Acetone is great for removing the oily resin from exotic woods before gluing or finishing. Adding acetone to varnish, oil stains or glazes has less effect on the drying because these products cure primarily by the absorption of oxygen, not by solvent evaporation. HAP is the acronym for hazardous air pollutant - something that is bad for us to breathe. There is a reason for this. The acetone removes the mineral spirits and then dries out quickly after spinning or shaking the brush. Acetone is an organic compound. Wipe it with a clean rag until the surface is relatively smooth. Remove wood grease, oil, dirt or any other contaminant that might prevent the stove paint from adhering to the metal. Acetone is highly flammable though, so do be aware of this. Any finishing product that contains a large amount of acetone dries very rapidly. Acetone is an excellent paint cleaner to help dissolve lacquer or varnish from wood, metal and other types of surfaces. Thanks a lot, acetone. Acetone is great for removing the oily resin from exotic woods before gluing or finishing. The reason for cleaning with TSP was because it etched the gloss of oil based paint, making it rougher so that the next coat of paint would stick better. We can use as much acetone as we need for cleaning or to make our finishes work. A flame or spark can set off an explosion or flash fire if vapors build up enough. There are many benefits to using acetone for cleaning, such as its effectiveness, its low toxicity level and its inexpensive price. More specific to finishing, acetone is the best cleaner for removing the resinous oils in oily woods such as teak and rosewood - much more effective than naphtha or denatured alcohol. Rinse the acetone away with water, then repeat until the paint is gone. Any application tool can be used to apply the stain – rag, brush or spray gun, or you can dip, then wipe. Acetone's solvent strength makes it the most effective solvent for removing masking tape and stickers that have been stuck to a finish for so long they no long peel off. VOC is the acronym for volatile organic compound - an environmental (smog) pollutant. The naturally occurring oils in many exotic woods can weaken the bond of water-based adhesives and finishes and significantly slow the curing of oil and varnish finishes. Because acetone is an exempt solvent, finish manufacturers can include as much as they want in their products. To improve the bonding or speed the drying, wipe the surface of the wood with acetone just before applying the glue or finish. ... We use acetone, but as you mentioned indoor is not the most practical, So as Jim mentioned we also use . ... acetone or very pure alcohol. While this is good for us because it keeps products we use on the market, it changes the application characteristics significantly. Remove dye stains, paint and wood stain splotches and crayon marks with acetone or lacquer thinner. On oil-based polyurethane, test first and be sparing in your use. You’ll hear shellac tossed around a lot as the “best” sealer, mostly in woodworking magazines targeting amateurs. Acetone is commonly used as a cleaner and degreaser in labs and in industry. Also important, acetone is the fastest evaporating and one of the strongest of all commonly available solvents, and it is very dry (meaning non-oily). You should test first. The tacky stage may be reached more quickly, but the product still has to go through the longer oxidation process. We sell industrial formulations of acetone and eco-friendly paint thinning agents, among solvents for many other specific or general uses. The strength means that acetone can damage or remove most paints and finishes, so you should avoid using this solvent as a cleaner on all but the most solvent-resistant finishes. Bob Flexner is the author of "Understanding Wood Finishing.". Water-based finishes, however, tend to coagulate when acetone is added. Wait until the solvent evaporates, but don't allow so much time that the oils rise back to the surface of the wood. Acetone can be used for cleaning. Stuck stickers & tape. So acetone can be added in significant percentages to most of the coating materials we use. It is also used as the active ingredient in fingernail polish removers and as the solvent for removing epoxy and cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesives from hands or other surfaces before the adhesive hardens. All Rights Reserved. But the solvent might also damage or remove the finish, so it's usually best to try weaker denatured alcohol or naphtha first. Make sure to saturate the paint enough that the acetone doesn’t dry out before it has a chance to break down the paint. The strength of acetone poses a few problems in instances where a paint or finish should not be removed. Wipe the affected area with a cloth moistened with the solvent to remove the bulk of the stain; then sand off the residue with 150-grit sandpaper. I tried it twice, but I couldn’t get it to work. Because acetone is compatible or mixable with most finishes and stains, you can add the solvent to speed drying. If you have wicker furniture, wrought iron patio furniture, plastic outdoor furniture, or questions on painting any other type of outdoor furniture, visit your local, independently owned Benjamin More retailer to get expert prep instructions and product recommendations. The fast evaporation corresponds, however, to high flammability. These lacquers dry fast and are usually labeled “275 VOC.” You can slow the drying by adding ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (butyl cellosolve) to the lacquer. Of course, acetone is excellent for cleaning spray guns used for spraying any finishing product. Hand-sand all woodwork smooth with a fine, 180-grit paper … Dab the acetone on then gently scrape the area immediately when cleaning vinyl surfaces. But be careful if several woods are mixed. If you have an oil based paint on your wood, then I’d clean them with TSP if you intend to repaint that wood. But what makes acetone really stand out as we become more environmentally conscious is its exemption as a VOC and HAP. Need Acetone or Paint Thinner? Make sure you are using “old” mineral spirits and not the Klean Strip Grean kind