If you need to use lacquer thinner for a painting or staining project, you should should be aware of some tips that will make the solvent safer to work with and also make your project more productive. Here are some tips for using lacquer thinner effectively and safely.
Ventilation is Essential
The fumes from lacquer thinner can easily make you nauseous or even dizzy or lightheaded. Therefore, when working with lacquer thinner, proper ventilation is essential. If at all possible, you should mix lacquer thinner outdoors and avoid mixing the lacquer thinner inside your home. However, if you need to mix lacquer thinner inside, make sure that you open all windows in the room and also consider using an electric fan to help draw air out of the room where you're working with the lacquer thinner. To do this, simply plug in the electric fan and place it so that is facing away from the area where you're mixing the lacquer thinner. Better still, set the electric fan in the window opening so that it can draw the fumes from the lacquer thinner outside your home.
Avoid Mixing Different Types of Lacquer Thinner
All lacquer thinners are not created equal. If you need to use lacquer thinner to work with paints and stains that will be used on expensive hardwoods, avoid mixing different types of lacquer thinner. Unless you're absolutely sure that the chemical composition of the lacquer thinner is the same, mixing the two could mean undesired results. For the best results, refer to the instructions that come with your paint or stain and choose the recommended lacquer thinner for thinning.
Cover the Floor when Mixing
Whether you're mixing lacquer thinner indoors are outdoors, it is always a good idea to spread a couple of cardboard boxes on the floor underneath the area where you'll be mixing the solvent. If you inadvertently spill lacquer thinner onto the floor, it could eat away at the surface of the flooring material or even fade or damage the color of hardwood floors or carpet. Spreading that cardboard boxes on the floor prepares you in case you get clumsy while mixing the thinner.
Always Use Safety Equipment
You should never mix lacquer thinner without the proper safety equipment. So, before you begin mixing the lacquer thinner, always use protective eye goggles to protect your eyes. Lacquer thinner is a very strong chemical solvent that can easily hurt your eyes. So, avoid the possibility of lacquer thinner being splashed into your eyes with a pair of safety goggles.
You should also use rubber gloves when working with pure lacquer thinner. Although the thinner probably won't hurt your hands too much, it can dry out your hands or irritate small cuts or wounds.
Perform a Patch Test
If you'll be using lacquer thinner directly on wood, you should always apply a very small amount of the lacquer thinner in a place that is hidden or not easily visible. Once you observe the reaction between the lacquer thinner and the wood, you can then decide if you want to use the solvent on the other parts of the wood material.