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 In Finishing

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Compliant lacquers. Manufacturers make lacquer compliant with strict VOC laws, which usually limit non-exempt solvents to no more than 27.5 percent, by adding acetone, which is exempt. These lacquers dry fast and are usually labeled “275 VOC.” You can slow the drying by adding ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (butyl cellosolve) to the lacquer. Or you can add acetone to non-compliant lacquer to speed drying in cold temperatures.

This solvent’s versatility makes it ideal in many situations

If you’ve been shopping at paint stores or in the paint department of home centers for the last decade or so, you may have noticed the increased prominence of acetone among the solvents. There is a reason for this.

Acetone is among the very few solvents that have been exempted as a volatile organic compound (VOC) – an environmental (smog) pollutant. And it is the least expensive one, by far. Acetone is exempt because it has so little reactivity.

Being exempt means there are no regulatory restrictions on how much of this solvent we, or the manufacturers we buy from, use.


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