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post #1 of 15 Old 05-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

The msds for Interlux 333 indicates that it is comprised of 75-100% kerosene, and up to 25% naptha. Instead of paying $52/gal at a marine store for Interlux 333, 1 gal of kerosene fuel at a big box home hardware store (not Home Depot, fyi) costs only $11/gal. Has anyone used kerosene fuel to thin polyurethane brightsides (not the enamel). I'm painting the cove stripe and the weather is turning hot on the Chesapeake; Interulx recommends thinning with 333 in warm weather. Thanks! Bruce
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-25-2014
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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

As usual, try a tiny bit. maybe 1 oz, and use the kero. Paint a test spot, and see what the result is. Be ready to sand it back off.


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post #3 of 15 Old 05-25-2014
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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

I would use mineral spirits similar composition just not as oily probably cheaper too
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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

If kerosene is so much cheaper, don't you think that paint manufacturer would just use it and pocket the differece?

The naptha is there for a reason - it's a more powerful solvent.

I can tell you from experience cleaning bottom paint off of paint brushes that mineral spirits does NOT fully clean the brush. I need to use the naptha-containing brushing thinner to dissolve all the paint off the brush.

You can experiment all you want, but you'll just be reinventing the wheel. The paint manufacturer spent thousands of hours of R&D time coming up with the right composition.

If you really want to save money by making your own thinner, at the very least you should duplicate the composition that the mfg reports on the MSDS. Then you'll have to buy some naptha and blend it into the kerosene at the 25% level.


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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

I'm in a similar position, only far from a paint store where I can buy polyurethane paint thinner at any price. If the composition of a paint is oil based, then I think it's OK to use turps or kerosene, but with the polyurethane paints I'm not at all convinced that either would do the job. It has been suggested that xylene may work, but that's no more available where I've been than the right thinner, so we are going to have to wait for Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.

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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

Thanks for the responses - I didn't expect such a quick reaction. Interestingly, Interlux technical support recommended that I clean the brushes with either Interlux 333 or xylene. I used xylene. Also, fyi, xylene is the predominant component of Interlux 216, which is recommended for cold weather painting. The msds for Interlux 333 provides a range of percentages for the composition of kerosene, 75-100%, which I took to mean that sometimes they use 25% naptha and sometimes not. But that could be the wrong assumption. I imagine naptha will be difficult to locate in the retail market. I'll also check the composition of mineral spirits - which I did not consider previously. Bruce
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-26-2014
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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

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Originally Posted by NewBaySailor View Post
...I imagine naptha will be difficult to locate in the retail market...
Naptha is available at Home Depot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBaySailor View Post
...The msds for Interlux 333 provides a range of percentages for the composition of kerosene, 75-100%, which I took to mean that sometimes they use 25% naptha and sometimes not. But that could be the wrong assumption...
They "company line" is that reporting a wide range allows for variability in the product. The real reason is they don't want to give you the exact composition to prevent you from using the MSDS to formulate your own product instead of buying theirs.


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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

The real price comparison is not 333 vs. kerosene, it's 333 vs. Brightsides. How much is it going to cost you to thin the paint by 10% with 333? Next to nothing. The 333 is certainly MUCH cheaper than the paint you're thinning, so you're saving money, aren't you?

Talk about spoiling the ship for the sake of ha'porth of tar. Just use the proper stuff and move on.

I've been using the same tin of 333, and the equivalent from Pettit, for about 3 years now. It lasts forever at 10% of the paint/varnish. Just find some cheap kerosene for cleaning brushes etc.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-27-2014
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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

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Naptha is available at Home Depot.

They "company line" is that reporting a wide range allows for variability in the product. The real reason is they don't want to give you the exact composition to prevent you from using the MSDS to formulate your own product instead of buying theirs.
Yeah they have several motives at work....Napha is more volatile and often used when a quick set is desireable. Kero if used needs to be the highly refined grade. Good mineral spirits is compatible with brightsides but as sold tends to be quite variable in formula from brand to brand or even batch to batch.(often true with lacquer thinner) too much naptha tends to reduce gloss. Too much of any of them degrades the cohesion of the resin which is the basis of the paints durability. One of the nicest tricks is adding a bit of Penetrol which was used like the magik elixir by boat yard painters with the early poly paints in the early to late seventies...they often achieved mirror finishes by brush application. quite an art!

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post #10 of 15 Old 05-27-2014
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Re: Kerosene fuel as paint thinner

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Originally Posted by oysterman23 View Post
... Kero if used needs to be the highly refined grade.....
Knowing where Kerosene comes from, that's a very good point.. hence there's no way I'd even contemplate using store-bought kerosene for thinning paint.

Aside from the effects of the dye additive, there's likely to be trace quantities of water, particulates, 'diesel bug' and all kinds of other goodies in there that don't affect it's burning properties in the least but are very likely to affect the quality of your paintwork.

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