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gavino200

Brush cleaner for enamel paint?

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gavino200

Currently I'm using this stuff. "One Shot" brush cleaner.  It works fine but the smell is really nasty. It's even worse than "white spirit", the solution I used as a kid. Anyone know of a good cleaning solution for enamel paint that doesn't smell so bad?

 

https://www.dickblick.com/products/1-shot-brush-cleaner/?clickTracking=true&wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=05731-1007&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvKzhBRC1ARIsANEXdgw9pHoDRbcBIBWEeFThiAE7TuwQJDbGsFVXdSzs1XqEfq3eMOn3DRQaAtgNEALw_wcB

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cteno4

You are talking about laquer enamel paints, correct - like goof old testors model paint? If so, sorry as you need an organic solvent to get the paint out and it will smell! That’s what your little spray hood is for, turn it into a fume hood for this! One of the issues using lacquer based paints, especially in winter in cold climates as they don’t like cold temps to set up and doing them indoors is sooo smelly. I love organic solvent varnishes on woodworking, but just can’t do them about 4-5 months out of the year here due to temp too low.

 

You can get pretty effective organic solvent face masks, but that only protects your nose and lungs while working on something and won’t deal with the stuff floating around in the room. That’s where the fume hood can help but in a cold place it means loosing a lot of heat from the house especially if you run it for a long time to get rid of all outgassing while drying.

 

might try removing the rag you clean your brush on outdoors right away. When I was a kid painting tin soldiers as a side job I used a lot of lacquer enamel paints in my bedroom. Open paint bottles and the drying paint on the tiny soldiers hardly stunk up the room. But when I cleaned the brushes I found that the cleaning rag with thinner in it really stunk, so I kept it in a plastic bag hanging out my window. This way I just used it quickly in the room and most of the thinner evaporated outside and I also got a little blast of fresh air in the room periodically which is good.

 

unfortunately activated charcoal does not suck up a lot of organic solvents or hold onto them well, but a fan thru an activated charcoal filter can help some.  My SIL has become a fantastic artist after retiring but has had to give up oils as the turpentine really effected her badly, so much she can’t be in the room with it so can paint with a class if anyone is using it. I’ve moved to mostly all acrylics for the models because of all this. I still like some of the organic varnishes but slowly going over to the water polyurethanes...

 

Cheers

 

jeff 

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cteno4

Forgot to mention brush cleaner solvent can smell really bad as many times they have a mix of organic solvents to really get off stuck on stuff, so you can trip a number of odor receptors at once and smell worse that straight solvents. Xylene is one that really sweet noxious ones... Tomix rail cleaner use to use it way back, don’t think so anymore.

 

jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

You are talking about laquer enamel paints, correct - like goof old testors model paint? If so, sorry as you need an organic solvent to get the paint out and it will smell! That’s what your little spray hood is for, turn it into a fume hood for this! One of the issues using lacquer based paints, especially in winter in cold climates as they don’t like cold temps to set up and doing them indoors is sooo smelly. I love organic solvent varnishes on woodworking, but just can’t do them about 4-5 months out of the year here due to temp too low.

 

Yes, Testors and Model Masters. But I'm just using a bristle brush with them. No airbrush.

 

1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 

might try removing the rag you clean your brush on outdoors right away. When I was a kid painting tin soldiers as a side job I used a lot of lacquer enamel paints in my bedroom. Open paint bottles and the drying paint on the tiny soldiers hardly stunk up the room. But when I cleaned the brushes I found that the cleaning rag with thinner in it really stunk, so I kept it in a plastic bag hanging out my window. This way I just used it quickly in the room and most of the thinner evaporated outside and I also got a little blast of fresh air in the room periodically which is good.

 

Ha, yes. I painted tin soldiers and Airfix models in my room when I was a kid, and my room stank of white spirit constantly for a few years. Usually these kind of childhood smells form a positive memory. But not this one. And this stuff is even worse than white spirit. I'm not worried about inhaling the stuff or anything. I'm careful about that. It just has a very strong perfume and sticks around a bit. 

