Thin Latex PaintIf we start talking about latex paints and the requirements for thinning it we need to know various other things about the latex paints too.

Latex paint is one of the thick accurately being used for painting. If we are working with an airless sprayer, we can avoid thinning the latex paint and use it as it is but for working along with an HVLP spray gun you need to have thin paint as the pressure is low in an HVLP spray gun.

To make it work effectively with an HVLP spray gun. Latex or any other thick paint is thinned. It can happen various times that paints like latex etc. get dried up or thickened up by just sitting in open air.

But there is no need to worry as we have got all the tips that will save your money from buying a new can of paint and thinking of the thick paint available already. And you should know that thinning a latex paint is easy as compared to others, all you need for this process is latex paint, water, and several clean and empty gallons or cans.

When we talk about paints, it is essential to talk about its two types: water-based paints and oil-based paints. In layman’s language, these paints can also be called as latex and Alkyd respectively. So now what is the difference between these two! The basis for this differentiation could be their medium of a formation.

Where Oil-based paint’s medium is petroleum based whereas latex paint uses water as its primary medium. Until now, it was only possible to spray with oil-based paints, as latex paint was too thick to be used as a spray and moreover oil-based paints did not dry so quickly and neither did they block the nozzle of the spray gun.

How Do You Thin Latex PaintBut now the whole new transformation of latex paint makes it possible to use it in a spray gun. Latex paints now comprise new synthetic resins that go smoothly with water. And now the latex paint is efficient enough to be used in an airless gun or an aerosol can. But you may still find some need to thin your latex paint sometimes and to help you with it, Here we provide the list of things you might need for thinning of any thick paint.

The articles you might need for this purpose are as follows:

  • 5-gallon capacity bucket
  • Water
  • Funnel

Steps involved in the thinning process of latex paint! And You mix paint for a spray gun.

Step 1 Know If Your Paint Needs Thinning

Know If Your Paint Needs ThinningBefore starting the thinning process, it is better to do a quick test to check how much is the need to thin it. For this, put a stirring tool into the can of paint and let it rest for a few moments.

After positioning the tool above the paint can to prevent any paint from getting on the floor, take it out. Your paint does not require any thinning if the paint drips off the tool in a smooth and even order.

Step 2 Application of Water to the Paint

Application of Water to the PaintAfter making sure to know the paint properly you need to do these steps to make sure it is efficient working. If the result of your test was positive, then we are all set to begin. The first very step is taking one empty can and an approx 1 gallon of paint. Fill half of the empty can with water, and stir the paint and water back and forth repeatedly to make the compound mix well.

Add ½ gallon of Paint again and pour the paint and water back and forth from can to can. You can also add water while “boxing” several gallons of tinted paint to achieve the same color and consistency.

Step 3 Using a Commercial Thinner

Using a Commercial ThinnerIf you do not derive the satisfaction you desire from the technique discussed above, there is yet another technique that may provide you the consistency you want. The method we will be talking about now is simple and straightforward.

Use of commercial thinner is not very complicated if followed the instructions right and if the proper safety measures are taken care of by wearing appropriate protective gears. Use of retail thinners also demands to be used in a very well ventilated area. Since every coin has two sides, this technique also holds some negative aspects. The disadvantages of using a thinner are its expensiveness and also it lasts lesser than the paint that we mix with water.

The shelf life of these paints doesn’t include long years, and there is a chance it would be down again after 3-4 years to give a good finish again to the old building.

Tips and Advice

  1. A significant step that is not so famous but very effective is the water method. Recently I consulted a doctor just like a regular checkup hut what my patient told me even he first saw me or a great shock to all. The doctor gave a tip that if you pour a little amount of water in the paint can or any other thick paint, it can lead to resistance to drying of the paint or any formation of thick paint on the top of the paint can.
  2. The next advice would be not using any additives while thinning a latex paint. You have to make sure that there is no use of these types of liquids in the paint to avoid any further issues. Additives are not the desired option when it comes to thinning paint maybe because there is no effect of these additives on the latex paint. The additives have no specific use or motive when added to the latex paint, and they don’t even make much of a difference after addition of it to the paint.
  3. After working with latex paint, make sure you wash and clean the material you use for the painting or thinning of the paint thoroughly as thick paints dry very fast leading to drying of the brush. It can also cause damage to the products being used to make sure you clean all the material used correctly.


WarningsAfter thinning a thick paint like latex makes sure that you know that the thinned latex will change colour and would render the drying time required by the article in the project.

It should be taken care that only oil should be used for thinning oil-based paints for the best quality gain.

The difficulty level of the job – there is very less difficulty in doing the job. A novice or an amateur can quickly do this job without applying much time and effort.

Time – the average time taken to thin a latex paint is about 10-20 mins for achieving the desired consistency of the latex paint to fullest extent.

So this was all about thinning latex paints on your own. We hope you liked the article and are looking forward to looking up to your queries and problems or any suggestions. For comments and questions please contact us through the comment section below.