How to mix paint for a spray gun

Thinking of mixing paint for your spray gun to paint on your own or for your clients then you are at the right place for a complete step-by-step and very easy-to-understand guide that you can apply without any issue and get satisfactory results.

Have you been trying to figure out how to thin paint for a spray gun? Luckily, we can help you learn all about it. When you’re trying to use your HVLP spray gun, for example, what should you worry about?

mixing paint for spray gun

Having to purchase different paints frequently and also damaging your spray gun? That’s fine; there are plenty of ways to learn how to thin paint!

Using different types of paints (such as latex paint, acrylic paint, encapsulants, etc); it’s very easy to learn the best way so that you never have too much trouble with thick or unmixed paint.

When owners of a paint sprayer ask how to mix air with acrylics, experts will usually tell them to make sure they have a ratio of two parts paint to one part thinner.

This process is good for use with solvent-based paints and it doesn’t require any nasty ingredients.

You can save a lot of money and extend the life of your spray paint if you learn how to get the right consistency for your spray gun.

If you’re looking for tips on getting the right consistency for your gun, just keep reading!

Before Mixing, lets discuss thinning first

So, let’s talk about paint thinners. The first thing to note, the kind you find at the Home Depot or Lowes for mixing with normal paints is not going to work.

The measurement system isn’t quite right and it’s highly unlikely that it will stick very well. The best bet here is to go with a sprayer at your local hardware store specifically designed as a commercial application tool. 

Now I know paint comes in all kinds of different types and names, but there are some tricks to finding out what viscosity is appropriate for your spraying needs.

Using water alone to test which viscosity will work try this: fill the cup on your sprayer with water, then tare it by tipping it so only air goes in the cup, and press spray.

This should give you an idea of what lower viscous material you should use, just make sure it’s about 60 degrees Celsius for best results. Might be thinking about how you can thin water-based paint for your spray guns.

No two paints are made alike. They’re comprised of different compounds and chemicals, often with very different viscosities.

Unfortunately, this can occasionally lead to issues and clogs in the paint gun during a project, which in turn can delay your time frame and have you working into the wee hours of the night.

You’ll have different amounts of water mixed in every time you thin paint for your spray gun. While that is the case, it’s more vital how much water you use than how many times you mix it in.

It’s better to learn what works for your needs and preferences than to be given some numbers by someone else who bases their advice on their experience.

How to mix paint for a spray gun
Step by Step guide to mix paint for spray gun

Tools you need to mix paint for a spray gun

You know what they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? If you plan well in advance and get the right equipment at the right time then you will have everything you need if something goes wrong or falls through.

To do that all you need to do is contact your local hardware store! They can help with any project no matter how large or small. Here is the list of tools you will need to do the job.

Firstly, paint is the obvious thing which we must-have for the thinning process, and without color, there is nothing to cover the surface with.

Paint thinner or water – Water is used by most people for thinning process for the HVLP spray guns and for latex paint types.

You must have ample water on hand to do the process of thinning, of course, you will not use all of it but it’s good practice if you stay on the safe side and have half of the volume of paint in water.

Funnel will be required to test the viscosity of the paint and it will be helpful for you for visual representation for making sure you have the right consistency.

And obviously, you must have a spray gun in which you will use thinned paint for your own project or for your client’s.

It is a good practice if you test the paint before going on the project so in order to test the thinned paint you must have old cardboard so you can check if the paint is properly thinned and sprays well.

If not then thin it well and test until the sprayer paints even paint without any issue.

Wear protective gear

Always be sure to put on the proper safety equipment before you begin any paint project.

It may seem like overkill, but the reality is that paints can release toxic fumes when sprayed, so it’s important to avoid inhaling as much of these noxious fumes as possible.

For this reason, you’ll want to wear a painter’s mask while mixing your paints and while painting in general, and it would be wise to consider also wearing safety goggles and rubber gloves.

Though the majority of toxins in paints aren’t absorbed through the skin, there are still some nasty ingredients involved in the process of their creation which can cause irritation if they come into contact with your skin.

Mix your paint in water

The first step is to make sure you are getting everything prepared properly. For every one gallon of paint, put in 12-13 ounces of water.

This is ten percent of the gallon for every three pounds of paint you’re using. It could be beneficial to use a paint strainer to ensure that you’re achieving the right consistency for your sprayer tips.

The best way to achieve that consistency is with a composite stirring stick. By using this method, we guarantee your fingers won’t get too messy and they will be easy to clean after you finish painting.

Mixing paint can sometimes be a bit complicated but if you follow these simple tips we’ve laid out for you, it shouldn’t be.

Mix your paint in a bucket because it allows the thinner to thoroughly mix with the paint. Be cautious not to use too much thinner.

Anywhere between ¼ to 1 cup of thinner should do the trick. You also want to make sure that wherever you mix your paint, you take care to have enough ventilation so those fumes don’t damage your lungs.

Pour the paint into a paint strainer

The funnel is the means of ensuring that your paint is flowing smoothly and evenly through the spray gun, or in your case, allows you to confirm whether it really is as easy to flow through your business as we say it is.

To do this, simply pour your mixture slowly into the funnel. You should notice that it flows freely out the bottom without any trouble, which indicates that you’ve got a very setup spray gun and an even mixture of paint and water.

If this fails then you should probably look into why! While making sure that everything is running smoothly out at the other end of the bleed hose (i.e. our service), let us know by giving us a call to talk things over with our support team! We hope this has helped.

Check the ratio of thinned paint

Adding too much water to paint may cause the paint to separate and become hazy, making it unusable. To avoid this, first, add 10% water to the new paint and mix thoroughly until incorporated.

Then add another 10% of water and continue mixing for about 1 minute before checking the viscosity.

