Supposedly dumb question about paint and mineral spirits

Today I painted a wall with “Kils,” an undercoating. Its instructions includie ‘Cleaning–use mineral spirits to clean brushes and rollers.’ A relative, however, scoffed at this and insisted I can clean the equipment with soap and water. I couldn’t get the paint off my hands with soap and water–I had to use liquid bleach (we don’t have turpentine). So I’d just like to confirm that if it takes liquid bleach to get the paint off skin, soap and water won’t clean it out of brush and roller heads…?

Oil-based paints (maybe only some of them) can be removed from brushes by massaging in neat, concentrated detergent (such as dishwashing liquid) - adding water only when the paint residues and detergent are thoroughly mixed. My wife does it this way when gloss painting the woodwork. I prefer to use white spirit or paraffin.

I’m surprised bleach works at all, and I certainly wouldn’t use that stuff to clean my hands under any circumstances I can think of.

Disposable gloves are the way to go - much easier than trying to clean paint off skin.

Perhaps your relative had only used the water-based version of KILZ and was confused. For regular KILZ (pigmented shellac?) or other oil-based paints, I’ve never tried anything but mineral spirits or turpentine.

IIRC, regular KILZ stain-killing primer is (as Cub Mistress pointed out) essentially pigmented shellac. Shellac is somewhat different than most other “oil-based” paint products in that it is really alcohol-based.

You can clean it up with alcohol or household ammonia (yes, that smelly liquid they sell in the cleaning product section of the supermarket).

I would think the can would have clean-up instructions. If not the can, a website would probably have it.

Close, but not correct. Kilz can be had in a variety of latex and oil based formulations, but they do not produce a pigmented shellac product, based on my experience, and their website.

For a pigmented shellac stain blocker/sealer/undercoater, you want a product called BIN, made by Zinsser. They also provide a full line of alkyd and latex based products for priming and stain sealing. BIN cleans up with denatured alcohol, or sudsing ammonia in hot water.

Your body produces oils and can shed skin, both help free up paints/primers when you need to clean them off with cleaners (bleach, soap) and friction (scrubbing, rubbing).

A paint brush can do neither shed skin nor produce oils, and you can’t create friction against all the surfaces the paint/primer is attached to on the brush.

I inspected the label thoroughly (which I probably should have done when we bought the KILZ in the first place. :o ) In plain lettering on the front of the can it says “Interior Oil-Based.” I showed this to my skeptical relative and she finally admitted she was wrong–she had taken the advice from “someone in the store” (Home Depot) That ‘all paints are water-based.’ The roller head and small brushes we used for the primer coat were ruined and had to be thrown out; the cheap brushes I bought for the color coat worked just fine and rinsed out with plain tap water. :slight_smile:
If she just hadn’t scoffed at the instruction on the KILZ label about mineral spirits…