 

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

Forgot to mention brush cleaner solvent can smell really bad as many times they have a mix of organic solvents to really get off stuck on stuff, so you can trip a number of odor receptors at once and smell worse that straight solvents. Xylene is one that really sweet noxious ones... Tomix rail cleaner use to use it way back, don’t think so anymore.

 

jeff

 

I wonder if Acetone would work instead. It doesn't smell nearly as bad.

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cteno4

Basically i meant to use your little spray booth as a paint fume hood. Paint in there and wash your brushes in there. Then either keep the wipe rags outside or in a sealed bag. I found most of the stink came from the brush rag off gassing thinner.

 

Acetone is not great as a brush cleaner for natural brushes as it really dries out the brushes of all oils. Also now a much more controlled substance for exposure than it use to be (in o chem we would rinse everything in gobs if acetone and also wash up with it in the fiberglass shop). It will work, but not as good as good old paint thinner for regular cleaning.

 

the brush cleaners are going to be more perfumy as they have other organic solvents like xylene as well usually and they can smell fruity or sweet. More volatile stuff like xylene and acetone will also get around the room faster as they evaporate and disperse faster thanless volition organics which tend to sort of linger in one area.

 

jeff

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gavino200

Thanks for the info. I'm going to confine all the brush cleaning to the washroom in the basement. I guess what I'm really looking for is the perfect soap.

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cteno4

Sorry soap isn’t a solvent, it’s an emusificant, it won’t soften or wash away lacquer based paints, it just helps get non polar stuff to move into the aqueous phase by surrounding it with the non polar end of the soap while it’s polar end sits happy out in the water. An organic solvent actually sissovles the paint into the solvent itself. Soaps will help flush the organics solvents from the brush though and make your cleaned brush less smelly. There are some good brush soaps and conditioners to also use on the brushes to keep them supple and replace some of the natural oils in natural brushes.

 

Bathroom is a good idea especially if it has a fan. Again I’ve always found the cleaning rag to be the big smelly! I now take any rag that has had organic solvent or varnish, stains, etc out to the trash can when working in the garage wood shop and don’t even leave them in there as it stinks it up pretty good by the next day usually.

 

jeff

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gavino200

Yes, the basement bathroom, functions mainly as a brush and airbrush cleaning room. I can get the paint off my hands no problem. What I want is to get the solvent smell off my hands. So if I have a free morning but work in the afternoon, I can so a little brushwork in the morning and not go to work reeking of turpentine. Plus, I don't like the smell myself.

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cteno4

Ahh your hands are the issue! I would try some mechanics paste hand wash to try. The fiberglass shop use to use one that had a heavy citrus smell that seemed to take away the mineral spirits and acetone smell and help re moisturize your hands (organic solvents suck the oils out of your hands).

 

in taking a quick look around it appears that some folks take off paints and such off their hands wirh cooking oil then soap and water.

 

there are also some citrus solvents that some use for cleaning up and brushes, ala goof off and such

 

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/citrus-solvent/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Chelsea-Classical-Studio-Paintbrush-Maintaining/dp/B01IY2SAKC

 

theres always gloves! I’ve become more of a weenie using them wirh messy stuff these days. The 5-7mil nitrile give pretty goof feel with strong protection from solvents and mechanical stuff.

 

jeff

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

so as you usually do you get me thinking more on things when you ask questions like this! I started thinging is there a better product for the few things I use organic thinners on as I realized a lot of my knowledge is fromdecades of using the same type things and maybe something new out there! Well it looks like the pure citrus solvent may do the trick and safe on skin and pleasant smell. Reviews look good so I’m going to give it a try. Also looks good to use with tung oil that I use a lot and smell and using in winter is a problem! Just ordered a bottle and I’ll report how it works.

 

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/citrus-solvent/

 

im also curious how it reacts with stryene to potentially be a paint stripper. The usual orange oil cleaners don’t seem to attack stryene very much (or at least evaporate faster than causing any damage) as one of our members uses it when he needs heavy duty rail cleaning in his roller car. Never seen any evidence of damage to the Unitrak or the plastic bits on his roller car.

