How to dilute water-based paint

Written by cody sorensen
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How to dilute water-based paint
Diluting paint can improve the flow but may decrease the quality of the finished job. (mdmoon/iStock/Getty Images)

Diluting paint with water can improve paint flow but it should be done sparingly. Over-diluting water-based paint reduces its ability to cover flaws and stick to a surface. Water dries at a slower rate than paint and can alter the drying time specified on the product label. The water-to-paint ratio can vary from one product to the next, so finding the dilution or thinning recommendations on the product label is recommended. Around 50 ml (1/4 cup) of water per 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water-based paint is a viable ratio because it is minimal. Adding more water than this might mean you need to use several coats of paint.

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Things you need

  • 22.5 litre (5 gallon) bucket
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) measure
  • Water
  • Stir stick

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Spread newspapers or a plastic sheet over your work area to protect it from paint spills and splatter.

  2. 2

    Consult the label on the paint tin for the manufacturer's recommended dilution ratio. Pour the correct quantity of water into the bucket, and then add the water-based paint to the same bucket.

  3. 3

    Mix the paint with the water for several minutes until they are thoroughly mixed, using a stir stick. When you've got the right consistency, apply the water-based paint.

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