Solvent

DEFINITION

A (usually) liquid substance which is able to solve (dissolve) another substance, POISONOUS!either for cleaning, thinning, mixing, or some particular step in an art technique. Common solvents include water (especially when soapy), turpentine and paint thinner, (denatured) alcohol, acetone, lacquer thinner, toluene, xylene, plastic cement (model airplane cement), and naphtha. Solvents are commonly available at hardware stores, as well as at art supply stores. All FLAMMABLE!solvents can be dangerous (most are toxic, volatile, and flammable) so be sure to study their labels carefully, in order to handle, store, WARNING!and dispose of them properly. Keep them out of the reach of children. The exception to liquid solvents is the solvent for encaustic, which is heat.MEDICAL ALERT!Wash eyes and/or skin thoroughly in the event of hazardous exposure to powerful solvents, then consult a physician.Once an artist has applied a paint to a ground, and its combination of solvent and medium has dried (or oxidized in the case of oils, or cooled in the case of encaustic), s/he expects that it will adhere permanently.A medium's solvent should not be confused with its vehicle (alternatively called its medium or base).Also see adhesives, blot, detergent, eraser, eyedropper, fresco, Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), poison, polyurethane, smock, soluble, solute, stain and stain removal, Venice turpentine, and water-soluble.

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