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We all have used ammonia in our basic household cleaning kit, but there are other uses in the decorative painter’s studio.



Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen.  You know it by the smell that can fill a room, quickly.  Be careful, ammonia is  a hazardous material.  Don’t leave a container open for long and keep it off your skin as much as possible.


Ammonia is used in the toolkit for decorative painter’s in the following ways:

1)  Brush cleaner for alcohol-based paint:  When you want to clean a brush used with shellac or an alcohol-based primer, you can use denatured alcohol.  Or make a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water to perform the same task of cleaning the brush.

2)  Bacteria-fighter for plaster products:  Lime, Marmorino, and other plaster products tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria.  It doesn’t take much for the bacteria from your skin, air, or dirt to get into the material and cause bacteria to grow.  The first annoyance would be a foul odor.  But, more importantly, your plaster product may not perform as it should due to the bacteria.  Add a cap full of ammonia, stir, and use.

3)  Overall odor reducer:  Have you ever opened an old can of latex paint and recoiled over the stink?  Add a tablespoon of ammonia per gallon of paint and the odor will subside.  Recycling paint from a finished job, is one of my specialties.  I keep a little bottle of ammonia in my kit at all times.