How To Use Mineral Spirits To Remove Paint

How To Use Mineral Spirits To Remove Paint

When we paint something, we want to get it as perfect as possible. While that may seem like a simple task, there are many reasons why people may see imperfections in the end result. There are ways you can reduce the chances of this happening when you’re ready to paint something again. One way is by using mineral spirits when you’re finished with a project. These spirits, which are also known as thinners, can be used to remove paint from your workspace, tools, and anything else that needs to be cleaned up after completing a painting project. Read on to learn more about how mineral spirits can help you clean up after painting and what they are used for in general.

How To Use Mineral Spirits To Remove Paint?

Identify the Type of Paint and Its Coating

When you start removing paint, you’ll want to know what type you’re dealing with. This will help you adjust the number of mineral spirits you use based on the amount of time you have and the surface you’re working on. Oil-based paints are the easiest paints to remove, but they are also the most toxic. Oil-based paints are the type of paint that you would typically use on hardwood floors. These paints are made with oils and resins and are highly toxic. Mineral spirits are the best solvent for removing oil-based paints. Topcoats are a type of water-based or latex paint that is not as toxic or difficult to remove as oil-based paints. However, you still need to be careful when removing them because they do contain degreasing agents that can be harmful.

Select the Mineral Spirits You’ll Use

When you’re ready to remove paint, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the correct solvent for the job. Mineral spirits are the best solvent for removing oil-based paints, but water-based paints are more difficult to remove with mineral spirits alone. Mineral spirits are made from petroleum distillates, which makes them great at stripping substances that contain oils, fats, and resins. This makes them an ideal solvent for removing oil-based paints. Water-based paints contain latex, which is water-soluble. To remove this type of paint, you’ll need to use a paint solvent.

Shake the Can of Mineral Spirits and the Stain Together

If you’re removing an oil-based paint, it’s a good idea to use warm mineral spirits on cold stains. This will speed up the process by allowing the solvent to penetrate the stain quicker and make your job easier. Once you’ve shaken the can of mineral spirits for about 30 seconds, you can start applying it to your stain. Use a clean rag or brush to apply the solvent to the stain. You don’t want to saturate the stain; you just need enough solvent to be able to reach the paint under the stain. If you’re removing a water-based paint, you’ll want to use cold mineral spirits to avoid it swelling up and becoming a bigger problem.

Scrub With a Brush or Rag

When you’ve applied mineral spirits to your stain, you’ll want to let it sit for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to let it sit for too long because it could damage the surface underneath or cause blisters on your skin. Once you’ve let the solvent sit for a few minutes, you can use your brush or rag to scrub it into the paint. A stiff-bristled brush will work best on a solid stain, while a rag or scrubber will work better on a wet stain. You don’t need to scrub the paint off. You just need to break it up enough to be able to remove it with a rag or paper towels. If you’ve accidentally gotten some mineral spirits on your skin, you’ll want to wash it off right away. Mineral spirits don’t have the same chemical makeup as paint thinner, but they are still flammable, evaporate quickly, and can cause skin irritation.

Neutralize and Clean Up

Once your stain is gone, you’ll want to make sure you neutralize the mineral spirits and clean up the mess. To neutralize the mineral spirits, you can use baking soda or a combination of baking soda and table salt. Just sprinkle the baking soda or table salt on the stain and pour mineral spirits over the top of it. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub it into the stain. When you’ve finished cleaning up and neutralizing the mineral spirits, you can use warm water and soap to clean up your workspace. Mineral spirits are flammable and evaporate quickly, so you don’t want to leave them around for too long. You should also avoid using mineral spirits indoors because they are toxic and can cause breathing problems.

Why Are Mineral Spirits Used When Painting?

Solvent Basics

In its most basic form, a solvent is a liquid solution that dissolves other substances. The solvent itself will not change, while the dissolved substance (known as the solute) will often change form. When it comes to painting, the solvent is a mix of liquid and volatile oils. Thus, paint solvents are typically made with a blend of petroleum-based oils, such as mineral spirits, turpentine, or paint thinner. When paint meets a surface, the solvent is what allows it to be applied to the surface.

The versatility of Mineral Spirits

When choosing a painting medium, you want to make sure it’s a one-size-fits-all type of solution. Mineral spirits are a highly versatile paintbrush choice because they work well with most types of paint, including latex, acrylic, and oil-based paints. Not all paint mediums can boast the same versatility. When it comes to latex paint, you typically have to use a water-based medium like water, while oil-based paint requires a solvent, like mineral spirits. While versatility is a key advantage of mineral spirits, it’s important to note that each paint type has its own recommended solvent. For example, when using latex paint, you should use either water or mineral spirits as your paint medium. However, when it comes to oil-based paints, you’ll need to choose mineral spirits or turpentine.

Affordable Painting Option

When weighing the cost benefits of different paint mediums, it’s important to remember that every project is unique. While one medium might be more expensive than another in certain situations, it might be cheaper in others. Therefore, you’ll want to consider all the factors when calculating the cost of your painting project. When it comes to mineral spirits, the price typically falls somewhere in the middle, making it an affordable option for your painting project. For instance, water-based paints typically cost less than one dollar per ounce, while oil-based paints and turpentine can cost up to three dollars per ounce. When it comes to latex paint, you should expect to pay between three to six dollars per gallon. Mineral spirits, however, typically cost less than three dollars per gallon.

Which Paints Can Be Removed With Mineral Spirits?

  • This is a tricky question since not all paints can be removed with mineral spirits. However, paints that are solvent-based are more likely to be removed with mineral spirits. 
  • Solvent-based paints include latex, acrylic, and oil paints. Mineral spirits can be used to remove latex paint, but you can’t use them to remove oil paint. If you try, the mineral spirits will dissolve the oil paint, and it will be impossible to get rid of. Mineral spirits can be used to remove latex paint and acrylic paint, but you should use them on the walls and floors. 
  • You should not use them on wood when you are removing paint with mineral spirits, as it will cause damage to the wood.

When To Use Mineral Spirits?

  • If you don’t know what paints you’re working with, start with mineral spirits before trying anything else. If mineral spirits don’t work, all you have lost is some mineral spirits and some time. 
  • Mineral spirits can be used to get rid of paint on a wide variety of surfaces, including walls, floors, wood, and even your tools. 
  • Tools such as paintbrushes and rollers can be cleaned with mineral spirits, but make sure you let them fully dry before using them again. Walls, floors, and other items can be wiped down with mineral spirits once they have dried.

Things To Know Before Using Mineral Spirits

  • Wear a respirator when working with mineral spirits, as they can be harmful to your health if you breathe in too much of them. Mineral spirits and paint thinner are both flammable, so watch out for open flames when you’re cleaning up with these products. 
  • Mineral spirits evaporate quickly, so use a clean cloth each time you clean something and try to reuse the same cloth as much as possible. Once the paint has been dissolved and you have cleaned up the area thoroughly with mineral spirits, you’ll need to seal the surface. 
  • This will prevent the paint from seeping through the wall and staining the other side. Mineral spirits are great for removing leftover paint from a wall or work surface, but they can also be used for much more.
  • Mineral spirits can be used as a cleaning solvent when you are done painting. You can also use it to clean your paint brushes, rollers, and other painting accessories.


When you want to know how to use mineral spirits to remove paint, you first need to understand what the solvent does. Mineral spirits can be used to clean paint off the ground, tools, and other surfaces. They can also be used to remove paint from a concrete or asphalt driveway. Once you understand how to use mineral spirits to remove paint, you can easily complete the task.