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What thinner for Enamel paint.

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Brian Abbott12/03/2019 23:04:20
490 forum posts
93 photos

Hello guys, need some advice.

I have just bought and had delivered some enamel paint i am going to use to repaint a lathe stand, ordered some thinners at the same time but unforunatly the box must have been transported upside down and 75% of the thinners has leaked out the container.

I am sure if i speak to the supplier they will sort something out but i am wanting to get on and don't want to wait, does anyone know an off the shelf alternative ?

The paint is Paragon myford grey and the thinners is PT8

Quick note, please don't read this as me having a go at the supplier, all was good and i know these things happen,

Thanks all.

Hopper13/03/2019 00:00:56
5508 forum posts
137 photos

I'm sure if you call Paragon they will tell you what type of thinners to use. Better to get it straight from the horse's mouth than general opinion on a forum. (Errors have been known to occur smiley )

pgk pgk13/03/2019 00:01:10
2431 forum posts
293 photos

Paragons website states not to make the mistake of using other thinners.. specifically mentioning cellulose thinners. Their hazard sheets says PT8 is solvent Naphtha (petroleum) which I interpret as a subset of oil distillation. Naphtha isn't really specific and might include things like white spirit or turps substitute.
Is it worth risking disappointment? If going to try it then obviously on some scrap first.

vintage engineer13/03/2019 00:09:07
254 forum posts
1 photos

Owatrol oil.

Chris Trice13/03/2019 01:44:57
1371 forum posts
10 photos

Any oil based enamel paint is usually thinned with White Spirit and also used to clean any brushes or spray gear.

Dave Smith 1413/03/2019 06:19:08
208 forum posts
40 photos

I must admit I always spray enamels using cellulose thinners all my 4mm scale models have been done that way, also most of my railway club colleagues use the same technique. The thinners are only a carrier and evaporate to leave the paint. White sprit takes ages to flash off compared to cellulose.


Former Member13/03/2019 08:13:17

[This posting has been removed]

RMA13/03/2019 09:09:34
302 forum posts
4 photos

That's really annoying but these things happen in carriage. I'm sure the supplier would replace and send quickly. I would wait and have the recommended product, you then minimise the risk of a bad job. I hate doing a job twice, but should the product fail for any reason, you'll have the support of the supplier because you used their materials. Good luck.

Mike Poole13/03/2019 12:00:09
3167 forum posts
72 photos

It appears to be white spirit, if you read paragons data sheet it gives an ec no. Which if you google it seems to come up with many references to white spirit, Barretine White Spirit being one of them, I don’t know how exactly the number defines a substance but as it’s a readily available material it could be worth a try. The downside is what the long term effect will be and whether a strip and repaint would be more annoying than getting the recommended stuffin a few days.


Edited By Mike Poole on 13/03/2019 12:01:00

Phil Whitley13/03/2019 12:11:27
1395 forum posts
147 photos

I thought that Mike, and white spirit may well work, but when I did my Colchester, I used Paragon paint, and the thinners smells similar to white spirit, but it is not identical, so while white spirit will probably work, it may affect the fininsh on the end result. Of course, you could get some coats on now, and do a final coat with the correct thinners when it arrives!

Nick Clarke 313/03/2019 14:50:20
1322 forum posts
53 photos
Posted by Barrie Lever on 13/03/2019 08:13:17:
The problem occurs if you apply cellulose (and other products with high VOC's) over well dried oil based paints such as enamal. The cellulose product will make the oil based product pickle and wrinkle.




Natural oils are rarely used today, most enamels are synthetic.

When I worked in car paint it was (S) for synthetic and (C) for cellulose, or 'you can put (S)alt on (C)hips but not (C)hips on (S)alt'

The problem with cellulose (apart from what it does to the environment) is that you never know what is on there already.

Also if you are applying with a spraygun synthetic enamel is a very different technique to using cellulose. Runs are far more likely if you lay it on too heavy. Denibbing files (eg Machine Mart 040811450 or 040811449 for example) are your friends if it happens.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 13/03/2019 14:56:32

Neil Wyatt13/03/2019 15:23:11
18895 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Naptha is just a catch-all for the peteroleum distillates

PT8 probably means heavy naptha with averaging 8 carbon molecules per chain and could mean white spirit (typically with 7-12 carbon atoms).


Dave Halford13/03/2019 18:45:20
1890 forum posts
22 photos

Synthetic Enamel for cars (legally only for machines now - as in lathes ) has a 'fast' thinner for spraying, still available from suppliers by the litre.

Surprised anyone will ship thinners by a non specialist carrier given the explosive nature if leaks occur.

Brian Abbott13/03/2019 19:14:21
490 forum posts
93 photos

Thanks all for the reply's

Ordered another container so at least i have to correct stuff.

So far i am arguing over a minnie steering wheel with a bent handle. ( ordered last september, only just turned up )
A minnie chimney saddle casting which is undersize.

Now this..

Must be having a run of bad luck..anyway..


Edited By Brian Abbott on 13/03/2019 19:14:50

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