Virgin Lacquer Thinner

If the lacquer thinner from your supplier isn't what you hoped for, you can always mix your own from pure ingredients. July 3, 2008

I need some help in getting a solvent like my lacquer thinner used to be. I use it in a lab and for other cleaning operations, never for paint. We always specified "virgin lacquer thinner" and it was perfect for our apps.

Last year, they started shipping thinner with a horrible odor not unlike oxygenated gas. It makes us all sick to smell. We were told to specify "virgin". That worked for a while now we can't find anything without the new additives. Is there anything similar that we can use?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
Almost all virgin lacquers will differ in composition from manufacturer to manufacturer. That said a typical nitro lacquer thinner would be approximately what I have below.

25% butyl acetate
5-10% Acetone
1-10 ethyl acetate
1-10% n- Butanol
1-10% anhydrous isopropanol
1-10% xylene
1-10% propylene glycol

10-20% aliphatic petroleum disttilate such as stoddard solvent or other high purity mineral spirit.

For cleaning only purposes you could get away with just using butyl acetate.
Purchase each solvent separately and mix your own to whatever you feel gives the best performance in your daily cleaning activities. As I stated there are so many different formulas based on the resin and copolymer/additions and other additives. There is no one standard formula for "virgin lacquer thinner" per se.

From contributor R:
What is it your cleaning? You might not be getting what youre used to getting. Does it have something to do with VOC's? Have you tried Everclear? Its the best darn cleaner around the stuff will clean the chrome right off a trailer hitch. If you find its too aggressive you can thin it with some water.

From contributor T:
At my auto-paint supplier they sell two grades of all purpose lacquer thinner - recycled and virgin. I don't cut paint with it but its cheaper for clean-up. It doesn't seem as hot as the virgin. It could be my imagination though.

From contributor C:
The reclaimed LT solvents are hotter because they have trace amounts of coatings left in them - thus when they get on your hands, etc., they hold the solvent longer and cause the sensation of burning where the virgin LT does not.

The other thing is that a lot of the faster evaporating solvents used in virgin LT are minimal in the cleaning thinners so you have more potent solvents med drying solvents on you.