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Difference between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

Difference between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

Acetone and lacquer thinner are two of the most well-known solvents used for a variety of tasks. Both acetone and lacquer thinner can be highly effective, but it’s important to understand their individual properties in order to properly utilize them for specific projects. Knowing the difference between acetone and lacquer thinner is crucial for achieving desired results in any project involving these products – whether you’re removing paint, finish or other coatings; degreasing; cleaning brushes; thinning out certain materials; restoring furniture pieces; dissolving epoxy components and more. In this blog post, we’ll explore what sets these two solvents apart so that you have everything needed at your disposal when making informed decisions on which one is best suited to meet your needs!

What is Acetone?

Acetone is a powerful and versatile chemical solvent. It is colorless, volatile, and highly flammable which makes it suitable for many industrial uses. Acetone is used as a chemical intermediate in the production of methyl methacrylate and bisphenol A, both of which are used to make plastics like polycarbonate plastic and resins.

Acetone can also be found as an ingredient in antifreeze, plastic cement, paint thinners, and varnishes. Acetone has been around for centuries, with its use documented back to Ancient Greek civilizations. Acetone has become increasingly prevalent in everyday life and can now be found in beauty supplies such as nail polish removers or nail strengtheners. Acetone is versatile enough that you may already have some stored away in a cupboard somewhere!

What is Lacquer Thinner?

Lacquer Thinner is a type of solvent used in industrial applications. Lacquer Thinner’s ability to dissolve other substances makes it incredibly useful and versatile. It is used as a thinner for alkyd, nitrocellulose lacquers, varnishes, and enamels, to degrease surfaces before painting and coatings, and also to clean paint tools and equipment. Lacquer Thinner can be made from various combinations of solvents such as mineral spirits, ethyl acetate, butyl cellosolve, glycol ethers, alcohols, benzene, or toluene. Lacquer Thinner should be handled with caution due to strong fumes that may cause dizziness if inhaled.

Difference between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

Acetone and Lacquer Thinner are two solvents that often get confused because they have similar applications.

  • Acetone is a type of ketone, while Lacquer Thinner is a combination of several different chemicals that are blended together to create a powerful solvent mixture.
  • Acetone is more caustic and limited in its uses and also evaporates quickly, making it a good choice for short-term cleanup jobs like removing nail polish or painting errors.
  • On the other hand, Lacquer Thinner is more versatile as it can be used for cleaning and degreasing as well as paint removal and thinning paint or lacquer.

The biggest difference between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner is with the fumes – Acetone has much stronger fumes since it’s more caustic so it should only be used in a well-ventilated area, while Lacquer Thinner’s smell isn’t quite as strong so long-term use in an enclosed area may be possible.


Acetone is often mistaken for lacquer thinner because they are both clear liquids used in paint and finish work. While acetone is an effective solvent, it is not as strong as lacquer thinner. This means that acetone will dissolve a wider range of materials, making it ideal for cleaning surfaces before painting or staining. Lacquer thinner can be used to remove excess paint from surfaces, but it should not be used on wood or other porous materials as it may damage the surface. When using either solvent, always follow the manufacturer’s directions and take proper safety precautions.

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