 

they also sell oderless mineral spirits which ive heard of before but never tried. Unfortunately only sold by the gallon from them, but I’ve see other versions of this. It’s a distillate of organic solvents that don’t seem to trigger our olfactory receptors but still is a decent organic solvent. 

 

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/odorless-mineral-spirits/

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
10 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

so as you usually do you get me thinking more on things when you ask questions like this! I started thinging is there a better product for the few things I use organic thinners on as I realized a lot of my knowledge is fromdecades of using the same type things and maybe something new out there! Well it looks like the pure citrus solvent may do the trick and safe on skin and pleasant smell. Reviews look good so I’m going to give it a try. Also looks good to use with tung oil that I use a lot and smell and using in winter is a problem! Just ordered a bottle and I’ll report how it works.

 

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/citrus-solvent/

 

im also curious how it reacts with stryene to potentially be a paint stripper. The usual orange oil cleaners don’t seem to attack stryene very much (or at least evaporate faster than causing any damage) as one of our members uses it when he needs heavy duty rail cleaning in his roller car. Never seen any evidence of damage to the Unitrak or the plastic bits on his roller car.

 

they also sell oderless mineral spirits which ive heard of before but never tried. Unfortunately only sold by the gallon from them, but I’ve see other versions of this. It’s a distillate of organic solvents that don’t seem to trigger our olfactory receptors but still is a decent organic solvent. 

 

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/odorless-mineral-spirits/

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Awesome!! Thanks Jeff. I ordered one of each. If it works well, I may try to "reverse engineer" it and make it for cheaper. 

 

My wife has been using vinegar for house cleaning for years. At first I thought it was the dumbest idea ever. I thought the house would stink of vinegar. But there's zero smell after a few minutes and it works amazingly well. 

 

I'll report back on these products.

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cteno4

Some of these alternatives do work well, others are crap. Natural does not always mee totally safe as natural stuff can have all sorts of nasties in it as well. Citrus solvent is considered food safe. I’ve use pine oil based finishes in the past for counter tops and they have worked well. I need to work on getting rid of the last few of the real nastyies to make life easier and healthier, especially in the winter! 

 

Ive used the orange oil stuff for a long time for sticker gum removal and cleaning tough stuff like some train wheels and track when really bad and it’s worked well.

 

ill be curious how the odorless mineral spirits are, I do remember trying it a long time ago from homedepot and while not as noxious it still had lingering odors and the verathane I used all the time did not like it, but it tended to just like lacquer thinner to clean brushes well.

 

Yeah vinegar does work well as a cleaner and decent germaside. We are now using it for more cleaning here as well. Having a microbiology background I tend to think about the constant war going on around us! Throw a tad of borax in the clothes washer, helps brighten and get a bit more crud out and helps prevent mold buildup in the washer. Dilute chlorox is also a great one, cheap and effective and pretty benign. Many of the spray and wipe off cleaning agents leave a lot of residues behind...

 

jeff

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cteno4

So I got my citrus solvent today along with some of their half and half tung oil. While it’s the time of the year I avoid using lacquer based paints, I’ll try some on a brush and see how it cleans. Smells very citrusy!

 

i want to try the tung oil out on some Ttrak modules I just built with cherry veneer faces. I did some a few weeks ago with the tung oil with the usual distillate carrier and it had a hard time outgassing in the 40 degrees in the garage and did not want to bring it in the house! Hopefully this stuff will smell better and outgassing easier.

 

jeff

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gavino200

I got mine this weekend. Hopefully I'll get around to trying it in the next couple of weeks. 

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nscaler711

I feel like paint thinner would work well on enamel paints, i think thats what its used for anyway, as most acrylics can be thinned with water...

as for soaps, I have seen Simple Green as a hand soap 😄 wonder if its as potent as its cleaner...

https://www.simplegreen.com/en-us/household/products/hand-cleaner-gel--82

 

oh and this stuff, Cherry Bomb, works amazing and smells good! (it removes paint as well.)

https://www.homedepot.com/p/ZEP-48-oz-Cherry-Bomb-Hand-Cleaner-ZUCBHC48/207077580

 

 

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