitable for beginners and professionals
  • Prevents clogging in airbrush applications
  • Made in the USA

Pros

  • Enhances paint flow without compromising quality
  • Economical choice with long-lasting effects
  • Suitable for beginners and professionals

Cons

  • May not be ideal for all paint types
  • Not the best for quick-drying projects
  • Limited to airbrush applications

The IMPRESA Airbrush Flow Improver is an ideal paint thinner for those who engage in lengthy airbrushing sessions.

Mixing one to two drops of this acrylic medium with your preferred professional acrylic paint can significantly improve the flow and prevent clogging. Its 8oz bottle ensures you have enough to last a while, and it’s made in the USA.

Unlike other paint thinners, this product does not dilute the paint’s quality nor make it too watery. It results in a more manageable paint flow, providing a smoother finish and a more even base coat.

This acrylic slow-drying medium is an essential airbrush accessory for artists and hobbyists at all skill levels. While the IMPRESA Airbrush Flow Improver is an excellent choice for most.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best paint thinner for your project, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure you get the right product for your needs. In this guide, we’ll discuss key features and aspects to take into account while making your decision.

First, consider the type of paint you’ll be working with. Paint thinners are formulated differently for various types of paint, such as oil-based, acrylic, or latex paints. Be sure to select a paint thinner designed for the specific type of paint you’ll be using.

Safety is also an essential aspect when choosing a paint thinner. Some solvents can release toxic fumes that pose health risks. Look for products with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) levels, as they will minimize harmful emissions.

Additionally, consider the surface you’ll be applying the paint. Different paint thinners produce varying levels of glossiness and adhesion, so it’s crucial to find one that matches your desired finish. For example, some thinners may work better on wood, while others may be more suitable for metal surfaces.

Consider the drying time and consistency of the paint thinner as well. Faster drying times can be helpful for large projects or when multiple coats are needed quickly. However, slower drying times provide better control, allowing for smoother and more even brush strokes.

Finally, consider the ease of clean-up and disposal. Some paint thinners are water-soluble and can be easily cleaned with soap and water, whereas others may require a more specialized cleaning solution.

Taking all these factors into account will help you make an informed decision on the best paint thinner for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top ingredients in paint thinners?

The most common ingredients in paint thinners include mineral spirits, turpentine, acetone, naphtha, and toluene. These ingredients are typically combined in various proportions to create versatile and effective paint thinners.

Which paint thinners work best for oil paints?

For oil-based paints, you can use mineral spirits or turpentine as a thinner. Both of these options are compatible with oil paints and allow for smooth application and faster drying times.

What are the differences between cellulose and standard thinners?

Cellulose thinners are specifically formulated for cellulose-based paints, while standard thinners are designed for use with various types of paint, including oil-based and acrylic paints. Cellulose thinners evaporate quickly, making them suitable for fast-drying paints, whereas standard thinners may take longer to evaporate.

How do automotive paint thinners differ from other types?

Automotive paint thinners are designed for use with automotive paints, which typically have unique properties compared to other types of paint. These thinners may contain specific additives to enhance the performance and appearance of the paint when used on cars and other vehicles.

What are the main uses of 2K thinners compared to normal thinners?

2K thinners, also known as two-component thinners, are specially formulated for use with two-component or 2K paint systems. These paint systems consist of a basecoat and a hardener that must be mixed before application. The 2K thinner helps to ensure a consistent and smooth mixture, while also adjusting the viscosity of the paint for optimal application.

Is it safe to use alcohol as a paint thinner?

While alcohol, specifically isopropyl alcohol, can be used as a paint thinner in certain situations, it’s essential to verify that it’s compatible with the paint you are using. Alcohol may not be suitable for all paint types and may cause unintended effects. It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for thinning paint.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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