How to Mix Base Coat Car Paint

Updated April 17, 2017

One important step in the lengthy process it takes to successfully paint a car is mixing the base coat of car paint. Mix the base coat wrong and you will end up with a flaking, peeling paint job in a very short time. Mix it correctly and your paint job can last years. Learn the correct way of how to mix base coat car paint and add a quality paint job to your car.

Place the clean measuring cups on a flat surface. Pour the desired amount of base coat car paint into one of the cups.

Pour the reducer into the other clean measuring cup, measuring to make sure the reducer amount is one-quarter of the amount of base coat car paint. Most base coat car paints are mixed at a ratio of four parts paint and one part reducer.

Mix the paint with the reducer and stir very well with the stir stick. Pour the mixture into the can of the paint gun.


Read the directions on the label of the base coat car paint to make sure it doesn't require a special mixture ratio.


Paint fumes are toxic and should always be handled in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Base coat paint
  • Reducer/thinner
  • 2 Measuring cups
  • Paint stir sticks
  • Paint gun
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About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including,, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.