October 1, 2023

Navigating the Turpentine Market: Where Can I Buy Turpentine?

Where can I buy turpentine?

Turpentine oil is a colorless, oily, odorous, flammable liquid and a solvent for sulfur, phosphorus, resins, waxes, oils and natural rubber. It cures when exposed to air. Use it only as directed or risk skin allergy, itching or a rash. We put this article together, so use turpentine oil with caution.

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What is Turpentine?

Defining Turpentine and its Origins

Turpentine is a thin, easily vaporized oil, distilled from the wood or resin of pine trees. It is a paint thinner, solvent, and cleaner. It is the sticky mixture of resin and oil from which this oil is distilled. 

Various Types of Turpentine: Gum, Wood, and Pine

  • Genuine turpentine/ distilled Turpentine.
  • Mineral turpentine/white spirits/mineral spirits
  • Odorless mineral spirits are also known as OMS.

Industrial and Artistic Applications of Turpentine

Turpentine is a solvent used as a paint thinner for oil-based paints, varnishes, and enamels. It helps the wood paint in coating, bonding, and penetrating wooden surfaces. Turpentine’s gum spirits make it excellent for use with artists’ oil paints.

Traditional Sources of Turpentine

Extracting Turpentine from Pine Trees

The process starts by collecting the pine, then drying the pine, grinding, and adding 60% alcohol for reflux extraction 1-3 times, filtering. Concentrate a filtrate under reduced pressure to obtain turpentine.

Historical Significance of Pine Resin Extraction

Historically, resins from pines were for waterproof wooden ships. Resin tapping contributed to job creation in depressed rural areas and the management of pine forests, reducing the impact of fires. 

Modern Manufacturing of Turpentine

Steam Distillation Process for Turpentine Production

Wood turpentine is from the steam distillation of dead, shredded bits of pine wood. Gum turpentine is from the distillation of the exudate of the living pine tree obtained by tapping. Crude turpentine is from the living pine.

Role of Chemical Processing in Turpentine Extraction

Chemical processing in Turpentine Extraction is for blending high-quality turpentine. It is highly effective, making it an excellent option for thinning and cleaning.

Retail Options for Buying Turpentine

Local Hardware and Art Supply Stores

  • WetCanvas
  • FineScale Modeler
  • Creekwood Naturals

Specialty Artisanal Shops and Galleries

  • The Art Shops
  • Gold leaf supplies
  • Cavalier Art Supplies

Online Marketplaces

E-commerce Giants: Amazon, eBay, Walmart

Walmart has a traditional solvent for thinning alkyd and oil colors or cleaning artists’ brushes, this essential oil has a strong thinning and brush-cleaning power. Their Turpentine costs 29.95. 

Niche Ecommerce Platforms: Blick Art Materials, Utrecht

Blick Art Materials sells solvents that vary in strength and capacity to loosen up the body of the color. The solvent with the greatest power is Distilled Turpentine, which makes a viscous mixture. It evaporates quickly but is a hazardous and strong-smelling solvent.

Home Improvement Stores

Home Depot and Lowe’s: Turpentine in the DIY Section

Home Depot, and Lowe’s focus on home professionals to propel growth. They focus on home pros, as consumers swap DIY, being part of the retailer’s strategy to win more business.

Comparing Prices and Packaging Options

The best method of storing it is in a metal container. It does not permit light and air. Metal containers are also better because they will not break if dropped.

Agricultural and Farm Suppliers

Agricultural Co-ops Offering Bulk Turpentine

Turpentine market players have benefitted from its use in making isolated chemical compounds, which could be different products. Researchers have seen the potential of turpentine in antibacterial activity. Turpentine oil has faced the market’s growth.

Linking Turpentine to Agricultural Practices

Turpentine is a volatile component of resin, an abundant forest resource in Southern China. One of the most important components is β-pinene (Acs.com). Resin, another component is from pines. It resists external insect bites and other damage. In the growth of plants, resin components, including pinene as plant defence, and plant interspecific phytochemical roles, attract insects for pollination. Resin is agriculturally active.

Furniture and Woodworking Suppliers

Turpentine for Wood Treatment and Finishing

Turpentine is a great wood treatment that protects the surface. It ensures it is in excellent condition all year round. Before applying it, sand the surface and clean the wood surface by removing mold, dirt, and algae. It protects and maintains the interior and exterior of any wood structure.

Exploring Woodworker-Centric Suppliers

The wood industry comprises many economic activities, like wood pulp. Turpentine Oil is manufactured by making use of volatile fractions obtained from petroleum. It works as a cleaning solvent, removing oils and greases from metal surfaces.

