Pull yourself together and stay tuned because, in this post, we will show you how to thin out your paint in great details so you can easily perform countless DIY tasks with the spray gun and let your imagination run wild.Ready or not, let’s go into it!

The Purpose Of Thinning Paint For Sprayer

Purpose Of Thinning PaintThe sprayer is a fantastic piece of equipment serving multiple purposes, including manufacturing, weed killing, fluid bumping, etc in various industries. In painting, it helps users cover a large area easily within minutes.

Paints are categorized into two types: the oil-based one, which is also known as alkyd paint, and the water-based, or latex or acrylic paint.

Because they are made with great consistency and viscosity to be more durable after being put on the surfaces.

While it’s great for brushing, clogging sometimes happens with the gun’s nozzle, so there will be some inconvenience. Therefore, thinning the paint is essential in coloring works using a sprayer!

Different paints have different properties knowing them will help you use paint more effectively!

Thinning Paint For Sprayer – Necessary Equipment For A Painting Task

1. A Sprayer

A SprayerThere are various types of spray guns on the market and here are some useful tips on choosing the most suitable one for you:

  • Go for the hose which has the appropriate length for your work. Consider a device equipped with wheels for effortless transport
  • Choose a unit accompanied with adjustable pressure control with high, cleaning, and roller mode to protect the spray gun’s tip.

Having a good set of equipment will make your work a lot faster and easier!

2. Paint, Thinner And Paint Conditioner

Thinner And Paint ConditionerJust go ahead choosing any type of paint you like and check out whether it is water-based or oil-based.

The product description will tell you what to buy, but the typical thinner is turpentine or mineral spirits.

An alternative for water when mixing with acrylic paint is paint conditioner. This product works its magic to increase adhesion and penetration, improve the flow of the paint, and prevent it from drying too fast as well.

The most recommended product is Floetrol ®, which has received many positive reviews from DIYers, crafters as well as the professionals.

Read More: Mineral Spirits Vs Paint Thinner

3. Bucket, Stirring Sticks And Protective Glasses

4-Ford cupPrepare a bucket and stirring sticks for the thinning process. Besides, don’t forget to wear protective glasses to protect your eyes from getting any splitting drop coming from the mixing process.

Remember to wear protection for your safety!

Thinning Paint Process – Step-to-step Guide

Here is the detailed instruction on how to thin out the paint using a spray gun, easy to understand.

Step1: Pour All-purpose Paint Into the Bucket Steadily and Carefully.

 Pour all-purpose paintWe advise you to use a strainer to remove any undesired substances or clumps in the paint. As a consequence, the quality of the paint will certainly be enhanced.

Step2: Add Thinner or Paint Conditioner

Add thinner or paint conditionerDepending on the product’s requirements, add thinner or paint conditioner directly into the paint and stir well to give it a nice and smooth texture. The amount of solvent will vary according to the type of paint:

  • Add ½ cup of water to the paint for every gallon or 8 ounces of Floetrol into each quart of latex paint.
  • For oil-based paint, follow instructions on the label, typically 1 part thinner (turpentine or mineral spirits) with 3 parts of paint.

Make sure to follow the instructions for better results!

More: Useful Tips On How To Use Paint Thinner

Step3: Check the Consistency of the Paint

Check the consistency of the paintYou can simply pour the paint on a piece of cardboard or put a little in the sprayer and see how it flows or test the paint consistency by using the #4 Ford cup

Let me explain: Ford cup is a very simple gravity device that allows you to calculate the viscosity by

timing the fluid substance flowing through the cup this device is very useful to check the flowing of the paint.

Follow the instructions below to know how to handle with too thick paint or too runny paint:

If your paint still clogs up after mixing, it can not give the best painting performance. Easy enough, repeat the mixing process but now pour into a higher amount of solvent:

  • Add an additional amount of ⅛ cup of water for every gallon or 2 ounces of Floetrol for every quart to latex paint
  • For the oil-based products, add one more part of thinner till it smoothly goes through.

In case it’s too runny, add more paint into the bucket and keep stirring well until the mixture has the right consistency to put into the gun.

In both circumstances, remember to stir well to thoroughly dilute or re-condense the paint mixture.

After these steps are done, your paint is ready for some painting works.

I hope you have created the perfect mixture of paint for your work!

Some Notes And Tips On The Application

1. Mixing Techniques

Mixing techniquesIn the mixing process, remember to stir thoroughly to avoid disintegration of the mixture which may result in only the water being sprayed on the surfaces.

You can attach the stirring stick to a drill and let the machine do its work, this will reduce the time carrying out the mixing process.

2. Affected Color and Drying Time

Affected color and drying timeBecause your paint is now thinner, the color will change accordingly and easier to control the outcome. To avoid any discoloring, we advise you to always mix the thinner with a significantly higher amount of paint, and keep the solvent under 30% to retain the original color.

One tip for the color is that you should do a run test on a small batch then move to a larger one. Provided that the ratio is the same, the color put on the larger one will stay the same and if there is any problem popping up, you can fix it right away so it’s not a big deal and convenient for a beginner to do.

3. Floetrol Use

Floetrol useFloetrol can be used to reduce the gloss effect of glossy paint, making it an important part and useful. To remain the shining finish, mix it with water. The product can also be used to reduce brush and roller marks, but never use it with oil-based products.

The solution is easy enough, just pour it through a filter and the problem is solved.


How the environment affects the paint condition?

The temperature is the most important factor when it comes to the paint condition, understanding it thoroughly will help you improve your painting to become better.

The optimal temperature for the oil-based products is between 40 and 90 Fahrenheit, whereas that for latex paint is between 50 and 85 this will help paint reach the best state and make you painting more efficiency.

Now, with advances made in waterborne technologies, products from Duration®, Resilience®, SuperPaint®, A-100® latex, and WoodScapes® can be thinned when temperatures are as low as 35º F.

How the paint comes out on the surfaces also depends on the temperature of the room, therefore, remember to pay some attention to this concern.

The paint technology is really amazing and wonderful!

How can I deal with the excess of paint?

Store It

Chances are that you would not be able to finish up a whole can of paint in one single project, so knowing a tip or two about how to preserve the leftover can be of great use. For starters, keep your paint in a cool and dry area, where the temperature is suitable to prevent the quarter from going off.

With a hammer, tap down the lid and then you are done. Doing this will save you a lot of money and for future projects!

Donate It

Maybe you would be pleased with donating it!

(Yes, you can donate paint that has been used, we have already looked it up) this will help a lot of organizations with the shortage of budget.

Try reaching out to some organizations nearby your area that often hold artistic activities, or look like they can do with some paint. That can be a community theater group, a Habitat for Humanity’s retail store, or a high school drama department. These sites often have projects requiring painting and would love to have some given to them for free.

They can notify you should any local community group be in need of paint.

Sharing is caring!


The information above is almost everything you need to know about thinning paint for sprayer. Now, you can definitely be more confident when carrying out any painting project and also teaching other people to do it.

As you can see, checking the consistency of the mixed paint and choosing the type of thinner are the hardest parts requiring the accuracy of the timing of the flow and an in-depth understanding of the solvent for each type of paint.

We hope you enjoy this post and wish you the best luck with thinning paint for sprayer!