The Difference between Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner

I found some old wooden lamps in m grandmother’s attic that were made by my uncle. My dad tells me that they used a linseed oil finish. He suggested that I clean the dirt from them using paint thinner. My inexperienced question is, what is the difference between mineral spirits, which I have, and paint thinner, which I don’t have (yet)? I don’t think my dad thinks I found much in these handmade lamps, but I like them and want to fix them up.

Michael Dresdner: Paint thinner is another name for mineral spirits. In this case, it is wise to stick to a simple answer. Don’t drag turpentine into it, or you must also drag in naphtha, and then explain what they all are, the similarities and differences. It is quite unwieldy — sort of like the shellac question. I try to limit such nosebleeds to once every three months.

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