Safety and Authenticity Considerations

Identifying Genuine Turpentine Products

  • Pay attention to safety labels
  • Pay attention to composition or ingredients, physical and chemical properties
  • Certifications are a sign of genuine turpentine 
  • Third-party testing is also a great idea

Turpentine Alternatives

Eco-Friendly and Bio-Based Solvents

  • n-butanol
  • Acetone
  • Propylene glycol
  • Linseed
  • Walnut oil
  • Mineral spirits

Pros of Turpentine Substitutes

  • Affordable
  • Lasts longer
  • Less toxic
  • Great shelf life
  • Less odor

Cons

  • Use with caution 

Artistic Communities and Studios

Turpentine in the Realm of Fine Arts

Some artists prefer to use gum turpentine for diluting oil paints. When using turpentine, make sure your studio is well-ventilated and has a source of fresh air. Artists use turpentine as a cleaning solvent in the preparation of painting mediums. They also use it as a thinner.

Collaborative Studios and Shared Supplies

  • Open Art Studio
  • Hampshire Art Studio
  • Space studios

International Sources of Turpentine

Turpentine Production Hubs: Europe, China, Brazil

The sources of Chinese Turpentine are Masson’s Pines Turpentine, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, and North. America and Europe dominate the market of Turpentine. 

Importing Turpentine and Global Trade Considerations

Turpentine is the world’s 1044th most traded product, with Brazil and Indonesia as the top exporters (Volza.com). Not only is it used in wood but also in food and beverages. That has promoted economic growth, development, and poverty reduction in countries that produce turpentine. 

Eco-Conscious Options

Sustainable Turpentine Sourcing Practices

Consumers increasingly require natural products from renewable resources produced using sustainable processing methods like turpentine. Terpenes are environmentally friendly and sustainable ingredients from pine and citrus. 

Supporting Companies with Green Initiatives

Turpentine perceives sustainable growth to enhance its business processes and practices. Companies’ values drive profitable exercises, leading to investments in technologies and products.

DIY Turpentine Extraction

Extracting Turpentine from Pine Resin at Home

Extracting turpentine from coniferous woods consists of extracting the wood with toluol. Wood turpentine is from the steam distillation of dead, shredded bits of pine wood, while gum turpentine is from the distillation of the exudate of the living pine tree obtained by tapping.

Precautions and Step-by-Step Process

  1. The resin is collected by cutting pine tree trunks. 
  2. Each tree has a metal piece to funnel the sap into a Herty pot. 
  3. When one cut dries up, another one is cut higher on the tree until the tree is sapped to death within 6 to 10 years. 

Bulk Buying and Wholesale Options

Purchasing Turpentine in Bulk Quantities

Turpentine oil sellers are leading distributors and wholesalers to ensure quality turpentine availability. Manufacturers like Australian Wholesale Oils, supply from 15 ml to bulk quantities, with great pricing and Australia-wide delivery (Awo.com). 

Bulk Suppliers and Wholesale Discounts

  • Shonn brothers wholesalers
  • BUCCO
  • Echemi

Comparing Prices and Quality

Factors Affecting Turpentine Pricing

  • Economic development 
  • Population 
  • Increase in demand from the paintings and coating end-use industry
  • Growth and construction 
  • Availability of cheaper petroleum products 
  • Low recovery of turpentine from Kraft wood 

Balancing Price and Quality for Your Needs

As much as you would like to save a few coins, it should not be at the expense of quality. Better results are a product of high-quality turpentine.

Summary of Considerations

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Different Buying Options

Tailoring Your Turpentine Purchase to Your Specific Needs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the primary uses of turpentine?

Turpentine is a versatile solvent with primary uses in various industries:

Paint Thinner and Solvent:

  • Commonly thins oil-based paints, varnishes, and enamels, enhancing paint application and aiding brush cleaning.

Art and Painting:

  • Artists use it as an oil painting medium, diluting paint, creating glazes, and achieving different techniques while also cleaning brushes and palettes.

Woodworking:

  • Used for cleaning tools, removing adhesives and stickers, and thinning wood finishes like varnishes and stains.

Cleaning Agent:

  • Effective at cleaning surfaces by removing grease, tar, and wax from floors, furniture, and machinery.

Adhesive and Bonding:

  • Used in adhesive production to dissolve and enhance bonding properties of certain compounds.

Aromatherapy and Pharmaceuticals:

  • Turpentine oil, a derivative, is employed in aromatherapy for potential therapeutic effects and historically in traditional medicine.

Industrial Applications:

  • Found in industries like chemicals, serving as a feedstock for other chemical production.

Turpentine is flammable and potentially harmful; handle it with care. Adhere to safety measures, including proper ventilation and protective gear. Always follow manufacturer recommendations and safety guidelines for your specific application.

Is turpentine safe to use indoors?

Yes, you can use turpentine indoors, but ensure good ventilation. Turpentine is a versatile solvent used for painting, cleaning, and woodworking tasks. However, it emits fumes that can be harmful in excess.

Consider these points for indoor turpentine use:

Ventilation: Ensure constant airflow to disperse fumes. Open windows and use exhaust fans for fresh air.

Safety: Use protective gear like gloves and safety goggles to minimize skin and eye contact.

Storage: Securely store turpentine away from living areas to prevent spills and exposure.

Alternatives: In poorly ventilated spaces or for lower toxicity, explore alternatives like odorless mineral spirits.

