Why thinner is no good for surface cleaning before painting?

By Alexandros Aslamazis

Some of you may be even surprised that such a question is posed anyway. However, my eyes have seen a good deal of car sprayers using whatever solvent they find available in their body shop to treat the surface prior coating. This is why it makes no harm to repeat certain refinishing axioms one more time. Hence the main points why NOT to clean the surface with automotive paint thinners are as following:


1. The main problem with acrylic (or any other type) of thinner used in a body shop, is that it dries too fast. A good silicon cleaner or grease remover needs to stay wet on the surface long enough for floating contaminants to be picked up by a subsequent clean wipe.


2. Another problem with lacquer thinner is that it can melt dirt down. Even ones that do not show signs of melting may be softened enough to penetrate the surface.


3. Also, some thinners used for spray gun cleaning are made from recycled solvents, and many of them may contain some impurities.


Tip: Use dedicated non-woven wipes for degreasing purposes, not paper. Non-woven wipes will not leave any lint behind, unlike common paper sheets or cotton rags. Right cleaner and wipe will save you a lot of money and time for expensive reworks!




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