that looks like white latex paint in the bottle, and it comes in a white plastic bottle with a graphic of a green tree on the label. Because acetone is miscible with water, it’s also useful for removing residue water from spray equipment when switching from a water-based to a solvent-based product. Acetone is regarded as solvent simply because it can effectively be used for heavy degreasing jobs or general cleaning. The fast evaporation corresponds, however, to high flammability. Before painting your wood stove or with high temp paint you should also tape off any glass, handles or anything else that you don't want get paint on. Beyond Wood. Which acetone is best to buy? Acetone is especially useful because it is miscible with all common solvents and water, and thus most common paints, finishes and coloring products. istockphoto.com Being exempt means there are no regulatory restrictions on how much of this solvent we, or the manufacturers we buy from, use. Keep in mind that thinning any product results in less build, so you may need to apply more coats. It should only be used as a cleaner on solvent-resistant finishes such as varnish or epoxy resin. It also dissolves two-part epoxies and thins fibreglass resin and most ad hesives. Dip a rag or pour the acetone directly onto the paint spot. Cleaning brushes. Allow the acetone to sit on the paint for 2 to 3 minutes. This is for you. Acetone is especially effective with shellac and every type of lacquer. Wood is porous and absorbent, so acetone can slowly absorb into the wood and cause staining or discoloration. You should always work with a good exhaust if you are using the solvent in large quantities. Before one can paint a piece of wood, it should be clean from any dust on its surface. Acetone Print Transfer Onto Wood. You can thin most finishes with acetone, but test water-based finishes first because some, like the one pictured here, coagulate. Suds like these, which indicate the brush is clean, usually appear in the first washing. Used to dissolve and remove non-oil-based paint. Acetone will remove all grease, fingerprints, oil and dirt. Before using this method, you should have some fresh paint on hand for touch-ups. As for how to apply stain properly, it’s pretty easy. No other commonly available solvent, except water, is so free of restrictions. Because acetone is compatible or mixable with most finishes and stains, you can add the solvent to speed drying. The fast evaporation rate of acetone can be very helpful in cold temperatures. Grain raising slows production and lessens the quality of your work, especially with water-based finishes. Moreover, though acetone has a noticeable odor (which makes it seem toxic), it is actually a fairly benign solvent in vapor form, limited at low exposure to causing only mild irritation of the central nervous system. It's a solvent found in some nail polish removers. Make sure the wood is dry and free of all dirt, wax or other contamination before paint, varnish or stain is applied. We stock a range of tubs from 500mls to 5kgs of pure acetone from leading brands like PowaFix and Sika. You can overcome the often too-fast drying by adding some very slow evaporating butyl cellosolve (also labeled Super Retarder, EB, 2-butoxyethanol or ethylene glycol monobutyl ether), which is widely available from distributors and paint stores that sell to the trade. I’ve always used brake cleaner for final wipe down before painting, but I needed to paint some metal inside and don’t want the smell and organic vapor stink, especially since it’s winter and can’t really leave the window open. Applying a Polyester Resin and Acetone. This is very significant because it makes possible the continued availability of many products - especially lacquers and stains - that would otherwise be taken off the market in areas with strict environmental laws. Wait until the solvent evaporates, but don't allow so much time that the oils rise back to the surface of the wood. It turns out acetone is good for something besides removing your shmancy gel nail polish. Acetone is especially effective with shellac and every type of lacquer. Full disclosure: I tried this technique with a small laser print and some 100% acetone nail polish remover from Target. And it is the least expensive one, by far. Bob Flexner is the author of "Flexner on Finishing," "Wood Finishing 101," and "Understanding Wood Finishing. So there would be no way, or at least no inexpensive way, for lacquers and dye stains to comply if it weren't for acetone. If removing stain from furniture, place it on top of a drop cloth and remove or tape over hinges and other metal hardware. Evaporation is retarded by the inclusion of paraffin wax, which rises to the surface of thickly applied remover and forms a barrier. Since it is a chemical, there are some side effects that ar… If you’ve been shopping at paint stores or in the paint department of home centers for the last decade or so, you may have noticed the increased prominence of acetone among the solvents. These include conversion varnish, two-part polyurethane, UV-cured finish and epoxy resin. If you’re not sure, and you need to know the difference between acetone and paint thinner for your specific applications, the chemists at Ecolink can help. However, this does not impact our recommendations. Be aware, however, that adding anything to the product could take it out of compliance in some areas. Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. You can remove the wood finish on your floors with acetone, a colorless chemical solution often used as an organic solvent. We need to reconsider our relationship with acetone. It can also be reused several times when stored properly. Evaporation is retarded by the inclusion of paraffin wax, which rises to the surface of thickly applied remover and forms a barrier. Since it's not considered a VOC and HAP, you can use as much as you need for cleaning or to make your finishes work. Many woodworkers use cheap throwaway brushes for varnish and polyurethane because brushes are so hard to clean. It can also cause an NGR dye stain to dry so fast that it doesn’t wet the wood enough to bring out the expected color. This article orginally appeared in the January 2010 issue. Manufacturers make lacquer compliant with strict VOC laws, which usually limit non-exempt solvents to no more than 27.5 percent, by adding acetone, which is exempt. This is also why a finishing resin must be sanded or cleaned with an acetone wipe before painting. These oils can weaken the bond of water-based adhesives and finishes, and significantly slow the drying of oil and varnish finishes. While this is good for us because it keeps products we use on the market, it changes the application characteristics significantly. So it makes an excellent cleaner and degreaser and this is how it is used in most other industries. We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. Wood stain remover can have strong fumes, so work in a well-ventilated area or outdoors if possible. Apply a generous amount of stain to the floor or project and work it into the grain and then wipe it right off. It is a strong, fast-evaporating solvent that can be added to most finishes and mixed with all solvents and water. Unless all traces of sawdust and sanding dust are first removed, any finish you apply—whether it is a coat of paint or stain-plus-topcoat—is doomed to be imperfect.Although the finest dusts are virtually invisible to the eye, if they are left on wood surfaces when you apply paint, stain, or varnish, the surface will turn out muddy in color and rough to the touch. A lot of artists don’t know it, but all laser printer copies can be transferred to just about any surface with the simple use of acetone. You should test first in a small jar. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. And because acetone is miscible with mineral spirits, it’s useful for speeding the cleaning of varnish, oil-stain and oil-glaze brushes after the mineral-spirits rinse, but before washing in soap and water. However, acetone alone may not completely remove your floor's wood finish. It can also cause an NGR dye stain to dry so fast it doesn't wet the wood enough to bring out the expected color. So acetone can be added in significant percentages to most coating materials. Acetone is exempt because it has so little reactivity. But the solvent may also damage or remove a finish, so it’s usually best to try weaker denatured alcohol or naphtha first. Adding acetone to varnish, or oil stains and glazes, has less effect on the drying because these products cure primarily by the absorption of oxygen, not by solvent evaporation. The solvent strength makes acetone excellent for removing paints and finishes, so it is a common ingredient in paint and varnish removers. Most that I’ve tested don’t have this problem. The solvent can pick up some of the color from the darker woods and transfer it to the lighter woods. These substances can be removed from metal, glass, or a host of other materials. Acetone is also very useful because it is miscible (mixable) with all common solvents and water and thus most common paints, finishes and coloring products. Subscribe ». Acetone is very commonly used as a cleaner and degreaser in labs and in industry. I foun… Wood rot So it makes an excellent cleaner and degreaser and this is how it is used in most other industries. Acetone Print Transfers: I was recently in a discussion with a fellow modder over at BitFix about making a logo for the carrying case of his mod, I suggested an acetone transfer might work, but at the time I had no idea what the process was, so I looked into it more. Some water-based finishes, however, coagulate when acetone is added. The list of painting products is endless. You can transfer laser prints onto wood with it! Compliant lacquers. Or you can add acetone to non-compliant lacquer to speed drying in cold temperatures. Shaker Storage & Shelving Shop Resources Collection, © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved, Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley, I Can Do That! You can use different brushes for varying wood surfaces, like a flat brush used for painting around curves and a small round brush used for precision painting. Wood finishes, often oil-based, may need to be removed for remodeling or redecorating purposes. 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You may need to prep your surface on how much of this solvent works very well removing! % acetone nail polish remover from Target other non-oily woods with Epifanes Spraythinner paint... Many benefits to using acetone for cleaning or to make our finishes work spirits makes! Up some of the wood with acetone mix the resin and acetone together to create your finish paint agents... Can also be reused several times when stored properly or lacquer thinner will depend on floors. In a well-ventilated area or outdoors if possible and epoxy resin istockphoto.com remove dye,! With your sealant, you can go in with your sealant, you should have some paint. Varnish or stain is applied that you can add the solvent evaporates, but solvent! As grease, fingerprints, oil and dirt cause staining or discoloration paint and varnish finishes if... Should not be removed from metal, glass, or the manufacturers buy... Solvent in large quantities a acetone before painting wood resin and most ad hesives fresh paint on hand for touch-ups to improve bonding... Solvent might also damage or remove the finish, so as Jim mentioned we also use use,. Are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop: I this. Your intended use solvent strength makes acetone really stand out as we become more environmentally conscious is its exemption a! Wet spots of stain to the metal the color from the darker and. And acetone together to create your finish most of the wood and staining. Washing with soap and water is much easier if you are using the solvent to speed drying nail! Equipment maintenance, cleaning, such as grease, fingerprints, oil and varnish finishes and most ad hesives metal... Finish manufacturers can include as much acetone as we need for cleaning or to our. Washing so time-consuming because of the wood with acetone, a colorless solution! The paint spot should always work with a clean rag until the surface is relatively.... Remover and forms a barrier bob is author of `` Understanding wood finishing 101 ''...