How do I identify authentic turpentine products?

To identify authentic turpentine products, consider these factors:

Check the Label and Packaging:

  • Look for reputable brands and manufacturers.
  • Examine the label for branding, product name, and manufacturer information.
  • Ensure packaging is undamaged without signs of tampering.

Color and Consistency:

  • Authentic turpentine is clear or slightly yellow.
  • It has a thin, water-like consistency.

Odor:

  • Turpentine has a sharp, resinous odor. Be wary if it lacks this smell or has a different one.

Vaporization Test:

  • Authentic turpentine vaporizes quickly, leaving no residue. Test a small amount on a clean surface.

Consult Reviews and Recommendations:

  • Read product reviews and seek advice from trusted sources or experienced users.

Purchase from Trusted Sources:

  • Buy from reputable retailers, art supply stores, or manufacturer websites.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS):

  • Manufacturers often provide detailed Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for their products. Reviewing these can offer additional assurance of authenticity.

Can I use turpentine as a paint thinner?

You can use turpentine as a paint thinner for oil-based paints, varnishes, and enamels. It’s effective for these coatings. Key points:

Compatibility: Turpentine dissolves oils and resins in oil-based paints, facilitating a smoother application.

Adjusting Paint Consistency: Adding small amounts of turpentine to your paint can create a thinner consistency, useful for glazes or achieving a translucent effect.

Brush Cleaning: Turpentine is commonly used to clean brushes after working with oil-based paints, extending their lifespan.

Precautions: Use turpentine with care:

  • Ventilation: Work in a well-ventilated area or outdoors to avoid inhaling harmful fumes.
  • Flammability: Keep turpentine away from flames, sparks, and ignition sources.
  • Storage: Store turpentine in a cool, dry place, tightly sealed, away from sunlight and heat.

Alternative Paint Thinners: Consider mineral spirits or odorless mineral spirits for similar properties with less odor and potentially fewer health risks if you’re sensitive to smells or seek lower toxicity options.

Are there any eco-friendly alternatives to turpentine?

Indeed, there are eco-friendly alternatives to turpentine, such as citrus solvent or orange oil. These alternatives provide environmental benefits, safety advantages, and versatility.

Citrus Solvent or Orange Oil:

  • Environmental Benefits: Derived from natural citrus fruits, citrus solvents are biodegradable and non-toxic, with no harmful VOC emissions.
  • Safety: Gentler on the skin and respiratory system compared to traditional solvents like turpentine, making them safer for various tasks.
  • Versatility: Suitable for paint thinning, cleaning, degreasing, and adhesive removal.
  • Pleasant Scent: Features a natural citrus aroma, a welcome change from the strong chemical odors of traditional solvents.

Other Eco-Friendly Alternatives:

  • Soy-based solvents: Made from soybeans, these solvents are renewable, biodegradable, and low in VOCs.
  • Water-based solvents: Composed mainly of water, these are extremely eco-friendly and safe for indoor use, commonly used for artistic and painting tool cleaning.

When choosing an eco-friendly alternative to turpentine, assess your project requirements and environmental impact preferences. These options provide a greener, high-performing alternative. Always check product labels and manufacturer recommendations for the right choice.

What precautions should I take when using turpentine?

When using turpentine, follow these precautions for safety:

Storage and Handling:

  • Store turpentine in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, heat, and flames. Seal the original container tightly.
  • Use gloves and safety goggles to protect against skin contact and eye exposure when handling turpentine.

Ventilation:

  • Use turpentine in well-ventilated areas, preferably outdoors or in a workspace, to disperse fumes and reduce inhalation risk.

Fire Safety:

  • Keep turpentine away from open flames, sparks, and ignition sources—no smoking around turpentine.
  • Have a fire extinguisher for flammable liquids nearby and know how to use it.

Respiratory Protection:

  • Avoid inhaling turpentine vapors; they harm your respiratory system. If prolonged exposure, wear a respirator with organic vapor filters.

Spill Cleanup:

  • Contain spills with absorbents like sand or kitty litter. Follow local regulations for disposal and avoid spreading the spill.

Skin Contact:

  • Wash skin immediately with soap and water if turpentine contacts it. Seek medical help if irritation persists.

Eye Contact:

  • Rinse eyes with lukewarm water for 15 minutes if turpentine splashes into them. Seek medical help immediately.

Disposal:

  • Dispose of used turpentine and contaminated materials per local regulations. Never pour it down the drain or into the environment.

Labeling:

  • Keep the original label on the turpentine container to avoid confusion.

Training and Education:

  • Ensure everyone using turpentine is trained in safe handling, storage, and disposal to minimize risks.

By following these precautions, you can reduce hazards when using turpentine. Refer to the manufacturer’s safety data sheet (SDS) for specific guidelines on your turpentine product’s safe use.

Conclusion

After reading this article, we assume you can decide how best to use turpentine oil from an informed user’s perspective. There are numerous turpentine oil alternatives, such as flaxseed, but you can still use turpentine successfully without harm. All the best to you!

David D. Hughes

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