Urethane Reducer Substitute – Choosing the Best Option

Reducers, solvents, and thinners are practically the same kind of products. Thinners were initially invented for lacquers, and reducers were designed for urethanes and enamels. Solvents are made for lacquers, Urethane, and enamels.

Reducers’ primary objective is to make the paint thin enough to spray through a gun applicator and offer adhesion, and level the paint. Reducers consist of different solvents. The mixtures are different depending on the temperature and other conditions.

If you use the wrong reducer on your project, you can get sags, runs and even peels on the surface painted. Reducers and thinkers are used to thin paint, and they are automotive solvents as well. They are additives that make the paint flow better, which results in professional coats.

Thinners and reducers have the same purposes, but their uses are different. A urethane reducer will help get your paint the slightest viscosity for your paint job. So, we’ll explore choosing the best substitutes for urethane reducers.

What Is Urethane Reducer?

A urethane reducer is an essential paint thinner explicitly made to work with urethane-based paints mainly applied to automobiles. A high-grade urethane reducer is formulated with 100% top-grade virgin solvents. It is recommended for use in basecoats, 2k urethane primers, single stage color, and it clears color that does not require reactive reducers.

Urethane reducers are available in different temperature ranges, from slow to very fast. It is an ideal choice for any product that requires a high grade of methane reducer. Top graded urethane reducers are designed to be used with acrylic Urethane, acrylic enamel, automotive paints, urethane base coat, transparent coat systems, and primer. It can be used to reduce the viscosity of many other epoxy primers and urethane clear coats.

What Is Urethane paint?

Urethane paint is a type of paint made from a mixture of polyurethanes and pigments. The polyurethane content acts as a binder to hold the pigment molecules together. All brands of urethane paint have some degree of glossiness because of the same characteristics that make it resilient and reflect light.

Many brands of urethane paint are available to customers. Even semi-gloss urethane paint has been developed. Urethane paint was created when there were experiments on plastic technology.

It is preferable to enamel paint because of its durability. Urethane paint is quite beneficial as it can be applied over enamel-painted surfaces if it is first prepared.

Its application creates a better sheen on most surfaces, and it is hardly affected by sunlight and UV rays. These features make Urethane paint an excellent choice for outdoor surfaces. You’ll see it being heavily used in the automotive industry due to its impressive durability.


How To Use Urethane Paint

Urethane paint can be pretty complicated, getting it to stick on some surfaces or to the bristles of a paintbrush. This is because it can be very resilient. Unique brushes have been created to apply or hold urethane paint.

Priming the surface that is yet to be coated with urethane paint is quite essential. You should sand the surface with fine grit to give the paint a lot of space to hold on to. There are two ways with which you can apply urethane paint;

  • Diluting the urethane paint with a unique urethane thinner
  • Apply several thin layers of the paint and lightly sand between each layer when dry, then build a sufficient paint coat.

A thick layer of the paint can be applied with a small roller and then tipped by pulling the tip of a semi-dry paintbrush over the wet surface. This creates pathways that allow bubbles to escape.

Precautions to Consider While Using Urethane Paint

A urethane-painted surface can shrink or contract over a long period. This problem binds it tightly to rigid surfaces like a car’s bonnet.

If you paint over wooden surfaces, it is good to paint both sides of the wood (interior and exterior) with urethane paint to prevent the wood from warping as the painted surface shrinks. Urethane paints can be highly toxic in their uncured form, so it is advisable to use respirators while using them indoors.

Maintenance of Urethane paint

Urethane paint takes a long period to cure up or dry out thoroughly. It takes up to three weeks to dry in high humidity temperatures.

The surface coated with urethane paint should be protected until it is fully cured. If the urethane paint has been correctly applied and its surface is fully cured, it will become very durable and require little maintenance.

Substitutes For Urethane Reducers

1) Acetone

Acetone is an excellent substitute for urethane reducer. It is a suitable thinner that can also be used as a substitute for turpentine. And use it to thin out oil-based paint or lift or soften many types of paint.

It is advised to use small amounts at a time. It would be best to be very cautious when using acetone to thin a finish or paint for spraying. Acetone can cause a finish to flash quickly, making the material coated dry slowly and form a sloppy mess.

Acetone boasts a wide range of applications especially being a great thinning agent. It is known to be one of the best paint thinners despite its potency. Acetone is a mild solvent that poses a moderately low safety risk to users, and it is slated for regulation.

Whether acetone can be replaced with a urethane reducer depends on the type of paint you want to thin or remove. Acetone has a powerful stripping ability so that it can cause potential damage to a coated surface.

Other Uses of Acetone

Acetone is not only used to remove or thin paint, and there are several practical applications of acetone. Some include:

  • It can be used as a nail polish remover
  • It is used to remove glue and resins.
  • It is an ink stain remover
  • It acts as a silk and wool degreaser in the textile industry
  • It is a glassware cleaner in chemical laboratories.

2) Lacquer thinner

Lacquer thinner is composed of a mixture of solvents that can dissolve many resins and plastics. Some of the solvents used in the production of lacquer thinner include; acetone, xylene, butyl acetate, toluene, and methyl ethyl ketone. Lacquer thinners contain highly flammable chemicals, produce toxic fumes, and exude a strong odor.

It is used for thinning lacquer-based paints and is suitable for cleaning spraying equipment like spray guns after applying lacquer paints. Lacquer thinners dissolve, clean up, and dissolve lacquer-based products like lacquer-based paints. It helps in the leveling and flow of lacquer, and it produces a smooth, streak-free, and high-gloss finish.

Lacquer thinner is usually too acidic for oil-based pants. It uses toluene as an active component to reduce flammability. It is an excellent cleaner compared to other mineral spirits, although its toxicity, flammability, and powerful odor create problems for domestic use.

Lacquer thinner can be used to remove adhesive residue from several surfaces and ink from metal. It is highly active and evaporates quickly. It would be less risky if lacquer thinner weren’t added to lacquer paint all at once.

Too much lacquer thinner will create a dropping or running lacquer that will prevent a smooth and high-gloss finish. A lacquer thinner is so powerful that it can soften dried, cured lacquers and other oil-based paints. It can cause damage to the rubber and plastic and even strip a car’s paint.

Lacquer thinner is hazardous as it contains a high amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It is essential to wear safety gloves, breathing protection, and chemical-resistant goggles when using them, and it is also advisable to work in a well-ventilated space. However, modern lacquer thinners are made to comply with low VOC regulations. The new products have fewer aromatic solvents and a higher amount of acetone.

3) Enamel Reducer

A high-grade enamel reducer is formulated to reduce and thin out enamel top coats and primers. It produces an even flow out and smooth layout for easy application. It can be used in panel and spot refinishing to deliver exceptional leveling and stunning gloss.

Enamel reducers can dissolve or thin out paint and reduce its viscosity. It reduces paint to be used in spray applicators. It completely dissolves paint and aids in the removal of paint on rollers and brushes and the cleanup of splatters or spills. Enamel reducers provide a suitable adhesion and leveling of the paint.

Functions of All Paint Reducers

A good urethane reducer allows one to rectify the consistency of the paint, and this will make it easy to spray on several surfaces. The paint has to be liquid to enable this application. If you’re looking for a reducer, the ideal choice should depend on the temperature of the working area.

Be aware that low and high temperatures can affect the curing process of the paint reducer. A reducer that evaporates rapidly works better in colder temperatures. It allows the paint to set and harden. A reducer that evaporates slowly will work better in hotter temperatures.