Paint Thinner Vs. Acetone, what are the differences to consider?

Paint Thinner Vs. Acetone is a difference between two similar types of solvent. Both of them belong to the family of ketones but have a major difference. Mostly, they will have different viscosity, different boiling temperatures, and similar to different usage.

Specifically, both of them can be used in painting-related jobs, but the use of acetone is so much more than this. Being one of the versatile solvents, one can use it for cleaning and making drugs too. Moreover, one will have to look over the article below to know more information.

Paint Thinner Vs Acetone

When one is associating with painting work, whether they are removing painting or applying new paint, they will need paint thinner or acetone. Often people use both items in painting-related work at a time. However, both are extremely different, which makes it essential for people to know the differences so that they can make the right decision on time.

Specifically, both acetone and paint thinner are solvents. That means one can use both of them to dissolve many things, including high-quality paint. Generally, these solvents are quite performative in removing dried paint, varnish of the house, and other dried things.

Moreover, the risky thing about working with this kind of solvent is these are extremely toxic fumes. These two solvents can harm human health in every aspect. Also, these are harmful to nature too. If one is working with any of these or both of them, they will require great ventilation. Working with these two in a closed room may bring unrepairable harm. Also, one must wear a mask, gloves, and goggles while working with them.

In addition, both of the items are highly flammable and require great care when one is working. One must not use anything nearby which can create first or even spark first. Also, storing them improperly will bring serious accidents. Now let’s have a look into the differences they share,

Table: Paint Thinner Vs Acetone

Paint ThinnerAcetone
The area of use of paint thinner is lower than acetone.The usage area of acetone is so much more than paint thinner.
The pharmaceutical and cosmetic areas do not use paint thinner.The pharmaceutical and cosmetic areas use paint thinner.
It does not have the use of cleaning in a sensitive area like a lab.This is used for cleaning things in many areas like a lab.
It can change the viscosity of the paint.It cannot change the viscosity of the paint.
It can be used in oil-based cleaning.Do not suitable for oil-based cleaning.
Do not evaporate as quickly as acetone.Evaporate quicker than the paint thinner.
It can be mixed with paint.It will not mix with the paint.
Do not mix with water.It can be mixed with water.
More toxic and harmful than acetone.It is toxic and harmful but less than the other one.
More flammable.Less flammable

What is the usage of acetone?

As mentioned above, acetone is a special type of solvent which have versatile usages. One can use it as a paint thinner while applying and removing the paint. However, it will not get mixed with paint like the paint thinner. But it will clean any hardest substance like extremely dried paint easily.

Moreover, the use of acetone is so much more than allocating the paint. One can use it in many areas safely and effectively, like,

Usage of Acetone-Glue/resin remover -Nail polish remover -Wool/silk degreaser in the textile industry  -Ink stain remover  -Glassware cleaner in chemistry laboratories 

Can one use paint thinner instead of acetone?

Though the acetone and paint thinner is similar solvent, they have a different chemical bond and different purposes. Even though the acetone can be used as a paint thinner to remove heavily dried paint on the construction site or any area, the usage of paint thinner as acetone will depend.

Because the acetone is more versatile than the paint thinner, mostly paint thinner is allocated for painting and construction purposes, but the acetone is so much more than it is. One can use acetone as disinfecting substance which is not possible with the paint thinner.

Moreover, acetone can be used in the pharmaceutical area and cosmetics industries but is not even close to possible for the paint thinner. Overall, the decision to use the paint thinner instead of acetone is not a good idea and is not even possible in many aspects.

Acetone or Paint thinner, which will be better?

That is an argumental question to answer because of the similarities and the usage differences. It is true that both are similar solvents, but they have huge and major differences in many areas. If one asks which one will be better, then the answer will always depend on the work one will use them for. For example, if one is trying to separate them for painting-related work, then surely the paint thinner will work better and faster.

However, in some areas like disinfecting things, usages in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic than there is no fight between these two. Because one cannot use the paint thinner in those areas in any way, overall, the better option between these two will always depend on the type of work they will be used for.


While working on any construction site with paint, or working with paint anywhere, one will need some special kind of solvent. Those solvents will help the worker dissolve substances like dried paint, dried rust, and many things. Here, the paint thinner and acetone are those types of substances.

Though they have similarities, they will have major differences too. Specifically, the solvent acetone will be more versatile than the paint thinner. Also, the paint thinner will be more toxic and flammable than the acetone. Overall, both of them will have advantages and disadvantages that one will understand by reading the discussion on Paint Thinner Vs Acetone above.

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