7 Steps to Properly Mix Paint for Your Spray Gun

Man using mask and paint gun

Paint. Paint. Paint. Whether you’re about to spray paint walls, chairs, cabinets, or even your car, you’d want to achieve a smooth finish. To attain the best results, you need to mix the paint properly before applying it using a spray gun. No matter how powerful and high-quality your paint sprayer is, if the paint isn’t thin enough to easily flow through the nozzle, you would be disappointed with the outcome. So how should you mix paint?

First, you need to prepare the following materials:

  • Face mask
  • Paint
  • Paint bucket
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint strainer
  • Safety goggles
  • Sprayer tips
  • Test boards
  • Water

Then, follow these steps carefully as if you’re a first-timer (that is if you aren’t).

  1. Select the type of paint.

The mixing of paint, as well as other ingredients, will largely be affected by the kind of paint you’ll use for painting through your spray gun. You’re probably already aware that various types of paints need different liquids for mixing. The correct paint mix will be formed if you follow the liquids each type requires. For instance, if you wish to blend latex paints, water would suffice for dilution. On the other hand, if you’re going to blend oil-based colors, you’ll need mineral spirits. Take note that paint thinners are made with only mineral spirits.

You could also reform paint with other liquids after checking the suggestions and instructions of the manufacturer. Sad to say, some paints cannot be diluted with any mixer.

  1. Wear the proper outfit.

Don’t even think about mixing paint wearing nothing but your regular clothes! Paints can release dangerous chemical fumes that can affect your health especially your respiratory system. Never compromise. Be sure you’re wearing a face mask to protect your face from any damage and toxic effects. Safety goggles will also protect your eyes while you spray paint. Also, take the environment into consideration. If you’re in an enclosed room, a face mask won’t be enough—you’ll need a respirator to breathe properly. I also suggest you wear old clothes in case the process of mixing gets dirty.

  1. Strain the paint.

A lot of people say this is time-consuming, but honestly, doing this before starting will save more time because you won’t have to deal with clogs anymore. Straining the paint will allow you to get rid of impurities such as lumps in the paint. If you skip this step, there’s a high chance that you’ll have to deal with stuck clogs in your spray gun’s hose while you spray.

Strain the paint into a different container properly and carefully. Doing this will result in a beautiful and smooth mixture of paint perfect for spray painting.

  1. Test the paint.

Don’t go mixing right away! Check the spray quality of the paint first. This is where the test board comes in. Spraying on the test board will allow you to inspect the consistency of the paint. When you test, just put a little amount in the container of the sprayer and spray the paint on the board. If the spray looks good and the coverage is beautiful, then you don’t have to mix the paint with a thinner. Still, if the paint is thick and the coverage is poor, you better mix it with a thinner.

  1. White primer bucketMix the paint.

I know, I know. You’ve been waiting for this part since you started reading. Now get your paint bucket and let’s get to work! To obtain the right mix, begin with adding a small
amount of thinner or chemical to your paint to dilute it. Bear in mind that you should be using the thinner or chemical that’s suitable for the type of paint you selected. If you’re mixing oil-based paints, you should add a little amount of thinner to the paint to get the ideal consistency. If you’re blending latex paints, you should add one-fourth of water for every gallon of paint. When the paint and the chemical are both in the bucket, stir without gaps.

Once you think it’s ready, pour the mixture into the sprayer and test it on a board again. If the coverage and the consistency are poor, you might need to add a small amount thinner or water. Don’t add water or thinner in big batches; add in little amounts and then check the mixture on a test board again. Continue mixing until you reach the desired results. Once the consistency and coverage become perfect, proceed to the next step.

  1. Transfer the paint into your spray gun.

Before I explain the title of this step, you have to know that your spray gun should be of high-quality because even if you have the right mixture, if your spray gun is of low-quality, you won’t get the best results. Remember that a smooth and elegant finish is what we’re aiming for here, so better invest in a good-quality spray gun. Problems will occur if you settle with cheap ones. Trust me. Don’t worry much about the price; some top-line spray guns only cost $200 and can last longer than your $50 one. I suggest you read reviews about the product you’ll purchase too if you want to get the most out of your money. If your spray gun isn’t low-grade, you can slowly and carefully transfer it to your spray gun and start testing the mixture with different sprayer tips. After which, begin the paint job. You might have to apply two to three more coats on the surface if a single coat of spray gun isn’t enough. Don’t worry; that’s completely normal. Everyone does that to achieve a flawless coverage.

  1. Clean the equipment.

After examining the mixture of the paint and tried it with various sprayer tips, you must now proceed to the cleaning process. The equipment should be cleaned thoroughly using a mineral spirit. That’s the only way to be sure they’re cleaned. Know more about the proper way of cleaning your paint sprayer in this article.

Happy painting!

…And cleaning!