Turpentine is a yellowish fluid obtained from the sap of pine and coniferous trees. The oily fluid is also referred to as turpentine oil or turps. It primarily consists of oil and a type of resin known as rosin. Turpentine oil is obtained when the rosin is distilled with steam. It works well when used as a solvent in paints and varnishes. It also has medicinal value and is widely used in cosmetology. Turpentine offers some distinct advantages.
1. Increases Efficacy of Paints and Varnish
Turps is a useful solvent for oil paints. The paints have a thick consistency and cannot be used in this form. Turps is used to thin the paint before application. Due to its high evaporation rate, it is one of the most effective solvents for use in oil paints. When mixed with the paint, it facilitates faster drying of the paint. This makes the paint easier to use and enables a more effective application.
2. Cleaning Agent
Turpentine is an excellent cleaner for paintbrushes. If you’ve wondered how to clean your brushes effectively, this oil-based solvent will do the job for you. Most cleaning spirits can only dissolve fresh paint. However, turps goes a step further as it is able to clear slightly hardened paint from brushes. You must first clean off as much of the paint as you can from the brushes with rags or paper towels. Then dip the brushes into turpentine and swirl a few times for a thorough clean. Wash with soap and water and allow it to dry well before storage. Turps is also used with alcohol to clean and restore antique paintings.
3. Stain Remover
Turpentine oil is one of the most effective products for stain removal. Ceramic bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and fixtures in the home typically develop stains with usage. Mix turpentine and table salt in equal parts to make a highly effective cleaning aid. Apply small amounts onto the stained areas and allow about 20 minutes for it to work. You may want to scrub with a brush for increased efficacy then rinse it off with water. Re-apply if need be. The turpentine based stain remover will clear the yellowish areas and other stubborn stains.
4. Healthier Choice of a Solvent
Turps isn’t as toxic as petroleum-based solvents. This makes it a more comfortable solvent to use, especially if you suffer allergic reactions. If you frequently undertake painting work, this is an important consideration. Your choice of solvent can help make a safer work environment.
5. Works Well as a Furniture Polish
When mixed with beeswax, lavender, and soap flakes, turpentine oil makes a highly effective furniture polish. The turpentine helps to sustain the furniture in good condition for longer. It also improves the appearance of furniture due to the luster it gives. When used as part of a regular maintenance program, this polish can add to the longevity of your furniture.
Many solvents are available on the market for various household purposes. However, some of them contain petroleum distillates as part of the ingredients. Such compounds add to environmental pollution and degradation. Fortunately, turpentine is free of such ingredients.