Turpentine (also called spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, and wood turpentine) is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from trees, mainly pine trees. Turpentine is usually used in industry. It is also useful in oil painting because it can be used as a solvent. Turpentine is frequently used in thinners and varnishes. Turpentine can also be used as a wax for furniture when combined with beeswax or Carnauba. It has strong cleaning properties, and can useful for removing acrylic based varnish or oils. A downside to Turpentine though is that it has a strong distinctive odor. There are lots of substitutes that people generally use over Turpentine that work just as well and don’t have such strong odors.

White spirit

Paint thinner or white spirit, which is also known as mineral spirit, is a petroleum by-product. It is clear, has a less pronounced smell than turpentine, does not deteriorate over time and dries faster than turpentine. It is inexpensive and can therefore be used both for painting and for cleaning brushes, although ideally it is best used for cleaning brushes. However, it is not as strong a solvent as turpentine and can leave the paint surface matte.


For those who dislike the smell of traditional thinners, are allergic to them, or are simply concerned about the health implications of breathing in the fumes, various odorless thinners such as sansodor have come on to the market in T recent years and are now a popular choice However, the drawback of odorless thinners is that they are relatively expensive and dry slowly