How to Mix Thinner With Base Coat

Written by rachel terry
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How to Mix Thinner With Base Coat
Make sure you cover your work surface before mixing thinner with paint. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Mixing base coat paint with thinner is a process that can be beneficial for a number of different applications. When painting cars, trucks or motorcycles, mixing the base coat with thinner can help create a smoother finish. Painters of ceramic figurines and model aeroplanes find that mixing their base coat with thinner helps with shading and shadowing for a more realistic product. Thinned base coats are also often used for airbrushed paint projects.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dropcloth
  • Respirator mask
  • Base coat paint
  • Paint thinner
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Paint stick
  • Measuring cup

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  1. 1

    Ventilate your work area by opening all windows and doors. Cover your work space with a canvas or plastic dropcloth and put on a respirator mask.

  2. 2

    Pour your base coat paint into a larger bucket to give you room for mixing. A clean 5-gallon bucket works well.

  3. 3

    Stir the base coat paint for three minutes with a wooden paint stick. This step is especially important if the paint has been sitting on a shelf for a while. After the three minutes are up, continue mixing if the paint doesn't have a uniform colour or consistency.

  4. 4

    Add paint thinner in a 1:1 ratio to the bucket of base coat paint. For example, if you have 1 quart of base coat paint, add 1 quart of paint thinner. Use a measuring cup to ensure that your measurements are correct.

  5. 5

    Use your wooden paint stick to stir the paint thinner and base coat until the mixture is uniformly combined.

  6. 6

    Let the paint on your paint stick dry completely before you dispose of it.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a tight-fitting lid for your bucket to keep the paint from drying out between jobs.
  • Don't feel compelled to buy a certain brand of paint thinner to match the brand of base coat. Any brand of paint thinner will work.
  • Don't inhale paint thinner fumes.
  • Keep children out of the room when working with paint thinner.

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