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Thread: Safe to Use Lacquer Thinner?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    1

    Default Safe to Use Lacquer Thinner?

    Hello, just popped in hoping an expert can answer a question about the wife's car finish. She has semi permanent marks/stains from potted plant water dripping on the hood (Kia Sorento). The material must have minerals in it, iron etc. from the soil. The stains are resistant to everything that cleans... alcohol, paint thinner, bathroom cleaner, car polish, etc. (tho did not try the bug remover).

    But the stains come off easily with the Lacquer thinner which, as you know, is really super solvent and harsh. Of course the wax etc. must be coming off, but in a good sized test patch, the finish still looks fine after cleaning the stains away,...still shining dark brown fleck finish.

    Any thoughts on whether this is ok? We will do the entire hood surface on a cool cloudy day. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    40,150

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
    Hello, just popped in hoping an expert can answer a question about the wife's car finish. She has semi permanent marks/stains from potted plant water dripping on the hood (Kia Sorento). The material must have minerals in it, iron etc. from the soil. The stains are resistant to everything that cleans... alcohol, paint thinner, bathroom cleaner, car polish, etc. (tho did not try the bug remover).

    But the stains come off easily with the Lacquer thinner which, as you know, is really super solvent and harsh. Of course the wax etc. must be coming off, but in a good sized test patch, the finish still looks fine after cleaning the stains away,...still shining dark brown fleck finish.

    Any thoughts on whether this is ok? We will do the entire hood surface on a cool cloudy day. Thanks
    It's probably ok as long as you remove the thinner quickly and allow the surface to dry. It wouldn't be safe for all painted surfaces but for you Kia it should be somewhat resistant to damage that could be caused by the thinner. I'd probably dampen a paper towel with a little thinner, wipe it on then wipe it off with a dry paper towel. Don't repeat this process too quickly or you could soften and damage the paint, leave it sit for several minutes between applications to make sure that the paint recovers before your next application. Inspect it closely and if it looks like it's damaging the surface stop and look for another cure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,005

    Default

    Iíve had good luck with those stains using a clay bar. Itís a little labor intensive but it is safe for the paint.

    Bob K

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes start with a clay bar if not working go to a paint polish if that's not working go to a paint rubbing compound.
    Do you have an air powered foam polisher?
    That's what I would use.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    lower Michigan
    Posts
    21,995

    Default

    Lacquer thinner is fine as long as it's modern factory paint. (not a repaint). Make sure to rewax the hood when you're done.

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