How to mix paint & thinner to paint a car

Updated July 20, 2017

Painting has been thought of as an art, not a robotlike process. A great paint job is the outcome of many hours expended sanding and reading the body for paint. The popular misconception is that a "paint job" is a individual step, when painting is actually numerous steps before the real painting of the car. To get the look you are expecting using the right paint and mixing it correctly will ensure correct adhesion, good coverage and no runs. Putting a clear coat will add strength and add to its beauty.

Prepare the body by sanding, filling and repairing any damaged spots.

Stir the paint for three minutes for a uniform colour.

Thin the basecoat and midcoat at a 1:1 ratio, this means that for every amount of basecoat there is the same amount of the thinner.

Thin the clearcoat with 1 to 2 parts thinner to 1 part clearcoat.


Do not paint your car in direct sunlight. Check the can's label of automotive chemical for instructions.


Always wear automotive approved protective equipment, as paint and related chemicals are hazardous.

Things You'll Need

  • Head and Body coverings (coveralls)
  • Automotive paint respirator
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Automotive paint colour of your choice
  • Automotive thinner
  • Compressor
  • Spray gun and hoses
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