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Thinner and solvents in the water base finishing material

What is the thinner for water base paint? Water of course, that's right, water is the major component for the water base paint thinner, that way it is called "water based". But the fact is there also some solvents and chemicals are in the water based paint mixture. Although it is named as water based, but we cannot expect that the mixture is completely free from the solvent. In the water based thinner there are also some materials that could be toxic and harmful to the health.
Water-based coating, water based paint or waterborne coating is usually made of acrylic resins, modified acrylic or "one-component polyurethane" as the main resin. The resin then is mixed with some other resin and chemicals to meet the paint performance. The resins mix naturally is not water soluble, then it needs solvents and some additives to make it mix well with water. The mixture of paint and water will not be a solution, but usually in the emulsion form. But with the good agitation and proper application, the emulsion can be applied with perfect results as the solvent base paint does. 

The material in a water based paint thinner.
  • Water.
The water is the major ingredient in water based paint thinner. The water that was added to the paint formulation usually is the pure water, since the water based paint must be formulated with fully control composition to meet the standard of the paint quality. The water should be neutral, free form dirt, precipitation material, or chemical that could be interfere the paint mix.
  • Solvents.
There are also some solvents in the water based paint thinner to keep the mixture works well. Some of the materials are: ethylene glycol, some other aromatic and aliphatic solvents. Ethylene glycol is very important solvent for the water based paint; it is the main solvent for the resins and pigment. Ethylene glycol is dissolved each other with water, and has higher evaporation point than water. In the drying process, the water is evaporating firstly. After all of the water has evaporated, then the solvent (ethylene glycol) is starting to evaporate. The evaporation continue until all solvents are evaporated when the dry and hard paint layer is built. 
  • Additive materials.
Additive material is added to build some specifics properties to the paint mixture. There are some additives used to improve the paint properties, to reduce surface tension, to improve the flow, to make the stability of the mixture, etc. The additive materials are the same material for thinner base coating. They are very specific; depending to the resin formulation in the paint mixture. In the water based paint there some more additive are added, the anti-fungal and anti bacterial to prevent the bacteria growth and the emulsifier to improve the emulsion of the mixture.

Tips in using water based paint.
The knowledge to the composition of water based paint thinner is more complex then what written here. There are many thing need to be consider in the paint manufacturer. The knowledge about thinner in this article is purposed to understand the water based paint and help us in the application. There some tips to apply the water based paint.
  •  Use the protective and safety equipment.
In fact the water based paint also contains some solvents and chemicals that potentially interfere the human health. Then when we do the mixing and application of the water based paint, then we still need to wear the safety equipment. Wear the gloves to protect the skin and masks to protect the respiratory. The drying process of the paint will release some solvent fumes, then make sure the air circulation is work well when paint is coated and dried. If spray application is chosen, then the spray booth is needed.
  • Use the "clean" water when diluting the water based paint.
Some time we need to thin the water based paint at the application. We can add little water to the water based paint, but make sure the water is not interfering the paint mixture. Pure water is probably the best choice, but usually the normal water for drinking or daily necessities can be used as long as it is clean and neutral.
  •   Do the mixing according to the consumption.
Bacteria are the enemy for the water based paint. The water based paint in the closed containers is in a hermetically sealed so no bacteria or fungi that can live in it. But when the can is opened, then there could be some bacteria entering and live in a mixture of paint, moreover when we add some water into the mixture. Although the mixture contained anti-bacterial additive, but there is a possibility the bacteria could live in the mix and potentially to damage the paint mixture. Therefore, try to store the paint in the closed cane. The paint in the opened should be applied as soon as possible since it has higher risk to be damaged.

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