If the paint is still thick but you can see it starting to get a little thinner in consistency then you can squeeze through a funnel that has been screwed onto the lid of your jar or plastic bottle.

mix paint for spray guns

This will help you gauge if adding more water is necessary; if not just mix well again for another 30 seconds.

To determine where your 10% sweet spot is, first shake (or stir) the tin of paint for about 20 seconds to make sure it’s well mixed inside with no lumps or clots.

Which could interfere with the release of air bubbles when you’re pouring them into your jar (it’s normal to see big air bubbles). Check this guide to learn the to thin enamel paint for your spray gun.

Now you need to transfer the mixed paint into a spray gun. You can do this by pouring the mixture into the spray gun, though if it’s too heavy.

You could also use a large spoon for help, though that would take much longer. Once you’ve transferred the mixture as best as you can, take some time to research how to spray paint most effectively.

Test on carboard

Okay so in the event that you’ve mixed your paint and processed it accordingly, your next step is to test out the mixture against a sample surface (cardboard which we took) to ensure that you’ve done everything correctly.

Take it outside, or into a room with high ceilings and good ventilation, and begin using your sprayer pen on an area that isn’t exposed to sunlight.

The paint should spray without dripping off from the section you’re working with, proving that every part of your prep was finely tuned.

If this isn’t the outcome of your trial, however, there’s a chance that you’ll either have to continue remixing until your mixture is correct for the given circumstances or shift over to another can at random.

Now spray paint on the wall

Finally, after everything else has been taken care of, you can spray paint the wall however you like. Just be sure to apply several layers evenly, or your color probably won’t hold for long and it’ll soon be time for a redo!

It’s good to thin down your paint before applying it to the surface – not only will this save you money because less paint is used, but it also helps the color stick around longer too.

Clean the spray gun

Clean up your act! When you are done, wipe down all of your equipment, such as the spray gun and paint bucket.

Let the water run through the hose to make sure that you get the last bits of paint out. Wipe down your safety gear too.

It can get worn out from all that exposure to paint fumes. You may want to install new filters and change or replace safety equipment like respirators.

Other things you might consider for thinning paint for spray gun

Spraying a surface to coat it with paint is relatively easy, but getting the consistency just right can be difficult.

A lot of trial and error goes into the process, which is why it usually helps to start on smaller scales before implementing the technique in other areas so you can get a good idea of what kind of adjustments might be required, such as using less volume.

As a general rule, you never want to add too much since doing so dramatically impacts the way your finished product performs qualities like color, adhesion, or reflectivity.

When you’re painting your project, it is important to understand how much paint to use. If you add too much, not only does it defeat the purpose of spraying paint over brushstrokes.

But also it makes for a messy finish because the overspray will be harder to control and make clean-up difficult.

This is a guide that can help you figure out how to paint viscosity should be properly determined and whether your spray gun can handle it.

This process may require some practice and foresight, but the more diligently one practices with it – and the more trials for different viscosities one conducts – the better the final result will always turn out.


No, you don’t need to dilute paint for spray gun. Sure, it may still work but it will be very difficult to control. In case you’re going to spray with paint, then you should use aa spray gun. You can check this article for more information on spray guns. You’ll need to dilute the paint for the spray gun if you’re going to use an airbrush.

No, you cannot use ordinary paint in a spray gun. You can use the spray gun to cover your painting work with paint but it is not going to be easy. There are numbers of things which you will have to take care of while you are working with a spray gun. You can first take the nozzle and check that it is working properly. The nozzle is the important part of the spray gun. It should be kept clean at all time. The other thing which you have to look into is the viscosity of the paint. The paint should be thick enough. You can use the paint which is specifically made for use in a spray gun. You can also use the latex paint for this purpose. The clay spray gun can also be used to paint things if it is cleaned properly. Make sure that you are using the spray gun with the right paint.

The correct way to dilute paint for a paint sprayer depends on the type of paint and the brand of sprayer. The rule of thumb is to always dilute the paint before you put it in the sprayer, but there are some exceptions. Use the following rules as a general guideline. Mix the paint in a two-quart bucket, not the can. If the paint is a latex, you can dilute it one-part paint to one-part water. If it is oil-based, dilute it one-part paint to three parts water. If the paint is a primer or a sealer, you don’t need to dilute it. If you are using a sprayer to paint a large surface, you can dilute the paint with tap water.

Mixing is the most important part in water-based paint. If you have good paint, you can use it almost like a water color, but when it comes to brush tips and water-based paint, they are totally different. Water based paint has a thick consistency because the liquid base of it. To use airbrush with water-based paint, we first need to thin it by adding some sort of a solvent. The most common solvents are Isopropyl alcohol, toluene, lacquer thinner and mineral spirits. These solvents usually do not change the quality of the paint, so it is your choice which one you choose to use. I normally use lacquer thinner. You can buy it from art store or hardware store.

Conclusion on How to mix paint for a spray gun

Here it is peeps! The complete guide for newbies so that they can mix the paint for their spray guns and spray even paint which doesn’t splatter or face any other issue.

Follow each step of this guide and get satisfactory results after painting with equally thinned paint from spray guns. Comment down your queries and I will clear out your confusion as soon as I could.

While spray guns are a great tool to have in your paint-thinning arsenal, they’re not always the most durable.

Be sure that paint is mixing well with water and linseed oil before it hits the spray gun so as to avoid any clogging issues.

Pay close attention to whatever viscosity ratio you’re shooting for – if it isn’t thin enough, you may experience spraying problems or the gun itself may get ruined. Remember to clean the spray gun often!

By taking these precautions, you’ll be able to avoid common paint spraying dilemmas from ruining your project – or endangering yourself or your loved ones.

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