Denatured Alcohol

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Forum topic by grego posted 04-02-2012 04:53 PM 3385 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 2188 days

04-02-2012 04:53 PM

Asked for it in Home Depot yesterday to use with shellac. Looked at me as if I was a degenerate looking for a high, said “no”, and told me to use mineral spirits instead. Didn’t sound right to me.

Where should I look for denatured alcohol (and should I go out of town so my friends don’t see me buying it?)

21 replies so far

View jmos's profile


764 posts in 1976 days

#1 posted 04-02-2012 05:00 PM

Most Home Depot’s do carry denatured alcohol. Lowe’s as well. They keep it with the turpentine, paint thinner, and other solvents. You can also find it in paint stores. I’ve taken to using the Kleenstrip Green.

It is (some to mostly depending on brand and formulation) ethanol, which is the same type you can drink, but they put something in it that would make you sick if you tried. That’s what denatured means.

I think you just got someone who didn’t know what they were talking about.

-- John

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 2928 days

#2 posted 04-02-2012 05:01 PM

I know that Woodcraft and Rockler carry it in their retail locations. You could also try Ace Hardware if they are closer.

It’s a common material and shouldn’t be that hard to locate. Sounds like you just got an uninformed employee.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2298 days

#3 posted 04-02-2012 05:05 PM

Try asking for Methyl Hydrate aka Wood Alcohol at HD or Ace Hardware.

I don’t know that Denatured Alcohol is commonly available in Canada. If you are close to the border any hardware store in the US would have it.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4609 posts in 3567 days

#4 posted 04-02-2012 05:10 PM

“Make you sick…...............”
No! It will KILL you.
I agree that you’ve encountered a real dumba$$.


View crank49's profile


4001 posts in 2578 days

#5 posted 04-02-2012 05:22 PM

It’s cheaper and available in larger containers at HD than Walmart.

Walmart restricts the sale of denatured alcohol to 1 quart containers and one per visit because it is an ingredient sometimes used in the manufacture of meth amphetamine (spelling?)

Of course they will sell you all the peroxide and acetone you want, and those are the main ingredients for the explosive that terrorists like to use.

At any rate, they are a bunch of morons if they think you can substitute mineral spirits for alcohol. One is oil based and the other is water based. Like mixing oil and water.

Besides shellac can ONLY be disolved or thinned with alcohol; period.

View grego's profile


73 posts in 2188 days

#6 posted 04-02-2012 05:29 PM

Thanks all!

May be a Canadian thing.

I believe they had Methyl Hydrate on the shelf. That will work ok?

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2136 posts in 2715 days

#7 posted 04-02-2012 05:32 PM

Things are getting more bizarre when picking up these types of products. I recently got carded for buying spray paint. They told me it was because some people sniff paint. I guess those that sniff paint don’t have a driver’s license.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View pons's profile


25 posts in 1921 days

#8 posted 04-02-2012 06:23 PM

Wood alcohol as mentioned above is methyl alcohol, slighty different from denatured alcohol. if you can’t get it anywhere else, go to a liqour store and get Everclear or grain alcohol. A little more pricey, but the same stuff.
If you are in Tn, Ky or other rural areas, moonshine will possibly work.

-- Jim in Va

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2141 days

#9 posted 04-02-2012 06:39 PM

Would Rubbing alchohol work?

I do have denatured from HD

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View Rick  Dennington's profile (online now)

Rick Dennington

5397 posts in 2801 days

#10 posted 04-02-2012 06:50 PM

100 proof Wild Turkey should do the trick…...if it don’t thin the shellac, just drink it…’ll thin your innerds… I prefer the moonshine myself….lived in Tn. for 20 years…Knew a moonshiner from there….. My hair used to be straight….now it’s curly…...!!!

I buy DNA made by KleenStrip in a quart can…...

-- Here in the South, we say "down the road a piece"...and , "it's over yonder".....!!

View rwyoung's profile


393 posts in 3078 days

#11 posted 04-02-2012 07:00 PM


No, rubbing alcohol will not work properly as it has too much water mixed in. Stick with the DNA and purchase the smallest quantity you will need as it will absorb moisture from the air every time you open the can.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View KenBry's profile


481 posts in 2054 days

#12 posted 04-02-2012 07:06 PM

Just go back to HD, grab the paint department manager while you are there and straighten the issue out. They sell Denatured Alch. I

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View TrBlu's profile


380 posts in 2232 days

#13 posted 04-02-2012 07:09 PM

In my local Home Depot DNA is on the same shelf as mineral spirits. I have also bought DNA at Wal-Mart.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View grego's profile


73 posts in 2188 days

#14 posted 04-02-2012 07:55 PM

Okay, I just Googled “Canada denatured alcohol” – 1,770,000 hits.

Apparently this is a big issue up here. Not sure why we are not to be trusted with the stuff…

View dhazelton's profile


2513 posts in 1903 days

#15 posted 04-02-2012 08:15 PM

Denatured Alcohol is sold right next to mineral spirits, turps, paint brush cleaning solvent. etc. On the can it usually says for thinning shellac, as a camp stove fuel and a glass cleaner. If you can’t find it in HD look in a sporting goods/camping store for fuel.

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