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Efficient painting and decorating – no white spirit please

Listed under Blog, Eco, Owatrol, paint Posted Mar 11 2011

As far as I am concerned, quality comes before quantity and speed.

However, if you can program yourself to work as efficiently as possible, while maintaining the highest standards, you have arrived!

If you take a long hard look at everything you do and all the kit you use, you begin to see room for improvements. The full story behind (efficient painting and decorating)

White spirit is a waste of time and money

In USA it is known as mineral spirits, but wherever you live, there are so many reasons not to have white spirit around, even when painting with oil paint.

Better cleaners Instead of cleaning your hands with white spirit (and risking dermatitis) and smelly hands, wear latex gloves, with or without powder, and waste no time on cleaning at the end of the day.

If you don;t like gloves, use smarter, greener cleaners like * Wipes or Krudkutter etc.

Better thinners – Instead of thinning your oil paint with white spirit, which reduces the quality of your paint, add Owatrol paint conditioner – it improves the quality of your paint, gives you a longer wet edge, and leaves fewer brush marks.

When enamelling the hull of a 34 foot boat on a sunny windy day, I put a cupful of paint conditioner in a litre of paint and went for it. Great results.

For some reason, many site painters thin their oil paints with white spirit in hot weather. I used to, years ago. They say it copes with fattiness caused by the heat. However, thinning paint with white spirit accelerates the drying times, making it harder to apply, I think. So you keep adding white spirit as the paint gets harder to apply…

A more natural way to thin paint is to put the tin on a warm radiator or leave it in the sun. But the best conditioner by a mile is Owatrol known as Penetrol in USA.

You can ask Gary or Ken from Owatrol questions about their whole product range, direct from their Traditional Painter page in our Trade Corner. Alternatively, you can ask them an open question on our Owatrol forum where expert decorators will probably also chip in with their views as end users.

Better ways for cleaning brushes – Instead of cleaning brushes repeatedly with white spirit, save hours of time and gallons of thinners by storing brushes in a vapour box. The Brushmate 4 serves me well on kitchens (room for 2 brushes and a couple of small roller sleeves) or brushmate 20 for up to 20 brushes for more involved site work. And if you have to clean oil brushes, leave them to soak in eco friendly Krudkutter first.

In college we used to have a huge vat of paraffin, and cleaning out brushes was a grim exercise, but we have all moved on. I have used maybe 1 litre of white spirit in a couple of years.

The less it is used, the better for all concerned. White spirit for cleaning and thinning is unhealthy and expensive for everyone.

(As an idea, much traditional kit and materials such as dusting brushes, dust sheets, that have long been taken for granted should be binned, or at least put in a dark cupboard and only brought out on special occasions…. )

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2 comments to “Efficient painting and decorating – no white spirit please”

  1. acmasterpainter

    [watch out!] Efficient painting and decorating – no white spirit please – via #twitoaster https://traditionalpainter.com/efficient-

  2. JGDecorator

    RT @acmasterpainter: [watch out!] Efficient painting and decorating – no white spirit please – via #twitoaster https://traditionalpainter.com/efficient-

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