Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner | Know the Differences

This blog will uncover the differences between paint thinner and mineral spirits. After reading the blog, you will get a better understanding of what mineral spirit and paint thinner are. Once you have all the information, then you can make the right decision and select the right chemical which suits your need.

Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner
Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner

Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner

The following are the differences between paint thinner and mineral spirits:


Paint thinner is composed of more hydrocarbons as compared to the mineral spirit, therefore, paint thinner has a stronger smell than mineral spirit. It is much easier to use mineral spirits as it has a lower odour.

It is recommended that you use paint thinner carefully as it can be harmful if you inhale too much. Paint thinner contains various solvents and it is advised to use it in a well-ventilated room. However, you will not have to take many precautions while using the mineral spirit.

Cost Of The Product

Another difference between mineral spirit and paint thinner is the cost of the product. Mineral spirit is less harmful than paint thinner and many people choose it to use. This is one of the reasons why the cost of mineral spirit is two times higher than that of paint thinner.


Both mineral spirits and paint thinners are used to varnish surfaces and remove oil-based paint. However, the mineral spirit is widely used by the people as it is safer to use and works effectively.

Paint thinner is more corrosive than the mineral spirit. While using the paint thinner, an individual can deteriorate the painting surface while you will not encounter such experience using the mineral spirit. Many people prefer mineral spirits to use as it has the ability to clean quickly and is a more effective solvent to use.


The mineral spirit has lower toxicity and higher purity and these reasons make it more convenient to use than a paint thinner. Mineral spirit is used by construction workers, nail makers, wood workshops and paint artists as it is less toxic to use. Whereas, a paint thinner is suitable for the use of spot treatment. Only a paint thinner can be used for removing spray paints and for diluting. The mineral spirit is stickier than a paint thinner as it contains more of petroleum property than a paint thinner. The mineral spirit is used for lubricating several things.

Both the chemicals have a similar application, but there are some differences between the mineral spirit and paint thinner you should consider when selecting any one. It is highly recommended that you thoroughly understand the differences between them as it will help you make the right choice for any purpose you use.

Accidents Which Can Occur When We Use A Mineral Spirit And Paint Thinner?

Below is the list of some accidents which can occur when we use a mineral spirit or a paint thinner:

Skin Irritation

As you are well aware that both the types of chemicals are composed of hydrocarbons. While using the chemicals, you might have some redness and irritation. So, it is advisable to use it very carefully.

Difficulty In Breathing

Both the chemicals have a poisonous and strong composition of hydrocarbon, so it might get difficult to breathe. When you inhale a large number of vapours of these chemicals, you can get pain in the throat and stomach.

Ingestion Exposure Effect

Both the chemicals should be used carefully as in case you swallow these chemicals, you may get muscle twitches, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, unconsciousness or even death. It is recommended that you read all the instructions on the packaging before using it.

Above are some side effects which can happen if not used the mineral spirits and paint thinner carefully. You should take all the safety precautions and use protection methods when using mineral spirits and paint thinner. Avoid using it in front of children and pregnant women. Don’t forget to use the protective tools such as masks, gloves, shoes and glasses.

Both the chemicals are used in the industrial sector and have chloroform and benzene. Mineral spirits and paint thinner can damage the internal organs and cause skin allergies if you not used rightly. In case if any accident occurs or you face any problem, then it is highly suggested that you consult a doctor and take first aid measures or go to the hospital if necessary.  Before discharging boxes of the chemicals which are used up, it will be the right thing to consult with the environment specialist or a local authority.

Where Can You Buy A Mineral Spirits And A Paint Thinner?

It is very crucial that you consider where do you supply or distribute mineral spirits and paint thinner. It is recommended that you buy from an authorized company or a chemical centre. By purchasing from an authorised company, you will be advised on how to use the chemicals and tell you the quantity to be used. You can get the chemicals at every store near you, but purchasing safe chemicals is important.

Hope that after reading the blog, you are well aware of the differences between mineral spirits and paint thinner. All the users should understand the benefits and its limitations and take all the necessary precautions. Both the mineral spirits and paint thinner are effective solvents and are used widely by people. Many of us are confused when selecting which chemical should we buy, but it should be noted that we should consider a few important factors such as its cost, use and effectiveness while buying it.

I will suggest that you buy mineral spirits as it is more effective and safer to use than paint thinner. It is proven to be less harmful as compared to paint thinner. However, it is still recommended that you see all the factors and see what suits your need. Just ensure that

when working with the mineral spirit or paint thinner you take utmost caution.

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