Xylene or xylol is sometimes known as a solvent that is quite effective when used to remove substances from the surfaces of garage floors.
This is because xylene is made from petroleum which makes it inexpensive and powerful against products that are oil-based such as paints.
3 Benefits of Using Xylene for Garage Floors
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, a solvent made from the same product as what it removes is more effective.
What follows are three benefits of using xylene in painting and removing paints and stains from garage floors.
Be mindful that using xylene paint for garage floors will also require you to wear some protection so that you can use it safely.
1- It Works Well
First and foremost, xylene is one of the most effective products in removing old paint and stains from surfaces, such as garage floors.
Xylene is not only good at removing paint and wood stains but also rust, grease, resins, enamels, and even adhesive glue.
Xylene will dissolve such substances quickly from garage floors (as well as from your garage tools made of metal), so you have to use less elbow grease to remove them yourself.
Since Xylene is not corrosive to aluminum, you can use it safely, even on the aluminum surfaces like your garage door or for cleaning car engine parts.
Before using xylene, keep in mind that most garage floors are made from concrete which is porous.
This means that substances can penetrate the surface, causing the floor to become dingy, stained, and discolored.
2- Less Evaporation
Of the thinning agents available, xylene has advantages over other popular products such as Toluene or Toluol.
Such products have a short evaporation time which means they will not last as long compared to xylene.
While this may seem advantageous at first, the fast evaporation means that it will disappear before it can be fully effective in thinning oil paints and lacquers.
The result may be a bumpy surface where chunks of paint or lacquer are not fully thinned.
For garage floors, this means the paint will not be smoothly applied, and you will need to add extra coats or scrap away the chunky areas and paint again.
That’s why using xylene has its advantages over other products that evaporate more quickly.
3- Thins Paints & Lacquers
If you are still wondering about what is xylene used for in painting, then let me tell you that most painters and contractors in the US use it for thinning.
Because it thins lacquers and paints (including polyurethanes, epoxies, enamels, varnishes, and alkyd resins), you can use this product to make paints easier to use with spray guns.
For those who prefer a spray compared to a brush or roller, it means the paint will flow smoother through the gun itself.
In addition, by softening the paint, it can be applied with fewer clots or chunks, which speeds up the process of painting.
You will need to mix the paint carefully to ensure it is adequately thinned. Too much xylene and the paint may not be usable.
Can You Paint Over Xylene?
Yes, you can do that safely. In fact, this is another benefit of using Xylene.
However, when you are using Xylene paint for garage floors, make sure that you are using xylene over xylene.
You can apply Sherwin Williams xylene on your concrete garage floors or pavers simply by spraying it on the surface with a metal sprayer.
Alternatively, you can pour it into sections and use a stiff scrub brush to apply it evenly on the surface.
If you are trying to use xylene paint over other types like acrylic, it may eat or lift away the previous paint, which can cause a complete mess for you.
Overall, if you need to remove the stains, old paint, and grease that covers your garage floor, then using xylene is the answer.
Xylene for garage floors is a powerful solvent that can speed up the process of removing stains, grease, and old paint while thinning the paint that you are using for spray guns or to apply smoother to surfaces.
However, keep in mind that xylene paint thinner is a petroleum-based chemical that will require protection when used.
This means keeping your garage well-ventilated, wearing a mask, and having protective gloves and clothing available.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.