Paints are generally sold as alkyd (oil based) or latex (water based). To dilute these paints or to clean the paintbrushes, what solvents must be used for each type? Be specific, and explain why each solvent is appropriate

1 Answer
Apr 4, 2018

For oil based paints: typically turpentine, odorless or low odor mineral spirits and Essential oils.
Latex (water based) :bar soap solution or dishwashing detergent.
See below:


The issue with solvents for oil based paints is their toxicity leading to headaches and alergies.
The odorless mineral spirits are a step up, this is made for petroleum distillate with chemicals added to reduce the odor, and as its rate of evaporation is slower, you do not notice the odor as easily as that of turpentine.

Essential oils ( like Lavender Spike Oil, Rosemary Oil) , basically produced from organic matter: they work on the principle -- in contact with oxygen in the air, the liquid state changes to a gaseous state, and so evaporate much like turpentine.

Be aware if the Latex is hardened and stubborn , soap water will not just do it: you might have to revert to a toxic solvent .